Letters to the Editor: It isn’t a ‘mask’ if we can see your mouth or nose

A man wears a balaclava with a hole for his mouth.
A man wears a balaclava with a hole for his mouth Sunday at the Venice Beach boardwalk.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: The print-edition photo caption with your Dec. 28 article on the likely extension of Los Angeles County’s stay-home order reads, “People wear masks Sunday on the Venice Beach boardwalk.” But the man featured was wearing a face and head covering that left his mouth exposed, and people featured in another photo were unmasked.

Unfortunately, I’ve encountered unmasked or insufficiently masked employees and patrons inside and outside restaurants and stores. I also see too many stores not enforcing restrictions on the number of customers allowed inside, even though many of them had limits earlier in the pandemic.

Whether people continue to flout public health orders because there are no legal consequences, because it’s tiresome to keep following them, because those in charge haven’t acted responsibly or some other reason, this ultra-selfish behavior continues to put all of us at risk.


Ronel Kelmen Wright, El Segundo


To the editor: The fellow in the foreground of your picture is wearing a mask that does not cover his mouth and appears to leave his nose exposed.

Had I spotted him on the Venice Beach boardwalk, I would have given him all the social distancing the law requires. And then some.

Joan Walston, Santa Monica


To the editor: I understand the distinction between orders (no in-person dining and 20% capacity in retail stores) and recommendations (don’t travel during the holidays).

What I don’t understand is the identical government response to the failure to follow both — continued education and lack of enforcement.


Education has not worked, as many people refuse to abide by rules and recommendations alike. As such, increasing restrictions will similarly fail. If people don’t follow the rules now, they certainly won’t follow more stringent rules.

It’s time to start enforcement. This is the only way to stop the spread of the pandemic until there is widespread vaccination. Simply making more stringent rules and extending the current stay-home “order” is a waste of time.

Gary Yates, Los Angeles


To the editor: Is anyone in Los Angeles actually staying home? The traffic I saw on Pacific Coast Highway from my living room window was heavier on the Christmas weekend than any pre-COVID-19 weekend I can recall.

Without voluntary cooperation by Angelenos the pandemic will keep killing us far into the future.

Philip DiGiacomo, Pacific Palisades