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Letters to the Editor: ‘I’ve had enough’: Readers are furious at vaccine refusers

A sign at a Chinatown business reminds customers to wear a mask.
A sign at a Chinatown business on July 17 reminds customers to wear a mask.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I’ve had enough. (“Mad about the new mask mandate? Blame Donald Trump and Tucker Carlson,” column, July 16)

People wanted to be free — to take off their masks, to shop, to eat out. They wanted California open, so much that a recall against Gov. Gavin Newsom was launched. He pushed hard to get as many people vaccinated as possible, and he finally gave in to the pressure to fully reopen.

The stubbornly unvaccinated, either in the name of freedom or because they listened to disinformation, took off their masks. They knew no one would challenge them to prove their vaccination status. They have provided fertile ground for the extra-contagious Delta variant.

Now, L.A. County has reinstituted its universal indoor mask mandate. People lament the step backward, but their reward for masking up and getting vaccinated should be the welfare of all and a slowing of the spread of COVID-19.

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Newsom, who is trying to avoid being recalled, is unlikely to reinstitute any statewide mandates. So, we are left with a county-by-county decision. Los Angeles’ grandstanding sheriff will not enforce the county’s mask mandate. Businesses are left to risk the ire of their customers by insisting on masking.

The very people who decry the limitations in the name of personal liberty are the ones who fuel the spread of the virus and the mutations, which cause officials to take steps in an attempt to stamp it out.

People: The virus will not go away because you want it to or because you are tired of it. Get the vaccine, wear a mask, have a clue, give a damn.

And grow up.

Elise Power, Garden Grove

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To the editor: In the U.S., you have the right to make decisions, but then you should have to live with the consequences of those decisions.

We should be doing what France is doing. There, starting in August, if you refuse vaccination, then you are deciding effectively not to be a part of society. In the U.S., that would mean you could not use public transportation, step inside public businesses or work in a job that interacts with the public.

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If you would like to rejoin society, then act like a member of society, step up and get your vaccine instead of being a leech on everyone else’s participation in making America healthy and safe for our children who cannot get vaccinated.

Do what is right, not what is selfish.

Victoria I. Paterno, M.D., Los Angeles

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To the editor: It is a symptom of the decline in our democracy that so many of our citizens refuse to take a vaccination against a known deadly virus. We could call them deserters in a war scenario.

That members of our police and fire departments are deserters in the face of duty is obvious. The example of pervasive thinking that they are exhibiting is monstrous.

The potential that their refusal to be vaccinated is a political decision is another reason to deal with it firmly. Our police and firefighting forces cannot be allowed to act on political opinions that conflict with the standards of care they have sworn to uphold in our communities.

Frances Vizier, West Hollywood

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To the editor: Something the fully vaccinated and the unvaccinated have in common is that we’d all like to get back to “normal” and do away with our protective masks while inside public spaces.

Here in Los Angeles County, the fully vaccinated got a brief taste of that for a short time, but now we’re back to having to mask up again, as the Delta variant of COVID-19 is precipitously on the rise.

Not surprisingly, almost everyone who ends up in the hospital infected with the coronavirus is unvaccinated. I’m guessing a good percentage of that demographic is anti-vaxxers. So even though we vaccinated are pretty well protected from the disease, we now get to take that same step backward because of those who couldn’t be bothered to do the responsible thing.

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Yet with the return of the mask mandate, who is likely to do the most screaming about the government “taking away our freedoms”? Care to wager a guess?

This is why we can’t have nice things.

Robert Weide, Studio City

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To the editor: I am not going to waste a single breath trying to convince people to get vaccinated. If you have weighed all the facts and arrived at the conclusion that vaccination is not right for you, so be it.

But Los Angeles County’s indoor mask mandate is back because COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are growing. Funny thing about that: Virtually all of the people in the hospital are unvaccinated.

So, to the people choosing not to be vaccinated, I ask you to live up to the conclusion you arrived at regarding this virus and stop going to the hospital.

Our problem isn’t that you’re unvaccinated (it’s actually the problem, but evidently there’s nothing we can do about it); rather, our problem is you keep going to the hospital when you become sick. The hospital then has to test you, and that sets off a chain of reporting and public health policies and then, just like that, we all have to wear masks again.

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All I ask is that if you believe COVID-19 isn’t deadly enough to endure a needle prick to the arm, then slug it out at home if you get a little fever or some tightness in the chest. Stick to your guns here. If you don’t believe the pandemic is serious, then quit filling the hospital with a disease you don’t even believe in. You’ll be fine (according to you).

Jeffrey Foley, Santa Monica

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To the editor: California health officials have done an admirable job in the face of ignorant resistance to necessary public health measures to combat the pandemic. Now, it is time to stand up to know-nothings who claim their display of allegiance to former President Trump represents the assertion of their fundamental rights.

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There is no right to infect others with a lethal disease. People are frustrated by the return to mask mandates, but many of us are angrier that this is required because those who refuse vaccination and don’t want to mask appear to be ignoring the terms on which stores and other venues are allowing unmasked people to enter.

We need vaccine passports so we can reopen without allowing foolish and gullible resisters to risk the lives and health of others. If you won’t get vaccinated, stay home. If the unvaccinated insist on entering without a passport, they should be arrested for trespass. Enough is enough.

Tolerance for those who insist on defying reality must end.

Mitchell Zimmerman, Palo Alto


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