Letters to the Editor: 200,000 coronavirus deaths are a sad reflection of America’s character

Coronavirus death
A grieving woman is comforted by a nurse as she sits at her dying husband’s bedside at St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton on July 31.
(Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

To the editor: This week, the United States passed 200,000 confirmed deaths from COVID-19. It took fewer than seven months to reach this number.

In World War II, about 400,000 Americans died over a four-year period. Deaths from the coronavirus will pass this number in perhaps the next five months. Think of that: More than 400,000 dead Americans in a year.

As a teenager in 1942, I witnessed the sacrifices of the American people during World War II. Everything was either rationed or unavailable. Horse meat sold for 15 cents a pound. No new cars were built from 1942-45. Gas was limited to four gallons a week. New refrigerators and washing machines were scarce. Americans planted “victory gardens.” Women took the jobs that men usually had.

We complained, but that was it. It was truly the greatest generation. Everyone chipped in.


I am sad to say that today, there are millions of selfish Americans who lack the moral character, courage and self-discipline to do the right thing. The coming election will determine what kind of America we will be for years to come. Be careful what you wish for.

Bob Murtha, Santa Maria


To the editor: As the U.S. death toll from COVID-19 passes 200,000, let us not forget that the number of cases nationwide is approaching 7 million.

While we mourn the loss of those who have passed and the toll these deaths have taken on families, it is important to be aware of everyone who has been and will continue to be affected by this scourge.

If you get COVID-19, it’s not a cold, it’s not the flu, and it’s not pneumonia. It can be far worse, and battling the disease requires the attention of intelligent, highly educated medical personnel, who unselfishly put themselves at risk of succumbing to the same fate as their patients.

So, when you decide that you must attend that rally, demonstration, wedding or church service, and think that wearing a mask is just so darn inconvenient and uncomfortable, remember that you too could become one of the 7 million or even the 200,000.

None of us is immune. Mother nature doesn’t play favorites, but by wearing a mask and taking precautions, you can tilt the odds in your favor.

John Goodman, Oak Park


To the editor: Almost as shocking as the U.S. reaching the grim milestone of 200,000 COVID-19 deaths is that this news was on Page A6 of the L.A. Times’ print edition.

Have we become so accepting of these horrific numbers that they are no longer major news?

I cannot believe that reaching 200,000 deaths from this pandemic was not a major headline, but rather a little mention at the bottom of the front page telling readers to see the full article on Page A6.

P.J. Lutz, South Pasadena