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Letters to the Editor: We need a full-blown lockdown, not just an outdoor dining ban

L.A. County Public Health Directer Barbara Ferrer
Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer, above in March, faced skepticism from two county supervisors over the suspension of in-person dining at restaurants.
(Associated Press)

To the editor: Shame on Los Angeles County Superviors Kathyrn Barger and Janice Hahn for opposing the latest safety precautions ordered by the Department of Public Health. Research published earlier this year showed that adults with COVID-19 were much more likely to have recently eaten at a restaurant.

If we had shut down properly and not opened up too soon, the pandemic would have been largely contained after six weeks, and thousands of Californians would not have died.

We need to help restaurant owners and employees by providing them stimulus money or allowing them not to pay rent on their properties. Yes, that would hurt the property owners, but they must also share the pain.

We need to implement a stay-home order the right way: No one should be able to go into stores, groceries could be picked up only, and restaurants should be open for takeout only. We need to test all essential workers for COVID-19, and not allow businesses to reopen until there are no positive cases. This is the best thing we can do to help the suffering businesses.

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Please, let’s not go into any stores or eat at any restaurants. You may think you are helping these businesses by doing otherwise, but you’re really just forcing them to risk their lives.

Nanette Smith, Irvine

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To the editor: It is heartbreaking that outdoor dining was suspended. Restaurants had worked hard to plan, advertise and purchase all the necessary edibles (and drinkables). Now, people will buy takeout and gather indoors instead of eating at the restaurant.

The reason that many restaurants are not in compliance with the COVID-19 guidelines is simple: The rules were not set up using common sense. The tables may be six feet apart, but the chairs that are placed around them are much closer. Tables don’t catch the virus; people do.

It’s no wonder people disregard the safety rules. If you want cooperation, the regulations must make sense.

Betty Rome, Culver City

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To the editor: As a lover of food, I am sympathetic to the plight of restaurant owners and workers during the pandemic. However, I fully support the L.A. County order to shut down in-person dining at this point.

My wife and I, both at risk due to age, have been out to eat just once since March. Despite regulations, we were sure that we were not six feet from diners at the other tables. We were particularly concerned when people facing us at the next table, without masks of course, talked loudly and laughed heartily.

Since then, we have made a point of noticing the distancing when we pass restaurants, and we believe few are observing the guidelines.

The shutdown saddens me, but I believe the county made the right call.

Bruce Hirsch, Culver City

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To the editor: Last month I went to Ikea to buy a desk. I stood in line with hundreds of strangers, spent 45 minutes inside a building with hundreds of strangers, and tested desks and chairs that hundreds of strangers had tested before I did.

Now we hear that our civic leaders feel that well-spaced patio dining is one of the reasons we’re seeing a huge spike in COVID-19 cases and must be shut down.

By the way, the Ikea website tells us it is still “safely welcoming customers into the store.”

Fred Linkchorst, La Crescenta


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