Letters to the Editor: Readers don’t want to see your unmasked face in the L.A. Times

Rapper Snoop Dogg chats with a motorist in Inglewood.
Rapper Snoop Dogg chats with motorist Monica Sandoval after helping to load her car with food and drinks during the City of Inglewood’s Annual Turkey Giveaway on Nov. 23.
(Los Angeles Times)

Our letter writers have never been a laissez faire bunch when it comes to pandemic health measures, but they have taken their impatience with poor adherence to safety protocols to a new level amid the explosion in COVID-19 cases in Southern California. The recent protests in Huntington Beach have drawn the kind of negative reader responses those protests always have, but recently two new categories of “Covidiots” have come under fire from our letters writers: People pictured on the pages of the L.A. Times practicing poor masking habits, and the justices of the Supreme Court.

Recently, a photo of rapper Snoop Dogg handing out free turkeys in Inglewood prompted more readers to write about his unmasked face than his charitable act. A front-page photo of an exuberant unmasked grandmother at LAX drew similar protests.

So beware, Los Angeles: If your bare face appears in The Times, we’ll probably hear about it.


Sherman Oaks resident Lee Rubinstein wanted Snoop Dogg to set an example:

While I certainly applaud Snoop Dogg for helping out with Inglewood’s turkey giveaway, I was surprised to see him with his mask down below his mouth when speaking with a driver.

Is his need for recognition so great that he was willing to risk his health and the health of another person? They were clearly less than six feet apart. I would have been just as pleased had Snoop Dogg been masked and identified by the caption even if I had not been able to recognize him.

There was an opportunity here to set an example, and Snoop Dogg blew it.

Anne Thorward of Claremont believes The Times bears responsibility:

Aren’t we in a serious pandemic? Why did you select the photo of Grandma with no mask on the front page greeting her granddaughter at LAX? Her granddaughter did wear a mask.

Does this publication have any responsibility to show people in compliance with state mandate to wear masks? I’d like to think so. I’m sure you could have found another photo among the thousands of travelers over the Thanksgiving holiday.


John Houlihan of Orange wants to hug his grandchildren too:

As a grandfather of two who has struggled since March with the temptation to hug my grandchildren, I was saddened to see your front page depicting the maskless grandmother about to embrace her visiting grandchild.

I will continue to put my safety and the safety of others ahead of my emotional needs and hold steady until the vaccine arrives. And then, with that first hug, I may never let go.

James Peterson of Beaumont scolds the Supreme Court for its ruling on religious gatherings:

It is difficult to understand the failure of the Supreme Court conservatives to see the equivalence between directives issued by public safety organizations and those issued by public health agencies. How are fire-related occupancy limits different from restrictions placed by health authorities during a pandemic?

Only in America are religious gatherings given a pass when a virus imperils the health and well-being of everyone.