Letters to the Editor

Caution urged as COVID cases explode 

Newport Beach Councilmen Kevin Muldoon and Noah Blom led a protest against COVID restrictions as cases explode and overwhelm hospitals. I attended a virtual meeting this week discussing the planned protocols for allocating scarce medical resources, the most horrifying conversation of my medical career. If cases continue to climb, California will declare a state of medical emergency and hospitals will begin to triage who receives care. The more people blindly follow the likes of Mr. Muldoon and Mr. Blom, the more likely we will be to ration care. 

Choose wisely.

Susan Skinner, MD

Newport Beach

This is serious folks!

This is serious folks. The disease is real. Coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths are at an all-time high nationally and in California. If you have been lucky enough not to have caught the coronavirus up until now, this is the time to buckle down and redouble and triple your efforts to follow the health guidelines set down by the state and county health departments. 

Stay home unless you need to be out because you are an essential worker, need supplies or are exercising. Scrupulously wear a mask at all times in public and physically distance as much as you can. Wash your hands regularly. Only socialize with members of your own household and limit the size of your gatherings with other people. If you are exposed to someone with coronavirus or you have symptoms, get tested so you can avoid spreading it to others. If you are sick, isolate in your home. When you are eligible to receive the vaccine, get one.

And no, no one can force you to do these things. Do it to protect yourself and your family, friends, colleagues, co-workers, neighbors and those essential workers who are leaving their homes every day to keep our economy going by providing essential goods and services. We all can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Let’s not break down before we can all bask in that light.

Steven Rosansky, past mayor

City of Newport Beach

Whose rights should be protected first?

Recently, Superior Court Peter J. Wilson ordered a 50 percent reduction of the population in Orange County jails to protect incarcerated people from a COVID-19 outbreak. If the order stands, it could mean the release of more than 1,800 inmates. According to ACLU’s Daisy Ramirez, “This order recognizes that we must not forget the humanity of incarcerated people and they should not be put in mortal danger.”

Both Judge Wilson and the ACLU should consider that although prisoners do not have full constitutional rights, they are protected by the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and usual punishment and that testing “positive” should not lead to “panic” with a 98 percent survival rate. Perhaps both Wilson and Ramirez need to ask the question, “Is having flu-like symptoms more severe than the crime committed?” 

As Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes commented, “This order puts our community at substantial risk and does not take into account the impact on the victims of these crimes.”

American Civil Liberty Union President Susan Herman stated that the ACLU founders believed that everyone should have a right to liberty and justice. This should include the Saldana family who were innocently killed, while leaving their three children orphaned by the alleged murderer, Grace Coleman on December 9, 2020. Coleman’s first (alleged) offense was in August in Laguna Beach for a DUI that was still pending investigation by the Orange County District Attorney’s office at the time of her second offense.

Will the December 31st “New Year’s Eve” release of (possibly) Coleman, along with 1,799 potentially dangerous criminals, be made because we must protect those rights who have taken the rights of another person? 

Or shall the rights of convicted murderers, rapists and felons be restricted if they are outweighed by the interests of society?

We should collectively support our Sheriff, police and first responders, but most of all support the call for common sense.

Peggy V. Palmer

Newport Beach 

Tom Cruise had it right in yelling for masks

I have always spurned the advice and influence of Hollywood on cultural norms. But one actor in Hollywood, famously known for his independent behavior, seems to have found the perfect solution for communicating with COVID rules’ scofflaws. Tom Cruise recently had a “full-blown meltdown about crew members who were caught violating social distancing protocols” on the set of one of his movies. I have never been a fan of Tom Cruise or action movies, but after learning of his reaction, I am a “believer” if only in the context of this one outburst.

Efforts to get some people to follow these rules by repeating the same mantra over and over have so far not been effective. Our leaders, especially several of the local ones, are not only not trying to enforce these rules, but are instead flaunting their resistance to them to gain political capital. 

Tom Cruise got his workers to follow the rules by shouting at them. So because we are at a critical point in the pandemic, with each day’s contagion and mortality rates continuing to break barriers, shouldn’t we do as Tom Cruise did and yell at those who are not following the rules – if not physically then metaphorically?

Lynn Lorenz

Newport Beach