Letters to the Editor: ‘Open’ doesn’t mean ‘safe.’ Do you really need to dine out?

A man drinks beer from a mug as others, some in masks, stand outside a restaurant.
People gather for outdoor drinking and dining at the San Pedro Brewing Company on Jan. 29.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: On the front page of Saturday’s California section, we saw a photo of people enjoying outdoor dining directly above an article about the state’s increased death rate. I’m sure all of the restaurants now allowed to have outdoor dining will be completely respectful of Los Angeles County’s “additional restrictions,” especially on Super Bowl Sunday.

Like everyone else, I am tired — tired of staying home, tired of missing my kids and, most of all, tired of people dying. When my dad taught me to drive, he instilled the idea that just because something is allowed, like the right of way, that doesn’t make it safe.

Sometimes we have to forgo what we can do for what we should do. I only hope Californians realize that being open and being safe are two different things.


Dawn Halloran, North Hollywood


To the editor: It’s great that the new L.A. County health order on outdoor dining includes the mandate that everyone sitting together must be from the same household. However, I doubt the four women pictured on your front page dining together met this criterion.

How is this mandate even going to be enforced?

Frankly, I was always mystified how outdoor dining could prevent an unmasked, infected diner from breathing the virus on others at the same table. Perhaps the recent drop in infection rates was, in fact, partly due to the prior outdoor dining ban, but now with the ban lifted, we may find ourselves seeing a rise again.

Thank goodness vaccine-induced herd immunity is on the horizon, because it may be our only way out of this pandemic.

Pauline Flanders, Whittier


To the editor: When I read that Abby Hill from Arizona had met Aaron Sanchez from Pasadena at a local restaurant, which had just opened for outdoor dining, I was a little angry.


The article mentions that they were friends in college, so I assume they can read. Did they not know about the prohibition on sharing the same table with people from different households (much less states)?

I became a little angrier when I read Sanchez’s quote. He thinks it’s really sad when young and single people, who need choices of venues in which to socialize besides their kitchens and TVs, have to be quarantined. Even I, at 91, need a choice of venues to see my friends, and I’ve been quarantined for months.

So kids, let’s get real about this thing and maybe we won’t have another lockdown.

Polly Schneider, Hermosa Beach