Letters to the Editor: Making seniors shiver in the cold for a vaccine is a really bad look for L.A.

People line up to get vaccinated at the Balboa Sports Complex in Encino on Jan. 27.
People line up to get COVID-19 vaccine shots at the Balboa Sports Complex in Encino on Jan. 27.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: It was disturbing to see the image of elders in Encino barbarically made to shiver in the cold while standing in an endless line for hours, maybe to get a COVID-19 vaccine dose. It didn’t look like the tech savvy, swiping, clicking, texting world of the 21st century, but rather a bleak scene out of the Dark Ages, of vulnerable people fighting for their very existence — because that‘s exactly what it was.

The geniuses of today’s world who invent all kinds of miraculous ways to improve and simplify our everyday lives cannot come up with a way to get their parents and grandparents vaccinated in a humane and orderly way. This is all about priorities and having a little common sense and compassion to accomplish this attainable goal. Good luck finding that in our new dark age.

Aging seems to be an emotional crime in this country. It is unavoidable and uncontrollable; we can just try to skillfully negotiate our way through it with a little grace, a little dignity and a whole lot of laughter. Just getting the chance to achieve longevity, however, may be the tricky part.

Frances Terrell Lippman, Sherman Oaks



To the editor: I was one of the fools — I mean, people — in that line at the Balboa Sports Complex. I had a 1:30 p.m. appointment and arrived 20 minutes early.

After a long walk to the end of the line, I was told the wait would be two to three hours. It was 56 degrees and, as your photographer showed, there was no social distancing. People ahead of me had later appointments, but there was no effort to accommodate people who had earlier ones.

I left after an hour and am starting all over to get an appointment. The irony is that the same location is still offering appointments.

People should be warned what lies ahead if they are duped into thinking their appointment guarantees them anything.

Barbara H. Bergen, Los Angeles


To the editor: My husband and I are both older than 65. At first I struggled with the L.A. County’s vaccine appointment website, and I could not speak to anyone when I called.


Then a relative told us to try the state’s website, I went there and, to my amazement, easily made appointments for three days later at The Forum in Inglewood.

We had an easy time at The Forum. We never had to leave the car, and there were lots of polite and helpful staff. When we reached the front of our line, a Health Department employee asked us questions, administered the shots through the open car windows, and gave us appointments for our second doses.

The whole adventure lasted less than an hour. It feels like we won the lottery.

Janice Feinstein, Mar Vista


To the editor: It appears that trying to be vaccinated in Southern California is a lot like trying to vote in the American South. According to your article, “Getting a shot is tougher for those who lack online skills, a cellphone, reliable car or the stamina to wait outside for hours.”

This does not instill hope for L.A. ridding itself of the virus any time soon, given that the South is still trying to rid itself of voter suppression.

Joan Walston, Santa Monica



To the editor: The biggest problem for seniors 75 and older is that everyone over 65 can now make a vaccine appointment. This means hordes of Baby Boomers who are more skilled with their smartphones are competing for appointments with people who might not be.

As a 92-year-old, I am proud of my computer capabilities but am not skilled on my phone. My grandson tried to help me over the telephone, but either my abilities or those of my older iPhone were not up to par.

When Blue Shield takes over California’s vaccination effort, I hope it creates a registration system that older Californians can easily use.

Martin A. Brower, Corona del Mar