Lockdown begins today

  • Stephanie Shinno / The Garden Island

    John Alcaraz is spending time walking his dog outside and enjoying some fresh air.

  • Stephanie Shinno / The Garden Island

    Maricel De Venecia has been preparing to stay at home with her family by buying the essential products they will need.

  • Stephanie Shinno / The Garden Island

    Michaela Alcaraz, a seven grader at CKMS is throwing the shaka sign through her window, even though she rather be at school.

LIHU‘E– Today is the first day of the Kaua‘i stay-at-home order, which went into effect just after midnight Tuesday, residents were stocking up to hunker down as Mayor Derek Kawakami released the details of the Kaua‘i stay-at-home plan.

Governor David Ige issued a statewide order Monday, allowing individual mayors to further refine rules as needed to fit their counties.

The public is asked to stay at home and work from home through April 30th.

Kawakami announced Tuesday the overarching goal of the stay-at-home rule is “limiting as much movement as possible” on island, with caveats for potential responsibilities.

Those caveats include obtaining necessary supplies and services; engaging in activities essential for health and safety of family and household; caring for families and household members; and engaging in exercise and outdoor activities.

Businesses should operate remotely or online if at all possible. Employees of businesses should telework if at all possible. Those businesses that cannot operate remotely will be limited to essential services only, such as those that provide for health, safety, food, utilities, and/or manufacture, sell, or deliver supplies and services necessary for household consumption, according to Kawakami’s order. Many families and individuals are prepared to stay at home until the order is finished.

“The more we move and the more we mix socially, the more this virus moves and the more it advances into our community,” Kawakami said in a Tuesday announcement. “But this is an ongoing battle that is going to require self-discipline and to a level self-governance.”

As of Monday there were four confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Kaua‘i, statewide that number rose to 90 on Tuesday, and the state Department of Health confirmed the first COVID-19 related death, an elderly adult on O‘ahu.

See Emergency Rule No. 5 at kauai.gov for Kauai’s local rules for the stay-at-home order.

Tuesday, families were preparing to lockdown.

Maricel De Venecia, of Hanamaulu, is used to spending time at home. She left her job in November due to her daughter’s schedule of church activities. Now, her stay-at-home mom job has gotten bigger.

“First, I buy all the necessities especially rice, paper towel, wipes, hand soap, toilet paper, and plenty of bleach. That is very important to us,” said De Venecia. “My husband is older, so first thing every morning before my family wakes up, I bleach the toilet and the floor. I don’t even have time for coffee. When they wake up they use the toilet first. I feel so tired cleaning all the time.”

De Venecia worries about her two kids who will now be staying at home, thanks to a Department of Education decision to close school through April 30.

So, De Venecia has been encouraging them to stay active and busy.

“When they wake up in the morning, I ask my kids to go outside and get some sun,” said De Venecia.

De Venecia’s children John Alcaraz, a forth grader at Wilcox Elementary and Michaela Alcaraz, seventh grader at Chiefess Kamakahele Middle School, there are mixed emotions in their home regarding the idea of staying at home until the end of April.

“I feel relaxed because I don’t have to study all day,” John said. “Not bored, but I have to wash my hands all the time.”

His sister Michaela, is bored. Tuesday, she was inside of her home, sighing while looking outside her window.

“I want to go to school instead. I miss it,” Michaela said.

Meanwhile teachers like Florence Tavares from Wilcox Elementary School are working hard on finding ways to help their students learn from home.

“I need to go in to work to prep work for kids who don’t have access to tech for online learning. Its called Alternative Learning 2020 instead of distance or visual learning,” Tavares said.

Tuesday, Tavares was busy helping kids and getting herself and her home prepared for the lockdown.

“I have already purchased the essential stuff…vitamins and prescription refills was at the top of my list. My gas tank is full and I have cash on hand. I was sure to pay all of my bills,” Tavares said.

Tavares is one of many teachers on Kaua‘i who will be working from home. Besides her school being closed, many other events she was involved in was also cancelled.

“OCC conference in Anaheim was cancelled and church of course many are streaming. COVID has really put a damper on social interaction and physical greetings which embodies the Holy Spirit and what most of our culture is accustomed to,” Tavares said.

Other residents like Cynthia Cuevas from Kalaheo are reflecting and being mindful of what’s going on in her surroundings and learning to be thankful.

“COVID19 has tested my boundaries in all realms, creating immersed learning experiences on a daily basis. Being confined to your home is one thing, having a screaming baby echoing through your windows is another,” Cuevas said.

She continued: “As I listen to the neighbor’s baby cry, I am reminded of how blessed I am to have shelter, food, nurturing family, amazing friends, and electricity to turn the volume up on my TV. Among the chaos of what is now our reality, we have the choice to stay positive and find a sliver lining.”

9 Comments
  1. Kauaiguy March 25, 2020 7:55 am Reply

    So why is the Kauai Bus still operating ? Counter productive for what we are trying to achieve..


  2. Uncleaina March 25, 2020 10:49 am Reply

    Kauai people seem to be taking this seriously. I drove by the airport last night and it was basically deserted and it appeared that airport police were speaking to the 3-4 people in baggage claim, hopefully making them quarantine or catch the next plane out. Kudos to all the doctors, nurses, first responders, mayor, police, etc! Kinda sad seeing how slow and plodding – genuinely zero personality – Gov Ige is. He needs to let Dr. Josh Green lead this – his ideas are sound and he has public health experience. Ige wants the same guys who brought us the false nuclear warning to be in charge of this. Seriously?


  3. manongindashadow0711 March 25, 2020 4:21 pm Reply

    Some stay home moms are home with children under 12 years of age. Father works one or two jobs and get off late after the curfew hour starts.
    New lockdown law is, “one may go out to shop for food and may bring someone else with them.” What’s mentioned above, “what is the mother to do if there is no-one to help watch the children?
    Also, “how can we stay home when one of the big box store(probably to be followed by other stores) here on Kauai has a voice message, ‘ do not call in to find out if there is a certain item is in stock. We would not be able to tell you if it is in stock!” So, guess what? “We have drive over there!’


  4. ML March 25, 2020 5:53 pm Reply

    As we begin lockdown, apparently tourists haven’t gotten the message. Went walking in the neighborhood with my husband and there were tourists driving up people’s driveways looking for beach access. The entitlement is alarming and maddening. As we are expected to not work, stay home, some people feel it is okay to be on vacation? I do not want visitors in my neighborhood, parking at the beach path, and potentially putting us at risk with covid19.


    1. Jeams March 31, 2020 10:07 am Reply

      God forbid you touch the same grain of sand a tourist touched.


  5. numilalocal March 25, 2020 8:56 pm Reply

    I wish someone would tell one of my neighbors about this. They had friends over all day today just having a great time.


  6. Anna Maria March 26, 2020 4:45 am Reply

    I’m sorry but why are we on lockdown for what amounts to six weeks?

    Covid 19 does not take anything like six weeks in order to develop -so we have been told – and other countries are only on lockdown for a couple of weeks. Our own president has stated that the aim is to get back to normal around April 7. We have already had a week of minimal movement.

    Also, WHO – The world health organization – states that the number of deaths globally from this virus is way less than the number of worldwide deaths from ordinary flu. Why are none of the newspapers or media reporting that truth??? WHO also state regular flu is more contagious.

    The media response and the hysteria around this virus is way overblown as is the Govt response. I don’t believe I’m alone in this view.

    Now the government has announced a multi billion (or is it trillion) dollar package in response but most of that money is going to huge corporations, not people. There’s something very wrong about that.

    For example, during this time of stay at home no contact with others, we are all depending on our phone connections… Mega companies like Verizon and AT&T could easily give every single customer one month free service and it would hardly make a dent in their spectacularly high profit margins.

    Most people are not able to work and yet our government has not issued a decree to state that mortgages and rent need not be paid for at least a month as other countries have done.

    It warms the heart to read the stories here where people now not out at work are enjoying reconnecting with their families; that’s a really really positive side to this whole situation.

    Perhaps everyone should just start growing food in the backyard and go back to the old ways of living before Western “civilization’” arrived to the islands.


    1. Laurel March 27, 2020 3:41 pm Reply

      Anna Marie,
      I totally agree with you! Blown WAY out of proportion. Ugh.


  7. Kachina Aimee Woolger March 26, 2020 1:54 pm Reply

    Hear hear Anna Maria , couldn’t have said it better myself .


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