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As residents face lockdown, turn away tourists too

While Kaua‘i residents have been sent to their rooms to wait out the novel coronavirus, the Hawai‘i National Guard is now at airports statewide, aiding in passenger screening for daily arrivals.

Some travelers are Kaua‘i residents returning from essential trips. But, recent numbers are showing that some people are still coming to Hawai‘i to vacation. Either way, it’s a problem because — as our Mayor Derek Kawakami has emphasized time and time again— all evidence points to humans spreading the virus when we move around. There is no evidence of community spread [as of Monday, April 6].

The virus is coming to Kaua‘i with travelers.

Put in other words: Evidence suggests travel is the number one COVID-19 vector and not community spread, and yet our leaders are allowing travel and locking down the community.

That seems backwards and we think Hawai‘i’s leaders need to fight harder to fully terminate tourist travel for the time being.

We applaud Kawakami for joining in with other Hawai‘i mayors in writing an April 1 letter to President Trump requesting he halt non-essential travel to the state. We also think it should have been done long before putting island residents on lockdown and that letter writing isn’t enough action. More must be done to stop COVID-19 from traveling to the island.

Right now, Kaua‘i residents are struggling to pay rent. Some are even looking at evictions because the mayor’s stay-at-home order has shut down their source of income; but visitors are still allowed to land and have been, up until very recently, arriving unchecked, unscreened and the number unfettered.

Yes, Governor Ige’s 14-day quarantine has dramatically chopped visitor numbers. At first it was highly effective, dissuading travelers with visions of hotel room lockdowns and heavy fines for beachside strolls. It’s still effective, but people are still traveling to the islands.

Saturday, Hawaii Tourism Authority reported a slight increase — by just about 20 people — in travelers over the course of three days. Total arrivals to the state came in at 628 on Thursday, including 94 visitors and 239 residents statewide. Monday, HTA said visitor arrivals dipped by about 100. On Sunday, the entity reported 583 arrivals statewide. This includes 126 visitors and 233 residents. On Kaua‘i, HTA reported Monday that there were 32 arrivals at Lihu‘e Airport — 17 of them were visitors, eight were residents and seven were crewmembers.

As the world shutters its people inside with stay-at-home orders, it’s apparent some are deciding to hunker down in Hawai‘i and wait out the pandemic in a little piece of paradise instead of in their own hometowns.

This group could grow, too, as stay-at-home orders continue and a public that’s used to constant and free movement starts to climb the walls. As it becomes apparent that work furloughs could last months and kids will be out of school for the remainder of the year, low ticket fares will tempt travelers to schedule a long trip to Hawai‘i, knowing full-well they’ll spend the first half of it in quarantine.

On one hand, these people are infusing a slow drip of lifeblood into the visitor industry. They’re booking rooms in which to quarantine for 14 days, ordering delivery food [and now beer!] and buying souvenirs in whatever shops have managed to remain open.

If these people follow the rules to a T, they only have the potential of infecting people at the airport, in transit to their accommodations, while checking in and while interacting with room service or cleaning and maintenance staff…

We’re already hearing about travelers who aren’t sticking to the rules, though. They’re taking chances. They’re leaving their rooms. Props to the ISO in Kapa‘a for being the first resort to report this kind of activity.

If we [local residents] have to follow the rules, so do you [travelers]…especially since most recent statistics say travelers are the ones taking COVID-19 to the streets of Kaua‘i.

“When people move, the virus moves.”

Kawakami said that in an April 1 article about the mayors’ letter to the President. It’s a phrase that’s been on repeat — a constant reminder that when you leave your house, you could be carrying COVID-19 with you.

He’s right.

You should stay home so you don’t pass the virus around.

But those words ring empty when residents are on lockdown and leisure travelers are still on the move.

Stop the non-essential travel and re-evaluate the rules.

One look at the evidence shows COVID-19 is currently being brought to Kaua‘i from off-island. If that vector is stopped and there continues to be no evidence of community spread, there’s a chance the mayor could ease up on his stay-at-home order and safely allow at least some sectors of Kaua‘i back to work.

We are in new and rapidly changing territory with this global pandemic. There are more questions than answers, unvetted information has full reign on the web and going to the grocery store requires personal protective equipment.

Here at The Garden Island newspaper, we’ve had to cut hours and furlough some employees. Our sections have slimmed and our advertising has shrunk, but we’re still serving our community, and we will continue to provide this vital service.

Our journalists are still out gathering stories, working hard to keep you up to date on local government and civics, environment and natural resources issues, court proceedings and community sources for food and other essentials.

We’re answering your questions through the TGI COVID Questionnaire — fill it out at tinyurl.com/TFIQ-A and our public safety/government reporter Sabrina Bodon will find the answers for you.

You’ve probably seen the Happy Camper [the one and only Dennis Fujimoto] out and about. He’s got his mask ready to go, as does the rest of the staff. They’re out in the community, following Centers for Disease Control guidelines on social distancing and handwashing, and working hard every day in this time when others are safely tucked away at home.

We will continue to do that, as will the rest of the island’s essential workers — health care professionals and grocery store clerks, delivery drivers and gas station attendants.

But, if we could stop the only proven vector of COVID-19 to Kaua‘i — travel — could we put more of our own residents back to work? Could we actually #flattenthecurve on Kaua‘i?

Regardless of the answer to that question, one fact remains — the mayor’s stay-at-home order, while full of good intent and safety guidelines — isn’t targeting the proven vector of COVID-19 to Kaua‘i.

Sure, stay home. Sure, wear your masks and follow the recommendations of CDC and Hawaii Department of Health. Be responsible. Wash your hands. Practice social distancing.

But, is residential lockdown really the best way to stop a travel-related vector? Non-essential travel to Kaua‘i must be halted to stop a virus that arrives with travelers.

70 Comments
  1. faye reese April 7, 2020 6:08 am Reply

    This article is right on. Why bring visitors to Kauai who possibly could be carrying the virus. Kauai could go back to work and save a portion of our economy .


  2. Judy Foss April 7, 2020 6:35 am Reply

    Bravo, I think your article provides an insight that needs to be shared. I live in Seattle the epicenter of COVID-19 in the northwest. We are not able to close the border to our state. Once the virus insinuates itself in the family/social environment is is almost impossible to control, it is lethal. I also have a home on Kauai. I have not been there this year because I am respecting social distancing. I have noticed that people who own condominiums and rental houses do not have the same incentive to limit access to those who want their vacation, their time in paradise. This I believe is a major loophole. I would love the authorities to prevent all visitors from entering the island for other than the provision of services and goods. Kauai has a chance to bring back their business community on their own terms. Once the quarantine period has been observed and no new persons have entered the Island, you can reopen business on a limited basis. You can open restaurants, salons, bars and cater to the people who live in Kauai. You can have a head start on the rest of the world as long as your borders remain closed until the pandemic has stopped it course of destruction. You will be holding the key to your future. For now you are doing a good job and should be proud.
    Judy Foss, The Makahuena


    1. Michael Mann April 7, 2020 6:21 pm Reply

      While this SOUNDS like a reasonable thing to do, it isn’t, because you are overlooking a couple of very critical things:

      1) Nobody in the state of Hawaii has the authority to deny access to the state to any United States citizen. Believe me,if it were possible to do so, many people in the state would have demanded that it be done a long time ago, and those restrictions would likely still be in force. The only group that might be able to do such a thing is THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, and they clearly have no intentions of doing something like this if they can’t even make a mandatory stay-at-home order that applies to everyone. It seems people are insistent upon putting the burden on state governments and local municipalities to manage this nightmare…what the heck is the purpose of a FEDERAL GOVERNMENT if not to manage crises that affect the ENTIRE COUNTRY??

      2) Unless EVERYONE gets tested to ensure they don’t have the virus, opening everything back up to business as usual is STILL DANGEROUS. Regardless of our relatively low case numbers, the islands have been exposed (and not JUST by tourists…one of the people that died was a RESIDENT who traveled to Las Vegas and caught the virus during that trip). It is possible for people to be carrying the virus, be asymptomatic, and still be infectious. If you haven’t tested anyone to determine if the virus is still out in the population, how do you expect to open everything up safely?


  3. Ohana April 7, 2020 6:40 am Reply

    People arriving should be transported to a military camp (or similar) and be properly quarantined if they still come here, and not released until tests are cleared 2 weeks later. To trust people to self quarantine is mad, with all the sacrifices residents are making to keep each other safe. Plus, arrivals are always breaking the quarantine – they go and rent a car or take a taxi etc. Residents get exposed. It is proven that people that show no symptoms can carry and spread the virus. Quit playing roulette with peoples lives. If island is sealed, and all incoming people are military style quarantined, we can save 700 to over 3000 residents that would die if this becomes a pandemic. Remember, it takes one person to start a pandemic.


  4. james April 7, 2020 7:59 am Reply

    You must know by now that the State or County can’t stop interstate non-essential travel. That’s Federal so why continue to beat a dead horse? The only alternative available to the State and County is to enforce the 14 day quarantine more effectively for tourists. Rather than allow them to proceed unaccompanied to a hotel, force them to a County run facility with guards making sure they don’t break quarantine, maybe one hotel near the airport. We certainly have the right and the budget to do this simple task. What is the downside with this approach?


  5. LMat April 7, 2020 8:19 am Reply

    LOL. Trump wanted the country up and running by Easter…
    He’ll never put a halt on travel.


  6. patrick powell April 7, 2020 8:33 am Reply

    Our leaders practicing common sense? We know that ain’t gonna happen…It’s all about the almighty dollar…Who are the COVIDIOTS really?


  7. the big kahuna April 7, 2020 8:38 am Reply

    Last time I checked building a 2nd home on the beach is not a required action. As I drove by a recent north shore home being built it looked to be business as usual. Hey KPD enforce rules on everyone most have shut down their business.

    Its best for all to look at how the local economy runs when no tourist are here. unemployment checks wont last forever.


    1. Covidiogame April 7, 2020 1:59 pm Reply

      All construction has ben deemed essential I believe.


      1. Makani B. Howard April 8, 2020 9:39 am Reply

        Nope, not all. Read the rules.


  8. Doug April 7, 2020 9:04 am Reply

    Great editorial and right on point! The Mayor has done a great job so far, if he can fit this last piece into the puzzle then maybe we won’t have community spread, especially among the grocery stores and take out restaurants that we all need right now (these are places where the tourists are going for sure, we don’t want our service workers infected!). Hats off to the people at ISO for having our backs!


  9. Kapua Janai April 7, 2020 9:13 am Reply

    I agree completely with the editorial about residents facing lockdown , and that the tourists should be turned away, too. We are the ones who live here, who year in and year out have the high expense of what it takes to survive here. We are the ones who care for the ʻAina, who give our thought and energy to keeping this place the wonder that it is. Now our lives are being disrupted and restricted, people unable to work to earn their much needed income or participate in their normal activities.
    The source of the danger to us, necessitating this lockdown, is the tourists who are bringing the virus from all over the world. And, unbelievably, they are still being allowed to come here to play! For as long as any restrictions apply to us, they should be banned from coming here and worsening our exposure. When this is all over, we will welcome them back. Lets get real about this!


  10. Makani B. Howard April 7, 2020 9:44 am Reply

    The governor needs to quarantine all flights! Period!.

    Anyone coming into the island needs to be put into quarantine. Don’t expect them to do it themselves. Why would they spend the money to fly here and stay in a hotel all day when they can do that at home for free? Of course they are going to go to the beach and travel around.

    Kawakami needs to put them in a hotel or somewhere else suitable for 14 days like they do for ships. THAT will put an end to the flow of tourists!!


  11. Allen April 7, 2020 10:09 am Reply

    Has anyone done the Math? There are roughly 70,000 people on the island and as of yesterday there are 7 confirmed people still on island with the virus with no deaths and theyre tourists. So that equals to 1 in 10,000 people or .01 percent or 1/100 of a percent. Im all for a 14 day pause to make sure this number is real and for screening every tourist that comes here. But locking down the island under Marshall Law after the 14 days is ridiculous for 1/100 of a percent.


    1. RG DeSoto April 7, 2020 5:23 pm Reply

      Allen…good point.
      Too bad most people are innumerate and incapable of using common mathematics to put perspective on absolute numbers!
      Thank you,
      RG DeSoto


    2. Michael Mann April 7, 2020 6:29 pm Reply

      Did it ever occur to you that the small number of cases is BECAUSE of the lockdown? Do you know how many of that 70,000 population has been TESTED for the virus? Did you know that you can be a carrier of the virus and be ASYMPTOMATIC?

      THIS ISLAND IS NOT AND HAS NOT BEEN UNDER MARSHALL LAW DURING ANY PART OF THIS PANDEMIC. If you don’t understand what Marshall Law is, you really should not be throwing around terms like that.

      You people need to start THINKING. We have no idea who is or is not infected because nearly nobody has been tested. And to go back to business as usual WITHOUT knowing what the virus levels are is a recipe for disaster.


    3. Michael Mann April 8, 2020 1:27 am Reply

      And it’s MARTIAL LAW, not MARSHALL LAW. I can’t believe I didn’t catch that bit of craziness initially!


    4. Everythingisawesome April 8, 2020 5:01 am Reply

      It’s “Martial” law.


  12. Uncleaina April 7, 2020 10:19 am Reply

    Very naive opinion piece. There can be low level community spread which is hard to detect without testing nearly everyone. And with even a single undetected spreader in the community you’d have widespread viral infection in days. Our ICU is tiny! And our economy is entirely tourist driven – unfortunately. So there’s no getting back to normal here until you have the billions of dollars to pay our workers most of whom work in tourism-related jobs.


    1. Michael Mann April 7, 2020 6:34 pm Reply

      THANK YOU, Uncleaina! I don’t understand why these people don’t get that if you have no idea who has the virus, then you can not be sure what the infection risk is. Nobody has been tested. These people would gladly put the entire island at threat because they throw around irresponsible terms like “marshall law” (as if they have any idea what that means).

      There was a famous quote by someone in antiquity to the effect that most of the problems of humanity could be traced to humans’ inability to just sit in a room quietly. It honestly seems as if all of these people are going out of their minds about this because they can’t stand someone telling them that they need to just SIT AND WAIT.


      1. Uncleaina April 9, 2020 12:56 pm Reply

        As always Micheal you are being rational and intelligent; however many of the people who comment here are not. One can hope that the level of the comments here don’t reflect the of thinking by your average Kauaian. I don’t think they do. These people talking about Marshall Law (sic) because they’re so dumb they confuse the Marshall Plan with Martial Law. Some seem to think that acting tough at their keyboard shows toughness – rather than see how ignorant they appear to most. But let me say to the tough guys – if you want to use the war analogy – then ‘getting back to normal’ is like the guys in WW2 hunkered down in a foxhole on the beaches of Normandy saying “ah skip it – this is too tough. Let the Nazi’s run things – I want to go home and get back to normal” Is that how American became great?


  13. semperubisububi April 7, 2020 11:31 am Reply

    Excellent editorial. go online and email Governor Ige’s office and request that he join the governors in requesting that ALL NON- ESSENTIAL TRAVEL BE STOPPED!


    1. Michael Mann April 7, 2020 6:35 pm Reply

      THE GOVERNOR CAN NOT STOP INTERSTATE TRAVEL!!!!!!!

      You are barking up the wrong tree here.

      Contact THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT for such things.


      1. Um April 8, 2020 4:38 am Reply

        Isn’t that what semperubisububi was saying? Ige should get together with other governors and make that request. Slow down MM, you’re getting a little hysterical.


        1. Michael Mann April 9, 2020 12:06 am Reply

          No, I’m not the one getting hysterical here. You have people claiming that a fascist state is being setup because of CHECKPOINTS to try to stop the spread of a deadly virus. You have people claiming that they are under martial law because of CHECKPOINTS to try to stop the spread of a deadly virus. You have people constantly telling the Mayor and Governor to stop people from coming into the state or to the island when it has been said multiple times that the counties and state have ZERO jurisdiction on such matters. And I guarantee you that these demands will keep coming because people refuse to listen to anything they are told.

          This isn’t some game. It isn’t funny. This is not the time for people to be flexing their conspiratorial prowess and dreaming up excuses to claim that there is some government overreach in asking them to limit contact with other people until this situation is under control. What is it, exactly, that people need to see to accept the gravity of the situation? Do we need to have 10% of the island infected? 20%? 50%? Do we need to have thousands of deaths? There are people in this world who spend lots of time studying these events and try to understand how best to deal with them, yet a bunch of people who KNOW ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about any of this feel it necessary to replace that knowledge with their own “gut feel” and uninformed opinions. It’s going to get people sick. It is immoral and needs to stop.

          The United States used to be a first world, developed nation. Now, we are leading the world in coronavirus infections, and closing in on the title for the most number of deaths from it, all while people complain that they can’t get out of the house! Guess what? If you are dead from the virus, it won’t matter too much if you are unemployed. Would you honestly rather have a better chance of living through this, and going back to your job afterwards, or run the risk of dying from the virus? I don’t even know why this should be a question…the mere fact that I have to pose it suggests that there is something very wrong with people’s priorities.

          But you think *I* am being hysterical.


          1. Um April 9, 2020 12:11 pm

            Yeah. I think that’s the correct word. For them, “stupid” fits.


      2. semperubisububi April 8, 2020 10:22 am Reply

        Michael, I guess you are not aware that the mayors of Kauai, Oahu and Maui have already asked the White House to restrict all non-essential travel to the islands. The president said such a request must come from the governor of the state. Governor Ige so far has not done this. In the future Michael, please don’t send such an angry response unless you are fully aware of the facts,. Mahalo and have a great day!


        1. Michael Mann April 8, 2020 11:46 pm Reply

          They ASKED, and they were REJECTED.

          So now that we have established that

          1) Local and state authorities can do nothing but ASK the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, because they have no authority over this, and

          2) The FEDERAL GOVERNMENT has already said “NO”

          can people PLEASE stop making this statement? The fact that it keeps being brought up over and over again is indicative of a segment of the population either not paying attention or not being able to comprehend the simplest things. BOTH of these are dangerous conditions during this kind of situation.


  14. semperubisububi April 7, 2020 11:34 am Reply

    Oops….obviously I meant to “ask Governor Ige to join the MAYORS”….not the governors!


    1. Um April 8, 2020 4:40 am Reply

      Your original was more fitting.


  15. semperubisububi April 7, 2020 11:36 am Reply

    Excellent editorial. go online and email Governor Ige’s office and request that he join the mayors in requesting that ALL NON- ESSENTIAL TRAVEL BE STOPPED!


  16. Charlie Chimknee April 7, 2020 11:43 am Reply

    Shutdown, Lockdown, Quarantine, Isolate, End Tourism before it Ends Us…?

    Great idea, and while you are at it Continue to throw the Visitor businesses under the bus, and then Off the cliff into the abyss of recession heading into a selective discriminatory depression, ending in sending them into bankruptcy, failure, no kids’ education, Loss of homes, investments, savings, no food, perhaps even to the point of their rotting corpses piling up in the homes, not from the Corona Virus but from hunger…just because they have been the ones who have been a major part of supporting the lifeblood of the Hawaiian Islands since day one…And that is Tourism, and that is the hotels, bars, restaurants, tour companies, wedding, helicopter, and transportation companies to name a few. And that includes the owners and workers at these businesses, and the large numbers of companies that serve them.

    The Federal stimulus programs, the PPP and PPE, PAYROLL and Equipment , programs are not even functioning yet and are in a brain daze of still trying to figure it out to disperse the funds and to whom, while SMALL BUSINESS is considered to be companies with 1 to 500 employees.

    And who do you think will get our tax money first, yes, the big companies with up to 500 employees…but wait the only companies on KAUAI with 500 employees are the State and County, while the Mom and Pops wait in line withering from hunger already.

    The Feds are willing to put up $2 Trillion dollars for the newly Government created poor Who just days ago were hard working supporters of our communities. And since there are 45,000 small businesses in America, if you divide that $2 Trillion dollar money up, that’s only $45,000 each, which too many very small businesses have that for an overhead every single month before a dime goes to the owner who often work over 12 hours a day 7 days a week.

    And the governments Whether big or small (fed, state, and county) that we support with these companies’ taxes have not even figured out how to provide even Food Stamps for these companies and their workers.

    It just may be for many reasons that the Authorities and the often less than truthful media, who dreamed Up this scare, fear, and paranoia, along with a team of bureaucrats who have never been confronted by this issue and are really just a bunch of inexperienced rookies. Who among them lived through the last Depression…?

    With no proof this virus will go away soon, the trickle down of business failures will spread to other types of businesses not now shut down, but will be coming up for closure. More of us will be sucked into this “drowning” whirlpool.

    If Tourism businesses are only 41% of Hawaii economy, soon the VIRUS OF FEAR will shut down 50% of other businesses, then 60% and then 70% and so on all for the purpose of the WRONG APPROACH TO THIS VIRUS ISSUE. The WRONG APPROACH, THE WRONG PLAN.

    And they the bureaucrats are being advised by the MEDICAL INDUSTRY BUSINESS. A business that relies on its customers having blind faith in a “pill for every ill”, and belief that MEDICAL business is infallible and we should take (prescriptions) and do everything (surgery) they tell us to.

    The Medical Industry is highly successful as a business bringing in $4 Trillion dollars a year, but an utter failure when it comes to the actual Health of our nation’s people.

    Everyone knows or should know that if you are Healthy you need no drugs or medicine or surgery.

    Yet 80% of our nation’s people take 1 or more prescription drugs a day in multiple doses. And 55% of our people take 4 or more prescription drugs a day in multiple doses, and too many take 10 or 15, even 20 drugs a day. This is proof that those In Charge Of our Health are really only in charge of our Diseases.

    80% Of our population have a disease whether it be on your skin or deep inside your Heart or other vital organs you cannot live without. That is a disgrace. The Disease perpetuating industries of petrochemicals, making Pharmaceutical drugs, sold by the Medical Industry are, oddly, in charge of our Health? That’s the Fox guarding the Hen House.

    Those who rely on the continuance of Disease In order to make a living are in charge of Health, which at least 80% of us do not have Health by virtue of 80% of us being dependent on prescription drugs. That’s Bad…! That’s another definition of Insanity.

    And bureaucrats with no professional scientific training advised by those relying on disease for a living, can tell 41% of Hawaii’s economy And people to go into bankruptcy and hunger.

    We do not need that, already last year 1.2 million people in the world Died of starvation, are we going to let that incredibly incompetent economic stagnation and destruction lead to that in America?

    WE NEED A NEW PLAN. ONE THAT TARGETS THE ACTUAL PROBLEM.

    AND WHAT IS THAT…? It’s coming Soon in a comment For you to read.


  17. Charlie Chimknee April 7, 2020 11:48 am Reply

    When it comes to populations there is usually 2 categories, one being a MAJORITY, and the other being a MINORITY.

    While the Corona Virus Can infect anyone, and could infect everyone, it clearly shows by statistics that it is the cause of only 1 of a few of many causes that take people’s lives.

    The statistics show that the category of those losing their lives to this virus flu are the older population, the MINORITY, and of those, those who are at High Risk with Pre-existing conditions, or too many prescription drugs, or bad habits like alcohol, Tobacco, and drugs.

    The MAJORITY of the population are getting infected by the virus, but almost all of the people dying are Only the MINORITY, THE ELDERLY, and of those it is the elderly with Pre-existing conditions, e.g., obesity and diabetes, heart and vascular disease, lung diseases, and other diseases including those elderly people taking Prescription drugs, and the more drugs the worse. And even then only a few of the elderly are dying.

    So we have a MAJORITY vs. MINORITY situation.

    But first we have 2 other pressing problems of ongoing for decades that are bad epidemics in America, 2 Epidemics that are largely being ignored and are so far much worse than the Corona Virus Flu.

    1. The annual Seasonal Flu virus that infects, well produces symptoms in only 2-3 million Americans, while millions more MAJORITY are infected but have no symptoms or only mild symptoms, and are not reported, just like the Corona Virus causes as well.

    However the seasonal flu virus usually horrifically kills between 25,000 and 35,000 High Risk MINORITY of people a year. Some get the flu vaccine but even some of them still get the flu and die. The ones who die are again mostly the MINORITY population of elderly with preexisting other diseases and medications. Up to 35,000 a year dead is an Epidemic.

    2. The other epidemic is (there are about 6,000 to 7,000 hospitals in America), aproximately 5,000 of the people that walk, not ambulanced, into the hospitals every week, are dead within 1 day to a week. 5,000 dead people a week. That is 260,000 people a year dead In hospitals from medical care caused by wrong diagnosis, wrong medicine, too much medicine, unnecessary surgery, elective surgery, malpractice, inattention to the patient, etc., etc.

    Being in the medical profession is not easy and carries a huge amount of responsibility as too many people die each year from medical service. That does not include those who die at home from similar Causes and reasons. Nor does it excuse medicine from this very severe epidemic that is rarely talked about.

    This type of epidemic or disease is called Iatrogenic disease and is in the top 3 or 4 of diseases that kill people, only Heart and Vascular Disease and Cancer kill more. 260,000 dead people killed every year and this epidemic is only mentioned in statistics, but not addressed, and instead is ignored and it is much worse than the Corona Virus.

    We have The WRONG CORONA VIRUS PLAN.

    The current Corona Virus Plan is impacting the MAJORITY of the Population and Businesses. However the MAJORITY are not the problem, after all who has not had the FLU in their life, albeit with no symptoms, mild symptoms, or need of bed rest waiting the IMMUNE process to work itself back to your Health, by eliminating the virus. And you get Immunity From that virus as well, due to the exposure to the flu virus. The job of the Immune System is to shut down the active virus and provide Immunity for the future against the same flu virus later, like next year.

    You need Exposure to the Virus for the IMMUNE SYSTEM to activate and destroy the Virus and automatically provide you future Immunity, like for Next Year when the same virus returns as Is usual for Virus.

    Do you want to have no immunity this year by Quarantine and Lock Down, only to next year start the same old existing Plan and lose High Risk Minority population by dying as well as loss of Your business, your home, and perhaps family members.

    The currrent Virus Plan perpetuates a failure to adapt to this virus by failure to be naturally exposed to it, and the loss of subsequent automatic immunity for the future.

    We know from statistics that only a portion of the MINORITY are dying. Those are the elderly with Pre-existing Current illness and medications.

    What the current Corona Virus Plan is doing is it is paying too much attention to the MAJORITY of those who can handle the flu and ignoring the MINORITY of those Can’t handle this flu virus, who have or will die from it.

    We need a new Plan. A Plan that allows the MAJORITY to get back to work immediately and use their tax dollars and efforts to pour that money and effort into PROTECTING the MINORITY who Potentially are going to die.

    The current Corona Virus Plan is IRRESPONSIBLE by Ignoring the MINORITY WHO DESERVE OUR FULL ATTENTION and SUPPORT and CARE.

    The NEW VIRUS PLAN, must include Quarantine of Those of the MINORITY who are at High Risk. They are already under Medical Care for Pre-existing conditions and Drug Prescriptions that their doctors and pharmacist are well aware. It is not like this at High Risk are hiding, they know and their doctor and pharmacist know who they are.

    WE NEED TO ACT NOW, and Upgrade the Corona Virus Plan and pay Attention and provide all the care necessary to Save the Lives of the MINORITY of Elderly at High Risk. There is almost no one dying under the age of 60 and more so are dying the older the MINORITY are. As well we are not sure if those that are dying are not dying from at risk in hospital Care itself.

    The few who die at random youthful ages have High Risk Pre-existing Medical conditions, or are smokers, or dopers, or alcoholics. Again these people know who they are and should follow the New, yet to be implemented, Guidelines of the MINORITY which they are also part of and at High Risk.

    President Trump, Governor Ige, Mayor Kawakami, our State Representatives, and County Council, please adjust the current Virus Plan to protect the MINORITY at High Risk, and put the MAJORITY, the rest of us back to work…open the Airports and Businesses and keep us from individual and statewide, if not narional, Economic Ruin.

    Worst case Scenario if we continue lock step, and locked up, and down, is Onset of Hunger and starvation in Hawaii, and America.

    Have you ever had the Measles, Mumps, and Chicken Pox…yeah, and you only had it once, that’s Right, because you got LIFETIME IMMUNITY due to the normal process of the automatic immune system.

    Our Immune System provides immunity for this Corona Virus like every other virus. We need Immunity, it requires infection by the virus, it only costs: No Symptoms, Mild Symptoms, or Bedrest for a few days in your life, and then you are back on your feet with Immunity to this virus.

    However, The MAJORITY have very few people at High Risk and Those MAJORITY at high risk they should be counted as the MINORITY and treated with all the same care and effort as the other High Risk Minority.

    Those who have died from this virus comprise about 0.000001 % of the population. About 99% of those who got the virus a few weeks ago are already well from it…with new immunity to the Corona Virus.

    We need natural exposure to this virus, and more importantly We need IMMUNITY to it for the future times that it will come starting next year as viruses come in waves of time.

    The Current Virus Plan ignores and does not allow for Natural Immunity For the MAJORITY of the population, and it ignores and does not allow adequate protection care and Quarantine of the MINORITY of the population.

    The only thing that the Current Plan provides for is a lot of $$$ and business of Disease Care For the Medical Industry.

    WE NEED A NEW PLAN AND WE NEED IT NOW, a Plan that serves both the MAJORITY and the MINORITY of the Population.

    MAHALO


    1. Everythingisawesome April 8, 2020 5:12 am Reply

      Agree 100% (that means completely for those that don’t do math. Far more people fall ill from food poisoning than this current virus. This doesn’t rise to the level of a local emergency let alone a national emergency.


      1. Michael Mann April 9, 2020 12:15 am Reply

        You are delusional. Where did you get this statistic about “far more people fall ill from food poisoining,” and are you not aware that when food contamination outbreaks occur, there are NATIONAL RECALLS AND ALERTS about the problem unless the issue is known to be isolated to a particular place? Are you also not aware of what has happened in Italy?

        How many people in the country have to be infected and die before YOU feel it rises to the level of a national emergency? Please give us some details so when have some idea what YOU believe is an acceptable amount of sickness and death.

        Ignoring reality does not make it go away.


  18. David Jones April 7, 2020 12:07 pm Reply

    The vast majority of infections of Covid-19 in Hawaii have been from residents returning home, not from tourists. Regardless of who is spreading this disease, it is here and we all need to stay at home except for essential needs, physically distance ourselves and wear masks if we have to go out, and follow all quarantine requirements if traveling.

    “With the majority of Hawaii’s COVID-19 cases linked to travel, it is critical that we further mitigate the spread of the virus by both residents and visitors who are coming from out-of-state,” said Gov. Ige.


  19. jake April 7, 2020 12:25 pm Reply

    There is nothing stopping the mayor from banning all non-residents from leaving the airport. You really want to help us, Mr. Mayor, then do it. If you can’t prove residency, you don’t get to leave the airport, period!


    1. Michael Mann April 7, 2020 6:38 pm Reply

      And then what? Those people will need to be provided with something–food, lodging, facilities, especially if the airlines refuse to fly them around to other places for free. Please think this ALL THE WAY THROUGH!

      I’m pretty sure that the County of Kauai will find itself IN A LAWSUIT if it tries some nonsense like this.


    2. Rev Dr Malama April 8, 2020 9:17 am Reply

      Stay at home, even if is your car or tent…. authorities need to have an easier time picking up the people who are creating the pestilence of sickness, thefts, vandalism and fraud that always accompany an emergency of this magnitude!
      Remember your faith and practice at HOME…. PLEASE PRAY DEGILENTLY,
      MAHALO KE AKUA
      Your humble servant,
      Rev Dr Malama


  20. Eku April 7, 2020 12:31 pm Reply

    It is darn if you do or darn if you don’t. We need to give credit where credit is due. Kawakami is doing a good job with the small amount of tools he has at his disposal. Most Mayor around the country are not proactive as he, and Kawakami should be praise not scorned.


  21. Charlie Chimknee April 7, 2020 1:07 pm Reply

    So if we stop all tourists from coming to the island, even when we have zero Corona Cases here on Kauai, and the world still has active cases, then the potential for Kaua’i to receive any domestic or Internacional tourists with the Corona Virus will on go indefinitely.

    So, are the Authorities, our Mayor and Governor prepared to Lock Down Kaua’i and all Hawaii to all Tourists indefinitely until the potential for causing Corona Virus infection is completely gone.

    That is insane and only wishful imposible medical thinking. If a single Corona virus carrier shows up months to even years later, the infection begins again and will impact our population wherein those who have had the virus and survived will have immunity; and all the rest of us will be subject to the epidemic starting again.

    The Wrong Plan has the Wrong People in Charge. Repeating the same thing over and over is definition of INSANITY.

    WE DO NOT NEED INSANITY, WE NEED NATURAL IMMUNITY, and we need it now. Let us get exposure only that will naturally immune us.


    1. Michael Mann April 7, 2020 6:41 pm Reply

      Then go seek out someone with the virus and try to get your “natural immunity.” But DO NOT try to force it upon everyone else. I am trained in science, and I know that IS NOT the way we handle things. You go ahead and do you. But just be sure that you DON’T go to any hospital or clinic asking for help when you get sick, and that you STAY at home as it isn’t your right to purposefully spread the virus. In fact, that might be considered a TERRORISTIC THREAT.


      1. Charlie Chimknee April 8, 2020 1:12 pm Reply

        Aloha Michael, looking up the demographics which show age only and not which diseases people have in addition to the C-Virus…from just born to 59 the Death rate is 2.3%. Of the total. This also points to there Being a Majority In this age group that is healthy and not at high risk.

        It would be valuable to know the age, sex, Pre-disease and also # of prior prescription drugs of those that die while infected with C-Virus.

        Those deaths could be more related to their prior conditions and Pre-virus, as well as how many dead died from medical error while having the C-Virus.

        There are so many possible categories resulting in death, it’s just simpler to blame the virus for the death instead of concurrent or even the emergency crisis care at hospital which may be the cause. Medical error.

        This media talk about the VIRUS IS COMING, THE VIRUS IS COMING, HAS REACHED the Point of Hysteria, like some kind of monster is coming to the island to swallow your children.

        Well what about the seasonal flu it’s a virus also and it kills up to 25,000 to 35,000 A year. How come no one is afraid of That yearly virus…Dead is Dead regardless of Virus A or Virus B.

        Don’t forget the Sky is Falling and Jesus is coming…and the Egg laying Easter Bunny returns in a few days, while the Tooth Fairy Can sneak into your bedroom at any time of the year, and we all know Santa will be coming on Dec 25…beware its all real for those who are under the spell of Blind Faith…believers one and all.

        If you think you can eat junk food, fast food, chemicals and additives in food, flavors, colors, aroma, preservatives, pesticides and the other food Sui-cides and the Ag poisons…you are a candidate for death by extra stress of Virus A or B…well better to call it Virus C.

        Jokes on you, but Sadness on the Family.


        1. Michael Mann April 9, 2020 12:48 am Reply

          Seasonal flu has a mortality rate of around 0.1% whereas COVID-19 has a mortality rate around 2.3% (the number in Italy appears to be MUCH higher). These comparisons to seasonal flu are irresponsible–it’s a TWENTYFOLD difference in the death rate between the two! Given how many people get sick with the flu every year, imagine what the death counts could be if that many people got COVID-19! Your 25,000 to 35,000 people would balloon to 500,000 to 700,000. HALF A MILLION DEAD AMERICANS! It is these tremendous differences in the death rates, and the unknown qualities of the virus, which makes it ABSOLUTELY IMPERATIVE that we treat it differently than the seasonal flu. Hospitals across the country are BUCKLING under the strain from this flood of patients. If the hospitals are full of COVID-19 patients, where are people with other medical issues going to go? If the healthcare workers contract the disease while trying to deal with the pandemic, who will be left to treat people? How are we going to bury half a million to a million people over a very short time frame?

          For natural immunity to be useful, something like 60% to 70% of the population must contract the disease and develop antigens for it. At that point, it becomes difficult for the virus to spread (or mutate). Now think about that…let’s just say the United States is isolated to roughly 350 million people. 60% of that is 210 million people who would need to catch the virus. With a 2.3% mortality rate, that means almost 5 MILLION people would likely die. That’s like 3.5 times Hawaii’s TOTAL population.

          These social distancing measures not only ease the burden on the healthcare system, but it also gives scientists a chance at developing a vaccine that can get us the desired immunity WITHOUT having to infect people with the active virus and risk the mortality rate. That development takes time, and the virus is not going to just stop infecting people and killing people as that work is underway.

          People HAVE to heed these warnings, take this seriously, and stop acting as if the government is trying to take away people liberties. Your liberties don’t mean anything if you are dead from a virus. We can’t just accept that 5 MILLION people need to die and 210 MILLION people need to get sick and risk dying to develop some natural immunity and to avoid economic impacts. The economic impacts can be addressed by people shifting their priorities. I like capitalism, but I don’t believe there is ever a time when it is appropriate to allow capitalism to drive public policy to the exclusion of everything else. That’s exactly what people are doing when they say we need to end social distancing and get people back to work while this virus is still raging. It isn’t oral. It isn’t ethical. It simply isn’t right.


        2. CJ April 9, 2020 7:40 am Reply

          FYI, the death toll in Italy is over 12% !


  22. Jody April 7, 2020 1:14 pm Reply

    Thank you for this. Eloquent and true. I live near the ocean in Kapaa and even if I take a walk once during the day I passed at least a dozen tourist. I had a lady the other day walk right up to me with her phone wanting to show me something and ask a question and I had to put my arm out to say please don’t come next to me. Another family out playing on their private beach. Now I know to call KPD, but the idea of going out for a walk is to relax and get some exercise. It is not to have to diffuse issues with tourist.. Again thank you.


  23. Uncleaina April 7, 2020 1:17 pm Reply

    Also you fail to mention that the majority of ‘travel related’ spread are actually Kauai residents returning from the mainland – not tourists. Only someone with an irresponsible disregard for our community would suggest removing the lockdown on an island that has only 14 ventilators. The tone of this newspaper has changed and everyone is talking about it – not in a good way. Who’s pushing this right wing agenda all of the sudden?


  24. Marie April 7, 2020 1:35 pm Reply

    It is disheartening to know we are staying home, but it is still being brought to our island. If quarantined people are leaving their rooms, residences, they don’t care what they are doing to those of us that live here. We do not have community spread yet and our numbers are still going up. We just don’t need all these measures put in place on us to be ruined by a supposed to be quarantined person that’s not obeying the rules.

    We need to be able to enforce the quarantine and since it seems we can’t, stopping all passenger flights seems the best way to halt it.


  25. arbitrary April 7, 2020 5:04 pm Reply

    can we continue the quarantine of kauai/hawaii even after cure/vaccine is developed? No one is allowed on the island and residents are similarly forbidden to be off, under the threat of imprisonment. Sounds awesome to me.


  26. a.kauaian April 7, 2020 5:10 pm Reply

    Excellent editorial! So discouraging, though, that soon after I read this in my print edition, I saw this Honolulu Star Advertiser headline: “Visitors to Hawaii increase since Thursday, with Sunday bringing largest gains.”

    My question for TGI Corona Virus Questions: Does the Governor of Hawaii have the legal authority to refuse to let any non-resident off the airplane? Or at least out of the airport while waiting for a return flight? When a cruise ship docked a couple of weeks ago, they were allowed to dock for refueling and maintenance only — no passengers were allowed off the ship. Could that hold true to airplane arrivals?


  27. RG DeSoto April 7, 2020 5:28 pm Reply

    Wow…nothing like a crisis to bring all the fascists out of the closet!
    RG DeSoto


    1. Michael Mann April 8, 2020 1:30 am Reply

      What are you even talking about??????????????

      Do you have a clue what “fascism” is?


    2. ManInTheMirror April 8, 2020 4:58 am Reply

      I see the Soto here all the time.


  28. Michael Mann April 7, 2020 6:42 pm Reply

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, Uncleaina!!!!! There are still some intelligent people on this island!!

    How do we make these other people SHUT UP???? They are going to get us all very sick.


    1. Everythingisawesome April 8, 2020 5:30 am Reply

      …when you can’t win the argument, ban freedom of speech.


      1. Um April 9, 2020 12:15 pm Reply

        That’s just it. They won the argument, but the idiots still won’t shut up. It’s enough to give MM a heart attack – if not the virus.


      2. One A April 10, 2020 3:18 am Reply

        Freedom of speech has limits. Like when it hurts others. You can’t incite riots and you should not con people to think that there are miracle cures when it will cause a large section of society to become ill and a large portion of those to die.

        So yes, they really should shut up once they’ve lost the argument. MM’s side has won, the other side needs to give up and follow.


  29. DEM April 8, 2020 3:00 am Reply

    For an island whose economy relies heavily on tourism, you all really need to think about how you are facing a house of cards. Without tourism dollars, it’s just a matter of time before one hotel after another closes, retail and activities close, joblessness skyrockets and soon you find yourselves an island of unemployment, bankruptcy and homelessness. A bleak picture for sure. Without tourists, is there such a thing as “getting back to normal”? Where will the jobs come from? If you’re going to isolate yourselves until the world is at zero COVID cases, you’re not going to survive.


    1. Um April 9, 2020 12:16 pm Reply

      On the other hand, if many people on the island die from the virus, who is going to take that money from the tourists??


  30. Fraser Falkner April 8, 2020 4:14 am Reply

    Our forefathers were called to war.
    We’ve been called to the couch.
    We can do this!


  31. WaimeaResident April 8, 2020 7:05 am Reply

    Wow….how stupid can we get? Slit our throat to rid ourselves of a sickness.


    1. Um April 9, 2020 12:17 pm Reply

      YES! Better to poison yourself for some dollars!


  32. Charlie Chimknee April 8, 2020 7:17 am Reply

    Aloha Michael, this is what I got together in the time I have this morning. It that the…MAJORITY should get back to Regular open for business but protect and serve the high risk MINORITY. THIS SAYS THE ELDERLY WITH PRE-existing medical conditions would die, that being the MINORITY.

    That would mean 3 out of every 1,000 would die on Kauai or 210 residents. About what die in a year here anyway…well maybe.

    VIRUS EXPOSURE, IMMUNE RESPONSE BRINGING NATURAL IMMUNITY SEEMS PRACTICAL AND BEST METHOD TO REDUCE THE DEATHS TO THE HIGH RISK MINORITY.

    From Honolulu:

    For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death. In the United States, there have been about 400,000 cases and about 13,000 deaths.
    ………….

    Quarantine and protect and care for the MINORITY by the healthy MAJORITY instead of bankrupting the MAJORITY is reasonable.

    I STAND ON MY PRIOR 2 Lengthy comments.


  33. Tom Niblick April 8, 2020 8:09 am Reply

    Trump took the Draconian measure of putting children in cages… perhaps we should cage visitors for 14 days?
    Seriously, yes, ban visitors for the next 30 days. Stop the spread. I don’t want to die just so some twit can get a cheap tan.


  34. Makani B. Howard April 8, 2020 9:47 am Reply

    They need to screen the people BEFORE they get on the plane!!!

    If they are tourists, then they can’t get on.

    Full stop!!


  35. Big Kahuna April 9, 2020 6:25 am Reply

    When I travel with my Dog he needs a vet exam 10 days prior to arrival, The new normal may look like what we do for dogs, no entry unless you can prove your healthy.

    Lets get real Kauai, this is a socialist State/ with many already electing to ride the gravy train unemployment. Although I generally agree with Mayor, I see the hate behind the truth and blame the tourist, vacation rental owners yet its the locals who brought the virus home. Recently I had compassion for one of my employees, gave him my Poipu house to use as his roommate was a nurse at Wilcox and could not take a risk of being infected.

    The house was stocked with food for a month. Well yes it was a Kauai resident who thought it would be cool to allow the homeless from Poipu Park to spend the night, eat a weeks worth of food and thought nothing of what he did,

    Kauai stop hating the tourist as BK is coming soon and the Fed wont take care of everyone. I’m getting a gun as this island has seen nothing yet what a depression looks like and will wish for the days we had a few folks that had the flue.


  36. notahippi April 9, 2020 12:13 pm Reply

    Common sense, make sure residents (visitors) coming home are quarantined and monitored closely. …. then we could all go back to work.


  37. Tiny Tim April 9, 2020 12:20 pm Reply

    People are electing to be unemployed?

    Can you define Socialist? I’ll wait.


  38. DEM April 10, 2020 3:14 am Reply

    What happens after 30 days? 60 days? 90 days? Any amount of days while COVID-19 still exists in the world? When do you let visitors back in? And, man…are you out of touch…it certainly isn’t *cheap* to visit Kauai…it’s probably the most expensive tan in the world.


  39. M Zieman April 29, 2020 8:23 am Reply

    Wow! Do you really think that isolating Kauai from the rest of the state, much less the rest of the world can or should be done even short term much less long term. The fear and near panic response of people to what is going on has blinded many to reality and common sense. It has also led many to give up their civil liberty rights without even recognizing it.

    What is needed is a measured, scientific and fact based solution to what is happening. Consider just a few facts. 1) Resent antibody testing has shown that the actual rate of infection in NY, and other location, is actually more than 10 times greater than the number of confirmed cases. For NY city this means that 25% of the population has already had the virus, most of whom were obviously asymptomatic. NY city will probably reach herd-immunity levels even before a vaccine is available. This also means that the actual death rate from the virus is about 0.03% not 1-3%.

    The States of FL & ND are a models that HI and the rest of the country should follow. The models includes protecting the elderly with underlying conditions as they are the most vulnerable to death, robust testing and contact tracing. For more on this Google the Whitehorse interview with Governor DeSantis on 4-28-2020. (I understand website links are not permitted). This island, this state and our country must start to open up and return to normal using common sense and science based solutions. This virus with not 100% disappear for years to come.

    So today we are waiting for 28 days to pass since the last report case on April 5. And then what? And what if a new case, from whatever source, is found weeks later? Are we going to return to the same drastic measures currently in place? Our thinking and our solutions must change.


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