Letters to the Editor: Citizen, heal thyself — wear a mask to save the lives of healthcare workers

COVID-19 ward
Medical student Engerlina Olivares looks at the scan of a patient’s lungs before making rounds on the COVID-19 ward at United Memorial Medical Center in Houston on July 1.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: One reason why the ongoing surge of new COVID-19 cases in California has not yet resulted in more deaths is because of the extraordinary care being provided by the doctors and nurses who are risking their lives on the front lines of this pandemic.

In Albert Camus’s 1947 masterpiece “The Plague,” he pays tribute to “all who, while unable to be saints but refusing to bow down to pestilences, strive their utmost to be healers.”

By taking sensible precautions such as wearing masks in public, avoiding crowds and practicing social distancing, we can honor our own heroic healthcare workers by doing our part to reduce their burden, and in the process, become healers ourselves.

Stephen A. Silver, San Francisco


To the editor: I take exception to the sentence, “So far, new deaths have remained relatively flat in California even as cases have surged.”


This perpetuates the myth promulgated by the president that the virus is not getting worse. You are downplaying the urgency of individuals changing course to wear masks and socially distance.

There may be about the same number of deaths, but these are new deaths, people who were alive recently, but now have passed due to a lack of effective leadership by the president and his administration.

Ada Hand, Huntington Beach


To the editor: Your editorial about the reasons for the virus surge was comprehensive and beautifully written, but one possible cause deserves much more attention: the failure by some people to wear masks and physically distance themselves from others.

Since we are a democracy, perhaps these outliers deserve some respect, but they should be warned. Here are my suggestions for signs to be posted at selected beaches and indoor bars.

For beaches: “For all those who wish to die, you are welcome here. No mask or social distancing is required. Have fun, hug, kiss and swim. May all your dreams come true.”

For indoor bars: “For all those who wish to die, you are welcome here. No mask or social distancing is required. Sit close, laugh and drink. You are an American, and no one has the right to tell you how to live. May all life’s pleasures be yours.”

Mary Mills Presby, Beverly Hills