Letters to the Editor: The Shakespearean foolishness of anti-vaccine cops and firefighters

An L.A. fire inspector receives a COVID-19 vaccine dose in Los Angeles on Dec. 28, 2020.
An L.A. fire inspector receives a COVID-19 vaccine dose in Los Angeles on Dec. 28.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Let’s imagine a scenario where thousands of years ago, a leader of a small tribe ordered everyone to keep a fire burning all night at the entrance of their caves as a defense against dangerous animals. I’m sure no one defied him. On the contrary, they must have thanked him for his sound reasoning. (“L.A.’s first responders are suing for the right to put themselves and public at risk,” Sept. 18)

But if some fool told him to mind his own business and not interfere with his “right” to ignore the edict, it’s likely that soon a wild beast entered the fool’s cave.

And now here we are, an advanced nation in the 21st century, where many fools still object to the efforts of responsible leaders who are trying to spare the tribe deadly harm.

At times like these, Puck’s words in Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” echo in my ears: “What fools these mortals be.”


If we had Puck with us today, he’d bluntly say, “These mortals are dying of terminal stupidity.”

David Quintero, Monrovia


To the editor: Last Christmas Eve I had a stroke (a small one as it turned out later). My wife, recognizing the signs, immediately called 911. Our house was soon full of paramedics — impressive response!

I was quickly and professionally cared for and treated, then transported to the nearest hospital accepting emergency patients. Naturally, under the circumstances, I never gave a thought to who might be vaccinated and who was not. It seemed a given that they would have been.

In retrospect, with the resistance by some first responders to getting the jab now (and bringing suit over it), I wonder about it.

The next time will we have to post a sign on the door saying, “No admittance without masks and a valid COVID-19 vaccination certificate”? I hope it doesn’t come to that.

Tom Hinnebusch, Los Angeles



To the editor: Reading your reporting on the refusal of thousands of police and fire department employees to get vaccinated makes me wonder if we should strike “protect” from “to serve and to protect.”

As so vividly demonstrated by the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, there are valid reasons for many of us not to want to call 911 if we have an emergency. But now, I’d say that all of us should hesitate.

Will the police officer who answers your call actually be bringing COVID-19 to your door? Do you really want to be rescued by firefighters and perhaps ride with them to the hospital if they could be infecting you?

Honestly, these folks who joined up to serve the public in often heroic ways can no longer be considered heroes.

Kit Bell, Los Angeles


To the editor: I am amazed by the number of people so willing to force vaccinations. What happened to personal choice? Why is civil disobedience not acceptable in this arena?

Those who want vaccinations can have them. Those who don’t, can run the attendant risks.

The scarier concept is our government forcing people to lose jobs because of their personal medical choices. It’s disgusting.

Catherine Lukehart, Long Beach