Mailbag: Orange County, as always, will go its own way on Delta variant

Visitors to the pier wear face masks, in Huntington Beach on Friday, July 31, 2020.
(Raul Roa / Staff Photographer)

In light of the latest mask mandate being declared in Los Angeles County, it will be interesting to see what will transpire in Orange County.

With its reputation of resistance to official mandates, I don’t see the county, particularly the areas of most resistance to government mandates, accepting the news calmly in the case that mandates are required here.

In Los Angeles County, the largest county by population in the country, the infection rate on the day that the county was reopened, June 15, went from an average of 173 new coronaviruses a day to the most recent seven-day period that ended this week with 1,077 new cases — a dramatic increase.

In Orange County the daily case average has more than doubled. Those against mandating face masks will argue that individuals who have been vaccinated deserve the right to be mask-free. And they will say, rightly so, that it is the unvaccinated who are driving up the statistics.

Three things to keep in mind, however, are:

  • We have no public control over those who are unvaccinated to make them wear masks.
  • Beach cities like Newport and Huntington are not islands unto themselves. Particularly during summer, there is a huge influx of tourists coming from places having lower vaccination rates.
  • As long as the infection rates remain high, there is the strong possibility that other variants like the Delta strain will emerge, and they may be ones that cannot be restrained by our present vaccinations.

Let’s hope that Orange County learned something this year about more-effective COVID management, and will comply with any new mandates devised to save lives.

Lynn Lorenz
Newport Beach

Trump, GOP largely responsible for variant’s spread

Odds are if people haven’t been vaccinated against COVID yet, and they live in a red state, then these Trump supporters probably will end up sick, hospitalized or worse before September. Many, if not most, of these outcomes can be avoided, but only if people are willing to roll up their sleeves and take the shots.

Unlike Mother Nature’s hurricanes or lightning-induced forest fires, it is clear we can prevent the spread of the Delta variant, which, from this day forward, I am going to call the Trump variant.

Why? Because, in my opinion, the former president, who once championed Operation Warp Speed, has done next to nothing since leaving office to encourage millions of his GOP supporters to get vaccinated. He hasn’t followed science or looked to the stars for inspiration. Worse, he has acted more like an ostrich with its head in the sand than any mallard or wigeon I ever have seen.

The Trump variant is killing Republicans living in states like Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee. Considering he once said he never would shake their hands, I’d like to know why these people are willing to die for Donald Trump now?

Denny Freidenrich
Laguna Beach

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