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Letters to the Editor: Young people didn’t reopen L.A. too early, city officials did. Blame them

L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer speaks March 12 at a news conference on COVID-19.
L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer speaks March 12 at a news conference on COVID-19 as L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and other officials listen.
(Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press)

To the editor: The headline, “Younger L.A. County residents are increasingly catching COVID-19,” missed the point. It should have been, “L.A. reopened too quickly.”

Placing blame for the uncontrolled coronavirus pandemic on young people disregards the policy decisions that are truly responsible.

Surely “summer socializing” deserves some blame. But young people, who are less likely to have a financial safety net and generally have less job security than others, may not be able to refuse work. They are thus among the first to reenter the economy, becoming exposed to the virus en masse.

The widespread narrative that young people are simply behaving irresponsibly reflects the disturbing trend of blaming society’s ills on those with the least power. From the fight against climate change to this pandemic, we blame those on the bottom. With such public health challenges, government leadership is required.

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Los Angeles reopened too soon. The lawmakers responsible for this policy decision must be held accountable.

Dean Watson, Los Angeles

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To the editor: As an old(er) woman and the mother of a millennial, I look back on my 20s and 30s and cringe at some of the stupid stuff I did. Also, I completely empathize with the younger generation during this time.

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However, we are in a worldwide pandemic that is killing hundreds of thousands of people. I hope “they” will soon grow up, start doing the right thing and stop protesting, congregating, socializing and having a devil-may-care attitude.

These people are more likely to spread this virus than I am. Grow up or go home.

Paige Zito, Valley Village

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To the editor: We know that indoor gatherings are the biggest drivers of COVID-19 infections. Yet many articles on infection rates or various government restrictions feature photos of people outdoors, where we know transmission is less likely.

Images of people on a crowded beach are particularly common, and your article on the infection rate among people under 40 is a perfect example. The photo features an outdoor yoga session. While this activity is not without risk, a more accurate representation of the danger of transmission would be a photo showing an indoor party.

I would like the L.A. Times to better educate readers about what they should and should not be doing to keep themselves and their families safe.

Justin Young, Los Angeles


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