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Letters to the Editor: Mask up, vaccinated Angelenos. Children and the immunocompromised appreciate it

Young people, standing in rows, lift up their arms.
Children participate in a tech summer camp in South Los Angeles on July 15.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: You recently published a letter from a writer who asked, with regard to Los Angeles County’s reinstated mask mandate and having been vaccinated months ago, “Where’s my reward?” The writer said her patience with vaccine refusers was wearing thin. On this second point, I completely agree.

As for the reward, the writer will likely stay healthy and alive during the pandemic.

But please consider this: More than 7 million Californians are under 12 years old. Add the roughly 4% who are immunocompromised, and you get more than 8 million Californians who either cannot be vaccinated yet or remain vulnerable even though they got their shots.

My husband, a solid organ transplant recipient, and three of our grandchildren fall into this group. My reward for wearing a mask indoors is that I help to keep them healthy and alive. I’m also helping to keep your children, grandchildren and vulnerable family members alive too. It’s an easy choice to make.

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Imagine saying, “I’m OK with your children, grandchildren and vulnerable loved ones getting sick or dying — after all, I never got a reward.” Really? Does anyone want to be that person?

Cynthia Monahan, Encinitas

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To the editor: On Monday, two days into the renewed indoor mask mandate, I went grocery shopping. A man behind me in the check-out line bragged to his friend on the phone that his employer was paying him to self-isolate at home for 10 days due to contact with an infected person at work.

When I glanced behind me and saw that he had no mask, I decided to move to the end of the line. This wasn’t because I thought that I could catch COVID-19 from him (I was masked and I am vaccinated); it was because I didn’t want to engage with him by pointing out his irresponsibility.

So a scene was avoided, but only for about two minutes.

After I left the line, I heard the woman with children ahead of me earlier yelling at a masked man near her. He must have made some comment, because soon most of the store heard the response: “I would just like to be able to go shopping without getting into a stupid political argument about wearing masks! I lost six people to COVID! I am also vaccinated, but my kids can’t get vaccinated!”

I understand why L.A. County officials reinstated the indoor mask mandate, but it’s not being enforced, and it’s not a long-term solution. Unfortunately, the only path to herd immunity seems to be by infection, so more people are going to die needlessly.

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Let’s hope children remain resilient. We will have a preventable bad outcome because many people justify irresponsibility to avoid inconvenience.

Kim Lewis, Manhattan Beach


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