Letters for Friday, February 21, 2020

COVID-19 virus is still scary

When Doctor Li Wenliang reported the new virus early in January, China arrested him and forced him to sign a paper stating that the virus does not exist. He later died from this non-existent virus. Before he died, Doctor Li quoted Bible verses about being on his way to meet God, whom Communist China also claims does not exist.

COVID-19 is still scary, with a lot of unknowns. Outside of China, it has a 2.8% death rate, six deaths out of the 213 cumulative cases 14 days earlier (the average time to death is 14 days). This mortality rate is 28 times worse than the flu. The numbers are even worse in Chinese reports. Deaths/(deaths+recoveries) currently yields a mortality rate of 13.7%, but China does not have much credibility.

This month (over 18 days) the cases in the U.S., Singapore and Japan have been growing around 10% per day. Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam have been growing at around 6% per day. Maybe the second group are not reporting as well or maybe it is growing slower because it is warmer there. Singapore is very warm, but they are wealthy, so they use a lot of AC with the windows shut, which makes it worse.

At current growth rates, the U.S. would have around 16,000 cases by the end of April, which would result in around 430 deaths. This is still a small number compared to the flu. Also, the growth should slow with the warmer weather. However, if it keeps growing next year, we could see millions of deaths in the U.S., unless we get a vaccine.

With so much at stake, a vaccine is likely to be developed. Hopefully, we will not see millions of deaths from COVID-19. However, this virus seems far more dangerous than any other new disease over the last 50 years.

Mark Beeksma, Koloa

Pedestrians beware on Koloa bypass

Please be aware of a dangerous situation on Ala Kinoiki, the eastern Koloa bypass.

I drive that road five to 20 times a day, night and day, all hours. The condition of the road, specifically potholes (mahalo to Scott Suga and his CofK crews for their recent Bandaid repairs) and cracks have forced drivers to make their own path of avoidance. This leads to drivers being forced to drive on the shoulder outside the lane, outside of the solid white line.

Don’t lie. Lots of us do it.

Additionally, I am now observing vehicles driving on or near the double yellow since the condition of the outer lane has deteriorated. This has all the makings of an accident that has not yet occurred. Please don’t blame/ticket us locals who already have a difficult time making ends meet who make their own path to avoid dangerous road conditions (front-end alignments and repair work are expensive).

Rather, fault the road conditions.

Ryan Buhk, Koloa

6 Comments
  1. Kauai Eric February 21, 2020 1:20 am Reply

    The roads on Kauai have been deteriorating to worse and worse everywhere. I agree that bypass is bad..so is Koloa road and the nasty repairs there with big pockets left empty of road fix and drivers doing the same with pot hole avoidance and electing to drive near the double yellow or drive on the edge of the road and nearly on the grass. Lets hope the county is reading this and steps up on fixing our roads.


  2. C Pa February 21, 2020 1:48 am Reply

    💯% AGREED!! Does an accident have to take place in order for anything to get done?


  3. Doug February 21, 2020 8:55 am Reply

    RE: Pedestrians beware on Koloa bypass

    Maluhia road is in the same shape in places, my wife just bent a rim on a huge pot hole on that road, which is really going to cost us. Cars do the same on Maluhia, and speed while doing it, an accident waiting to happen.


  4. Paulo February 21, 2020 10:43 am Reply

    Good points about Koloa Bypass but it can be said about many of our roads. Unrepaired potholes are dangerous causing vehicles to go into the on-coming lane and the shoulders. In Wailua Homesteads we have some roads in bad shape with lots of curves and it is not uncommon to come around a corner to face a vehicle in your lane because they are avoiding potholes.


    1. Ron February 22, 2020 12:57 pm Reply

      The problem is shambolic road design and construction. The Bypass should not be seeing so many roadbed failures with such light traffic loads. Subbase depth needs to be dramatically increased coupled with better drainage. This is a County-caused design failure and is inexcusible. Heads need to roll.


  5. Kauai Eric February 24, 2020 4:25 am Reply

    I want to know who was the person in charge of the double paving of the road between Lawaii and Kalaheo couple years back..pave it once..tear it up..pave it a second time?


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