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Letters to the Editor: People resist masks because most coronavirus death and suffering is hidden

People wear masks to protect against the coronavirus while walking May 14 along the boardwalk in Venice Beach.
People wear masks to protect against the coronavirus while walking May 14 along the boardwalk in Venice Beach.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Kudos to columnist Nita Lelyveld for expressing why she feels unsafe resuming some semblance of normal life when so many are going about their business without wearing a mask.

In a very even-handed manner, she lists many ways in which people make little or no effort to enhance everyone’s safety, and why this is is. I would like to suggest one more reason.

For the most part, the deaths have been hidden from view. The largely faceless residents of nursing homes, people in prison and those living in poverty have been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of “us” just don’t know anyone who has suffered like these people have.

Ralph Martinez, Arcadia

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To the editor: Here are a few reasons some of us do not wear masks.

We are disgusted with being “mask shamed,” as if we’re coldhearted killers. Please spare me the sanctimonious “you’re protecting me” line. I’ll tell you what: You protect you, and I’ll protect me.

The link between COVID-19 mortality and obesity has been well established. Yes, healthy people get infected, but much fewer of them die. Here’s what I’m doing to protect myself: keeping my body mass index around 20, exercising an hour a day, eating healthy food, taking vitamins D and C and taking zinc.

Why aren’t vitamins mandated? Why isn’t junk food banished? Why isn’t everyone required to wear a Fitbit that will be monitored by the government to make sure they are getting the required exercise?

What I value about America is that this is a country that usually gives each of us a chance to handle things our own way. Wear as many masks as you want, and I’ll stick to my Fitbit; mandating either is what scares me.

Patricia Davis, Woodland Hills

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To the editor: I would like to go out, get my hair cut and hike. However, when so many people are not covering their faces or social distancing, how can I participate in society?

These people make no attempt to be kind to those of us who are trying to follow the science. I’m under siege because of their behavior.

Kay Foster, North Hollywood


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