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Letters to the Editor: Businesses are reopening, schools are closed. How is this OK?

A restaurant in San Diego serves customers after Gov. Gavin Newsom lifted California's stay-home order on Jan. 25.
(Jarrod Valliere / San Diego Union-Tribune)

To the editor: I am the mother of three children who have been learning virtually for almost a year. My kids seem OK, but in reality they are not. No child is fine being out of school for nine months. (“Is Gov. Newsom ‘following the science’ on COVID reopening, or following the politics?” editorial, Jan. 26)

And yet once again, our state and local politicians are sending the message that they are OK with our kids not being in school. I know this because they keep closing and reopening businesses, while schools remain shuttered. There have been no concrete efforts to get kids back into school — there are just mandates and then the easing of mandates on businesses.

Everyone has seen the evidence that schools are not major sources of community spread. Everyone has seen that other countries and states are prioritizing schools reopening above all else. And yet here we are in Los Angeles, our schools shuttered with no hope of reopening soon.

I beg our leaders to truly prioritize school reopening by doing everything in their power to reduce community spread and provide the resources and guidance that schools need to actually reopen.

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It’s hard to see how schools won’t be shuttered or at least very compromised even in the 2021-22 year. What will the future look like if our children spend part of three academic years learning remotely? None of this is fine.

Staci Miller, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Discussion about whether outdoor dining should be allowed during the current phase of the pandemic generally neglects to address the reality that not all outdoor dining is created equally.

Specifically, fully tented outdoor dining is essentially, as far as contagion control goes, outdoor-indoor dining, albeit possibly with a little more table spacing. In fact, such set-ups may be even worse than indoor dining because of the lack of a ventilation system.

Restaurants that offer true open air outdoor dining, also with ample spacing between tables, should not be treated the same as restaurants that violate the spirit and intent of the rules by trying to pass off fully tented, non-ventilated outdoor structures as safer outdoor dining.

Dan Rothman, Fountain Valley

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To the editor: The risks and rewards associated with lifting the statewide stay-home order seem clear. It may well be safe enough in some areas to relax restrictions.

But other areas, including L.A. County, have been so overwhelmed by COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths that it seems premature to reopen service businesses that are conducted indoors or restaurants for outdoor dining where patrons can’t wear masks while eating. I believe that L.A. County has reacted prematurely in lifting restrictions.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said we are seeing “some real light at the end of the tunnel.” I fear that lifting restrictions in L.A. County at this time will dim that light as it did on previous occasions.

Steve Freedman, Venice


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