Letters to the Editor: Shame on people who refuse to wear a mask. They’re endangering lives

Manhattan Beach
Not wearing masks or social distancing, family and friends celebrate graduates from Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach on June 11.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: As a physician who specializes in public health and preventive medicine, I am shocked to see that places like Orange County are not requiring people to wear face coverings in indoor public areas as they allow more businesses to open.

Opening up carefully is probably necessary, but in return for opening up, the public should be required to wear face coverings for now. We have very good evidence that the two most important practices to prevent COVID-19 transmission are to avoid crowded indoor places and to wear masks. If everyone did those things, we could probably at least keep the epidemic in check to some extent.

I am also greatly disturbed to learn that Dr. Nichole Quick, the ex-health officer of Orange County, felt the need to resign due to threats and harassment. What a sad state of affairs.


Patrick Meehan, MD, Manhattan Beach


To the editor: Those who would threaten people of science regarding the best practices for avoiding COVID-19 should consider the following.

You may not die if you contract the virus, but if you infect me, directly or indirectly, my chances of dying are much higher. My wife and I would love to go to our favorite pizza joint and a movie tonight, but it isn’t worth the risk. The bad news for others is that me and people like me (older people) control so many workers’ financial futures.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people 55 years and older (those more likely to have serious complications from the virus) are responsible for about 40% of all consumer expenditures in this country.

Here are two takeaways from this data: As long as the risk of contagion is perpetuated by younger people who refuse to take precautions to protect people like me from COVID-19, we will stay away from pizza joints and theaters and, for that matter, any place that doesn’t enforce wearing masks when practical. That means the goods and services we buy and sell will go away.

Write when you find work.

Bob Merrilees, Camarillo



To the editor: Without masks, there is no respect for my health and my life.

I used to spend a lot of money in Orange County, but not anymore. As an over-65 human being, I am convinced that my life does not matter to the people who run Orange County.

My dollars can go elsewhere.

Laura Thompson, Marina del Rey


To the editor: The picture in the print edition of people celebrating their high school graduation in Manhattan Beach could have been a statement of support for social distancing and wearing masks, a sure way to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Rather, and more fundamentally, this is a moral failure. It could have probably taken just one parent or student to speak up and say, “This is wrong.”

So sad.

John Van den Akker, Hermosa Beach