Readers Write: Larry Penner is not an epidemiologist



Re: “Phase in Maskless Rides on LIRR,” Larry Penner. I must say the author’s resume becomes more and more impressive with each passing day. In addition to being an expert on transit, in addition to being psychic according to opinion pieces submitted to other publications that predict none of the state’s registered Republicans will vote for Andrew Giuliani, the author has earned his MD degree and is now an epidemiologist. The author knows better than the CDC when masks should come off on the LIRR.
How can the author possibly write such an irresponsible and dangerous opinion piece? The author couldn’t have submitted another of his ridiculous opinion pieces to satisfy his insatiable desire to see his name in print?
First, while our knowledge and treatment of COVID has improved exponentially since the “lockdown,” the pandemic is far from over. A quick Google search reveals 930 new cases on May 28, 2021.
Second, there have been documented cases of people who have had two COVID shots and still ended up catching COVID.
Third, the author suggests the LIRR do a survey of riders to ascertain how many have been vaccinated. Where is the money supposed to come from? How many opinion pieces has the author written criticizing the MTA for wasting money? How many people not yet vaccinated will be truthful?
Fourth, why does the author care about people wearing masks? Beaches and movie theatres have opened again. People are coming back to restaurants again, another issue that makes the author get on his soapbox. People are starting to ride transit again. Does the author have stock in facial recognition software?
Fifth, the author’s cavalier attitude toward this disease is appalling. Late April marked the one year anniversary of me losing one of my best friends in the world, and while I don’t dress in black and walk the hills in grief and mourning, I miss him terribly. Mid April marked the one year anniversary of me being diagnosed positive and my son presumed positive. I was fortunately asymptomatic. My son for a week sounded as if he belonged in a tuberculosis ward, then it suddenly cleared up. I wish the author knew what it is like to go to bed and wonder if you’ll wake up in the morning. In March of this year I was exposed, although I was fortunately negative. Where does the author get the unmitigated gall to tell me when to take my mask off?
Sixth, the author proposes having conductors check vaccination cards. So i guess the conductors on the LIRR will no longer have to collect fares, answer passenger questions, announce train stops or open and close doors?
Finally, maybe the author could remember that not all of us are brilliant as he is. I had to do a Google search to find out Dashin’ Dan was a cartoon character.

Nat Weiner


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here