Letters to the Editor: Today’s anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers would not have done well during World War II

Members of an anti-mask group protest in Redondo Beach on July 27.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: As I read about resistance to mask mandates and vaccination, I am reminded of stories my grandparents told me about the patriotism Americans showed during World War II. (“Everyone should mask up, because kids aren’t vaccinated,” Opinion, July 26)

During the war, Southern California was believed to be at risk of aerial bombing by forces from Japan. In order to make it more difficult for pilots to find their targets under the cover of darkness, widespread nighttime blackouts were ordered.

Cities turned off streetlights, residents were told not to drive at night, and lighted advertisements were turned off. Individuals were told to cover their windows with blackout curtains. Block captains in each neighborhood patrolled the streets, knocking on the doors of the few holdouts. Such sacrifice was seen as patriotic and essential for ensuring public safety.


Today, all we citizens are being asked to do is wear a mask and get vaccinated, and for many that’s too much. Apparently it’s patriotic to follow orders when the threat from a hostile nation looms, but when it comes from an unseen virus, self-styled patriots invoke individual liberty and scream about government tyranny.

Michael Krumme, Los Angeles


To the editor: Thank you, Karolina Corin, for answering all my questions about children and COVID-19. I hope her piece on the necessity of masking up to protect unvaccinated children will be widely read and discussed.

Everyone needs to step up and mask up to fulfill our duty of care to the youngest generation.

Nancy Page Fernandez, Irvine


To the editor: Is it such a burden to wear a mask indoors even if you have been vaccinated? I think not. Those who refuse to become vaccinated or even wear a mask don’t seem to understand the obvious.

The virus is not going to go away unless the public gets on board with the vaccination program and mask requirement. Today it is the Delta variant, tomorrow it may well be another. Do we really want to be dealing with this virus this time next year?

Maurice M. Garcia, Newbury Park


To the editor: Don’t you realize that when you cover Basilico’s restaurant in Huntington Beach and its crazy gimmick having to do with masks and vaccination, you are giving the owners just what they want, tons of free advertising?

This is not about people with strong moral beliefs standing up for what they believe in. Basilico’s is pandering to the anti-vaxxers and also getting lots of undeserved attention.

Donna Leslie-Dennis, Long Beach