Mailbag: Orange County put politics over the sound medical advice of its health officer

OC Health Care Agency officer Dr. Nichole Quick
Former OC Health Care Agency officer Dr. Nichole Quick.

Who would possibly want the job of Orange County health officer now? After Dr. Nichole Quick was hounded out of the job because she ordered people to wear masks in public to decrease the transmission of coronavirus, a scientifically-based recommendation, and she was not supported by the feckless Orange County Board of Supervisors, no dedicated public health professional with ethical standards and moral qualms will take the job. Apparently, it is too much to ask of some people in Orange County that they suffer some minor inconvenience for the good of all, including themselves. I fear for our collective survival.

Dr. Hildy Meyers
Huntington Beach

The writer is a former Orange County communicable disease control officer.

I am deeply saddened by Dr. Nichole Quick’s decision to resign from the Orange County Health Department. She has admirably led our county with skill and professionalism at a time of great threat to our lives — despite support from some public officials and citizens.

I’m truly ashamed that public ignorance, politics or lack of resources impeded Quick’s efforts to do her job. That fact that the COVID crisis happened during one of the most divisive times in our country, a time of personal threats and violent rhetoric, is not lost on me or the silent majority of Orange County’s citizens who fully supported Quick and and still do.

Laurie Smith
Newport Beach

Stay-at-home orders proved effective

In the June 6 mailbag I read an interesting reply to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home order (“Mailbag: Flattering letter about the governor overlooks his many mistakes during the pandemic”).

The writer seemed to find our governor foolish since our hospitals in California were never overwhelmed and hospital emergency rooms have been largely empty. Ah, the irony. Does the writer not see the correlation between the order and the outcome? Keep people home, less chance of transmission equals less admissions to hospitals and less visits to EDs (I’m a RN and in my business we call them Emergency Departments, not rooms). I have tried my hardest to see this from the writer’s perspective, but the only rational outcome I see is that the stay-at-home orders have thus far worked.

Chris Cramer
Costa Mesa

Please mask up, Newport

Because some locals in Newport Beach continue to minimize and criticize the coronavirus response in California, I suggest they start reading the larger newspapers and other scientific sources that are readily made available online. As I look around our city and see the lack of social distancing and lack of serious concern for the coronavirus, I have become very fearful for our future.

Those fears were somewhat confirmed recently as I read the following on the front page of the Los Angeles Times: “California braces for second wave of the Coronavirus.”

In addition to the reason just stated, are two additional factors, the mass protests and reopenings. New guidelines issued by the Orange County health officer on May 28 included several guidelines for businesses, as well as the stipulation that all Orange County residents “shall wear a cloth face mask when they are not able to maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance from another person.”

All these rules sound hopeful, but they are only as good as the paper they are written on, if they are based on voluntary compliance. Where is the enforcement?

Lynn Lorenz
Newport Beach

Irvine mayor is off base

In Sunday’s edition staff writer Ben Brazil wrote an article on the protest that had occurred in Irvine in connection with the death of George Floyd. Near the end of the article, Mr. Brazil quotes the mayor of Irvine, Christina Shea, who I’m sure considers herself a savvy politician, at least on a local level. I was struck by her tone-deafness as she referred to “my city,” “my residents,” “my stellar police force” and finally, “my chief.”

Four times in two short paragraphs and it made me wonder if the mayor knows the difference between the word “my” and the word “our.”

Gene Axelrod
Huntington Beach

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