To the editor: Succumbing to the draw of a decades-old family tradition — interrupted only once, last year, because of COVID-19 — we decided it was worth the risk to resume the tradition this year. Boosted and double-masked, we flew to Salt Lake City to ski at Alta, in red-state Utah. (“The U.S. needs to wake up and mandate vaccines for domestic flights, not just international,” Dec. 22)
We should have known better.
Arriving at Salt Lake City, we were dismayed to see that almost no one outside the airport wore a mask. Two days after our arrival, one lodge in Alta announced a COVID-19 outbreak and shut down. The next day, our lodge announced an outbreak. We couldn’t change our flight back to LAX fast enough.
On the plane home, we were next to a man who pulled his mask down under his nose right after the flight attendant asked him to pull it up. With that kind of defiance, I’m guessing he was not vaccinated. To add to our anxiety, after we disembarked we had to wait in a poorly ventilated area for 20 minutes, standing cheek to jowl with others, to take a bus back to the main terminal.
Airlines like to make traveling with them sound safe. It is not. If all airlines required proof of being fully vaccinated, the trip like the one we just took would have been reasonably safe.
Now we will be quarantined for 10 days, unable to see our family for the holidays. No more air travel for us until the airlines start requiring passengers to be fully vaccinated.
Sara R. Nichols, Los Angeles
To the editor: The caption for the photo accompanying your editorial supporting a vaccine mandate for domestic flights said, “Masked passengers on a flight from Burbank to Las Vegas in June 2020.”
Of the seven people whose faces are visible, only four are wearing masks that cover their nose and mouth. With lack of compliance on such a simple preventive method, it’s no wonder we are unable to escape illness and death from the pandemic.
What a shame that people are so careless and inconsiderate of others.
Carol Mathews, Redwood City, Calif.
To the editor: I welcome the news that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Pfizer’s new drug, Paxlovid, which treats early COVID infections, and provides a 90% reduction in hospitalization and deaths with mild side effects.
I can’t help but wonder: Will those over age 12 who are at risk of hospitalization and have chosen to reject vaccination also reject treatment with Paxlovid when they end up with a positive test and early symptoms, because the drug is “too new” and the long-term effects are unknown?
Cheryl Becker Leff, Sherman Oaks