Opinion: Two letter writers are mad at Gov. Newsom, and readers are having none of it

Ralphs grocery store is putting in place social distancing
An employee at Ralphs grocery store in Westchester lets in only a few shoppers at a time to comply with social distancing guidelines on March 22.
(Los Angeles Times)

It’s safe to say that the vast majority of our letter writers are on board with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s “stay at home” order to slow the coronavirus’ spread. Some have sent letters expressing worry over what the restrictions mean for people’s livelihoods, but fewer still have questioned the need for much of the economy to shut down.

In fact, the high number of sharp rebuttals to two readers who on March 20 harshly criticized Newsom help illustrate how strong the consensus is among our letter writers on social distancing and the governor’s order. Here are some of those rebuttals.

Newsom’s speech was scary because it had to be, writes Mindy Taylor-Ross of Venice:

One letter writer from Pasadena said Newsom “outraged” him with too much bad information in his address to the state on March 19 announcing his stay-at-home order. The writer said that people “understand the seriousness of the situation fully,” which we do not, and are “doing all we can,” which we are not.


Doing all we can is not partying like it’s 1984 on the beach. Get real, stay home, listen to advice, and protect your loved ones and people around you.

John Reed of Hemet lashes out at people who refuse to stay at home:

“Is the governor kidding me?” So begins the diatribe from a reader in Redlands. “No one is going to order me to stay at home. ... This has gone too far.”

Well, at least he gets one thing right: “This” has gone too far. Of course, he’s talking about government intervention in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, while most of us are referring to the spread of this disease because of people like the writer who are so determined to look out solely for themselves that they don’t care about the rest of us.


The writer sounds like he would have joined the spring breakers in Florida. Let no man tell him what to do; it’s only for the sake of our world.

Richard Schmittdiel of Glendale wants more imformation:

I admire the letter writer’s dedication and work ethic. I’m also really glad he still has a job to go to.

But he would do the rest of us a favor if he’d let us know where that is and where he’ll be, so that we can protect ourselves by staying the heck away from him until this virus thing blows over.


Steve Durgin of Woodland Hills has a request:

In response to the writer who said he has a job, that job is not at home and the governor has gone too far, unless he is providing essential services, that job is on hiatus, as is mine.

Stay safer at home and help keep the rest of us safer, please. No man, infected or not, is an island.