Limiting visitors is the answer to virus battle

I applaud The Garden Island newspaper for its spot-on analysis of the situation here on Kaua‘i in their April 7 opinion piece.

I understand the severity of this virus, especially for at-risk and older residents. I am 68 and have COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), so I fall into both categories. But, like all of us, we need to venture out for essential needs.

For now, community spread is not an issue with the cases of COVID-19 here, and they are all (at this writing) travel-related. While I understand the need for residents to return, I am astounded by the fact that tourists are still coming here considering the restrictions they are supposed to follow. Unfortunately, they are not following the rules that the rest of us must abide by. It is also unfortunate that only the federal government can issue a directive restricting mainland and interisland travel.

In the two times I have ventured out of the house in the last four weeks, I have encountered visitors in both Safeway in Lihu‘e and in Costco. So, I have a suggestion for our mayor to help the situation, and lessen, to me anyways, some of the overly aggressive measures he feels the need to implement.

As visitors arrive at the airport (where they are screened anyways now), give them a card stamped with arrival date and out-of-quarantine date. Do ID checks at the stores (grocery, Walmart and Costco) and non-residents must show their cards. If they are trying to enter during their quarantine period, do not permit them to enter. This protects us residents from their potential to expose us in these places that we have to visit occasionally (we all have to eat).

Second, order the car-rental companies to not rent vehicles to out-of-state visitors. This limits their mobility, further assuring they follow the rules and remain in their hotel rooms. Once they are past the quarantine date (again, the card), if they remain, then they can be allowed to rent a vehicle. Follow the same procedure of checking IDs on the buses as well. The county can provide a shuttle from the airport to the hotels if the hotel does not have one. This should not be much of a burden, since the number of visitors is small, but their potential to spread the virus is much larger.

Waiting at a roadblock for hours to get to a doctor’s appointment, go shopping, or return home with your purchases has got to end. Cold foods get warm, appointments are missed, since you don’t know if you are going to encounter these roadblocks on your travels. They are random, so it is impossible to plan.

While the mayor has implemented some sane measures, some are a bit draconian and more suited to a police state than Kaua‘i. Even on O‘ahu, they have not resorted to similar roadblocks. The time has come to prevent or at least limit violations by people from out of state coming here and bringing additional cases of this virus to Kaua‘i. Once we are assured that there is no community spread, we can begin to resume our normal lives and routines. Currently there are only six (I believe) active cases on the island (the rest have departed). Let’s implement measures for visitors to assure that this number never grows.

•••

Barry Dittler is a resident of Wailua

30 Comments
  1. kauaiguy April 14, 2020 12:22 am Reply

    How about giving the incoming arrivals to Kauai who need mandatory quarantine a big 2 inch wide florescent wrist band that if removed by other then a DOH staff member will result in a fine..and we the public can see this bright wrist band and deny access to our public places.
    On the wrist band have the quarantine dates on them.. and if seen out by police, a hefty fine.


    1. Everythingisawesome April 15, 2020 5:12 am Reply

      (sarcasm) YES! Make them wear an armband and confine them to a designated area!

      I can’t believe you even suggested that. Know any human history? Maybe even the major events? Clearly not.


  2. Barney Bryson April 14, 2020 5:51 am Reply

    I agree with Mr. Dittler, or just stop visitors until this is over.


  3. nobody April 14, 2020 6:11 am Reply

    I see tourists cruising around. I see locals cruising around. What is disturbing is I see returning locals under the 14 quarantine cruising around. No respect.

    Bad behavior is a real problem. Wear a mask.


  4. Jesse April 14, 2020 6:46 am Reply

    All this anti-tourist BS that’s been right under the surface for so long is now being applauded, go ahead kill the golden goose, but don’t cry when the island looses all it’s built over racism.


    1. me April 15, 2020 5:29 am Reply

      sure there are Some good paying jobs here for residents created by tourism, but the majority of the wages earned by residents from tourism are pathetic. the only people making the big money are the owners of the resorts, rentals and rental cars as a rule. as far as what you mentioned about what has been built might be lost……dont think residents gonna be too sad about losing traffic created by out of control tourism here.


  5. RevW April 14, 2020 8:08 am Reply

    Good thinking, and well said.


  6. Concerned April 14, 2020 8:23 am Reply

    TGI please don’t print voices from persons who spread fear, hate and lack of knowledge of the constitutional rights of the United States. This only serves to “stir the pot”. As a newspaper one would assume a historical knowledge of the importance of the information that is printed and the effect that it’s words have on society.


    1. Barry Dittler April 15, 2020 10:08 am Reply

      Concerned,
      I am in no way spreading fear or hatred. The sooner that this is over , the sooner we can all return to our normal lives. I am simply proposing a way to assure that visitors that may have the virus and could cause community spread are held accountable to the same rules that we residents must follow ! When this is over, we can welcome our valued visitors back with open arms.


  7. shelly April 14, 2020 8:29 am Reply

    garden Isle health care needs to find a way to allow family members to visit their dying /hospice care family members. Please someone help! this is such a difficult time for patients and their family. Use some of the Zuckerberg donations to have a special room for dying patients to visit with family!!!


  8. Charlie Chimknee April 14, 2020 8:41 am Reply

    Aloha Barry,

    From understanding the immune system and it’s coordination by the nervous system with the rest of the body, and from the statistics that more than 95% of those exposed to the virus survived, we can see that:

    1.) with those having had NO SYMPTOMS (they have a really good immune system),

    2.) or only having had mild symptoms (they have a pretty darn good immune system),

    3.) or had to have typical flu bedrest of so many days before becoming well again (they at least have a functioning immune system).

    Sadly we know there are those people at High Risk, we know they can be the elderly over 65, but wait since we know there are elderly people from 65 to 100 who are in the 3 categories above and happily survive; then there must be more to it than age that compromises the immune and nervous systems.

    There is a Neurological problem little known to the medical industry of a mechanical disturbance where the Brain Stem joins the Spinal Cord, which can cause a failure of the Brain Stem to optimally coordinate the immune system with the rest of the body and resisting any incoming invasive bacteria or virus. Fixing that issue is non medical and requires a different type of specialist not found in the medical industry, but instead in one particular small field of Health.

    So since we know some people between the ages of 65 to a 100 survive, what is it then that causes us to lose some of the elderly and even a very few of the young.

    In addition to a negative compromise of the brain stem where it joins the spinal cord, apparently there are other things that compromise the immune system which reduce its ability to “win the war” against the virus. These things stress or burden and can over burden the immune system and the accumulation of these factors can result in loss of life.

    Apparently having pre-existing disease conditions like chronic degenerative disease is a major factor in compromising the immune system resulting in death while your immune system is trying to eliminate the virus. We can say there are (many) things which stress or burden the immune system preventing it from doing its job optimally.

    Some of the chronic (long term) degenerative diseases are those pre conditions that lead to killing the body while the body’s immune system is trying to rid itself of the virus and other internal nuisances like junk you have eaten or taken or smoked

    Dangerous things are the drugs and amount of Different drugs that Are used to treat the Chronic Degenerative Diseases. There are too many drugs to name but they are the ones you are taking right now.

    Some of the diseases are Heart and Vascular (including Stroke) Disease, the many Cancers, obesity, diabetes, lung diseases, AIDS, ongoing other infections, and of course Iatrogenic (eye-atro-genio) Disease which is hushed up because it means doctor or hospital caused diseases (some are misdiagnosis, medical error, wrong drug, too much of any drug, inattention to the patient’s needs, surgical errors, anesthesia, and many others that make your condition worse or can even Kill you. Things like side effects to the drugs you take. Some side effects as TV drug ads tell us can also kill you. Be Aware.

    America is now the worst nation for deaths blamed on CoVid19 virus, WHY…?
    Because we are the sickest nation on earth already. You see the medical industry has convinced the population that 70% of our people need to take 1 or more prescription drugs per day in multiple doses; and they have 55% of our nation of 4 or more prescription drugs per day, not even counting Over the Counter pharmacy medications. That’s a sick nation, primed and ripe for the CoVid-19 Corona Virus to sicken and kill so many.

    We do not need to FEAR the Virus, we need to fear the medical industry strangling our HEALTH and perpetuating diseases of all kinds in our currently sick nation. When will this end…? The medical pharmaceutical industry and their drug prescribing doctor want us to believe that we cannot be healthy without their drugs, when in fact they are keeping us and our Nation Sick with their drugs; and making us Target #1 for any virus natural or made that comes along.

    Anyone with COPD is probably on drugs or a few, or more, we have friends on 11 and 19 prescription drugs a day with multiple doses…that’s a lot of chemicals, a lot of danger.

    Yes, you Can turn yourself over to hospital care with FEAR of a virus and while the virus may not be enough to kill you, the hospital procedures might kill you.

    So the statistics on the virus we hear every day are not totally accurate to reality of what is the real cause of what people are dying from just because they also have the virus, their death my be accelerated by theIr Pre-existing Disease(s) and or their current medications or even an inactive lifestyle or the absence of Health if they fail to provide themselves with SWARE every day…which is Sun Water Air Rest Exercise, especially paying attention to what they need to eat to be healthy eating natural food free of chemicals of any kind, whether those chemical are food additives or agriculture poisons or animals treated with drugs and hormones…and of course SUGAR the dreaded food DRUG that feeds not only cancer but infections like the virus infection.

    Fast food, junk food, snacks, soda, alcohol, tobacco, and get high drugs especially if they are smoked are contributors to a failing Immune System.

    You will not have an optimally functioning immune system if you fail in the things above.

    Survivors of this virus pandemic are proof that people can handle this disease with their own immune system only if it is working properly along with the assistance of your nervous system.

    Sadly, the people of the world believe with blind Faith in things like chemical drugs are what we need for our illnesses; and doctors make their living on providing drugs for sickness and the suppressing of symptom that are part of the actual healing process, thus the drugs retard the internal healing process, of which the immune system is a part of.

    Drugs do get people well, many are to be taken for the rest of your life, a sales gimmick unsurpassed. Drugs hide your signs and symptoms of disease leading people to ignore actually getting well. Doctors need Sick People to make their wealthy livings.

    People need Health Education to Stay Well, something not TAUGHT in school…yet. That fact is not a conspiracy…it is just effective Capitalism $$$.

    The thrust of the medical people on TV is to make you think you are going to die from this virus, and that you cannot survive it on your own, thus you will need The VACCINE…more massive profit. Over 200 companies racing to find a Vaccine to be the first one in the door to make billions of doctors, I mean Dollars…!

    Well guess what, if this CoVid19 Virus is man made, then it is really a Vaccine Gone Wild…so why would we need or want another vaccine virus to complicate the one killing too many people and making things worse already.

    We don’t need vaccines and drugs, 95% of our people need Visitors to feed our families and pay our rent and mortgages.

    We are close to being Financially wiped out by those with the greed to sell cheaply made with huge markup$, drugs and vaccines made in China and those who make their living off of the sick selling those drugs and vaccines. Besides vaccines have the virus in them…insane, eh…?


    1. james April 15, 2020 7:21 am Reply

      You lost me after the 2nd paragraph. Here’s a writing tip: get to the point quickly and clearly. You do not need to write a dissertation. Tip #2: make it interesting for the reader. Perhaps include a personal story or antidote. Clearly, you believe you have important things to say. You are losing folks attention and, therefore, not getting your point across by being too verbose and rambling. You’re welcome.


  9. James Z April 14, 2020 8:44 am Reply

    Concur on your problem with the roadblocks. On the ‘efficacy’ of roadblocks: If it’s well-nigh impossible to verify a question as to one’s reason for being on the road than the question has no validity. And if the question has no validity then the roadblocks have no validity. ‘Tis a waste of time and resources for the police, the N.G.’s and the citizens on the road. They are legal and political overreach.


  10. jake April 14, 2020 10:59 am Reply

    We should not be having to address the issue of visitor arrivals. They should have been banned a month ago at least. Greed was simply placed above the value of local lives. Airlines, hotels, restaurants, tour companies should not have had to be told to shut down. They were more than willing to place profits above the lives and safety of themselves and their families. If this island gets sick and people start dying, this will be on the shoulders of the tourism industry. In the meantime, how about preventing visitors from leaving the airport. You have a choice…sleep on the airport terminal benches for 14 days, or go back where you came from. We’re closed.


  11. Designer April 14, 2020 11:02 am Reply

    Well spoken! You’ve precisely outlined the problems with the mayor’s policies, which impact locals while leaving visitors to their devices.


  12. Norbert Woods April 14, 2020 11:42 am Reply

    In regards to new visitors to Kauai (some them Even Kauai residents) please allow at least 1 trip to buy groceries or have a system to deliver this to them.

    We just returned to upper New York State after a 4+ week to Kauai. We have come for 5 weeks each for 24 years. We were not subject to quarantine rules. Three times we were told “ go home Halloe “. Is this the future of Kauai?

    Now we’re back in New York working in frontline medical services.

    Despite discrimination we do hope to return next year.

    Norbert J. Woods, MD Pediatrics
    Susan S. Woods, Ph.D. Psychology


    1. Barry Dittler April 15, 2020 10:29 am Reply

      Dear Dr’s Woods,

      As a medical professional, you must be aware that even one trip to the store by an a asymptomatic person could lead to infecting dozens of people. the stores and restaurants have set up delivery systems for just this purpose. The rules have to apply to all , not just residents. We appreciate your love of our island, and look forward to welcoming you again. I apologize for the entire island for your racist experience. I have had it happen to myself, so I know how much hurt it instills. Thank you for your efforts in this time of crisis, as I understand the dangers you put yourself in to help others. Aloha, Barry Dittler


      1. Norbert woods April 15, 2020 4:44 pm Reply

        Mr. Dittler.
        If the grocery stores will deliver that is certainly not well known. Yes, certainly laws should apply to all the same. The original mandate for only 100 visitors on beaches was not equal. It’s a big island. A lot of non social distancing was by Kauai residents. We were threatened by Kauai Police With arrest for being on even a non county park beach without permits, even though the nearest person was 150 feet away and this was not in the mayor’s first proclamation. We do pay real estate tax in Kauai. I do hope that we will be welcomed back, but that is up to Kauians. I spoke to Kauai residents whose children are in colleges or jobs on the mainland. Their numbers are not limited in public parks.


  13. Koa April 14, 2020 1:39 pm Reply

    How do you KNOW they are visitors by looking at them? Some full time residents look like “visitors”


    1. Barry Dittler April 15, 2020 10:13 am Reply

      Jesse,

      I am in no way anti tourist. I am simply proposing a way to see that visitors adhere to the rules and do not cause community spread by possibly contaminating residents and causing community spread. We co not have the medical facilities to handle an outbreak with numbers like they have on Oahu. When this is over, they are welcome. I had relatives scheduled to arrive in May and we told them not to come. I am looking our for the well being of our residents, so that we can get our lives back to normal as quickly as possible. We have too many residents in dire need due to the loss of jobs and business.


    2. Barry Dittler April 15, 2020 10:34 am Reply

      Koa,

      I would most likely be taken for a visitor myself, even though I have lived here 10 years. I don’t make assumptions about anyone. In the 2 cases I personally witnessed, I spoke to both parties involved and they admitted they had just arrived ! They were putting everyone at potential risk by their actions. I told them both that they were violating the law and recommended they return to their hotel immediately.


  14. O-Shen Christ April 14, 2020 4:24 pm Reply

    This is exactly on point. Why should residents suffer because tourists are selfish and ignorant. They should also be jailed without bail for violating quarantine and fined heavy no exceptions !!


  15. Fred Hanai April 14, 2020 4:27 pm Reply

    “the rest have departed”… continues the racist belief, shared by the mayor but dispelled many times by health officials, that Kaua’i’s COVID-19 cases have been mostly visitors. They have not, they have been locals returning home.

    I do agree the mayor’s edicts are draconian… why send a visitor who’s been here since January to a hotel so they are in close-quarters with others? Taking them from their kitchen where they could prepare their own food, and now have to buy every meal, every cup of coffee, at a public restaurant? Only, if like Kawakami, you are a racist. Sending someone back to New York who’s been here since January proves “Alohaha” died long ago with the agricultural economy.

    The mayors roadblocks to weed-out haoles severely delayed medical workers and delivery trucks… and just goes to show the depth of his thinly veiled hate and contempt that COVID-19 has allowed to flourish.

    I realize The Garden Island is fully supportive of the racist hate on this island, and would never publish a conflicting opinion.


  16. LJ April 14, 2020 10:26 pm Reply

    All this talk of racism in the comments, all I see is a woe-is-me victim mentality. “Tourist” is not a race. I will say this again. TOURIST is not a race. To assume all tourists are white, in itself, is the only racism I see here. And for the record, Hawaii was here long before tourism, and it will be here long after tourism dries up, thinking Hawaii needs TOURISTS(in the racial sense) to survive is more supremacist thinking…


  17. kauaiguy April 15, 2020 12:01 am Reply

    My low tech method of spotting quarantine breakers applies to travelers, both local and tourist..

    I don’t understand why people write and only associate travel to be only tourists. Locals travel too..and they need to be quarantined and they too break quarantine rules..


  18. Jeff S April 15, 2020 5:26 am Reply

    SAD……. We live in Colorado but have a condo in Kauai. Never once did I think to myself, “We shouldn’t allow visitors/tourists to come here to ski in the mountains.” When they confirmed that a group from Australia had brought the virus to one of the ski resorts I didn’t say to myself, “those damn Australians”. One can only speculate that those who say that the tourists are to blame and shouldn’t be allowed here, probably have jobs that don’t rely on tourism. What about the thousands of other residents that do? Cover your mouth and wash your hands and you’ll be fine!


  19. WaimeaResident April 15, 2020 7:18 am Reply

    Sounds as if you are high risk, you should NOT be at Safeway or out and about during a pandemic!

    Stay isolated.


  20. Erdogan Gulari April 15, 2020 7:44 am Reply

    It is easy to blame others without taking any responsibility for ones own actions. In this case “others” are the visitors. If I look at the current data of the 21 cases only 5 are due to visitors 16 are residents and with the exception of one case for travel related contact and another community event. This leaves 19 cases for travel if we subtract the 5 for visitors we are left with 14 cases all of which are due to residents coming back to the island. Thus do not blame the visitors for problems caused mainly by residents. This unfounded hate against visitors is going to have its consequences in the future at least for the next couple of years in terms of damages to the economy. Visitors provide the money that the island runs on. Cut the visitor numbers by 50% and see what happens.

    I also would argue that most visitors coming to Kauai are highly educated responsible people because Kauai is not Oahu or Miami Beach. Visitors come here because they love the garden island and very few if any of them are parts of mass tourism.

    As to my self I am a part time Kauai resident and own a home here. I have been coming to Kauai for at least six weeks every year since 1986.


  21. Barry Dittler April 15, 2020 10:18 am Reply

    Fred,

    If he has been here since January, he is not even subject to the quarantine, and no one is sending anyone back . I can’t speak for our mayor, but I am anything but racist ! I am white, was a long time visitor (every year for over 25 years) before moving here 10 years ago. I am simply trying to offer solutions to help us get over this issue, and let our residents move back to their normal lives, jobs and businesses as quickly and safely as possible.


  22. Barry Dittler April 16, 2020 10:50 am Reply

    Erdogan Gulari – Why are some people reading more into my statements than I said ? I am not “hating” tourists or by any means the racist I have been accused of being ! At this point, the issue is not the cases that can be attributed to visitors, but the number of cases that COULD happen. There are very few ICU beds here on Kauai, we have only one lung specialist (and I am not sure he is even on island), and we are medically understaffed island wide. Our tourism is down 99 % already, and there is nothing open for a tourist to do anyways. Why is asking visitors to delay their visits for a month or two so wrong ? I was stating that some of the visitors were NOT following the quarantine rules, endangering everyone and simply prolonging the island wide shut down. There is no hate against visitors at all on my part ! I am simply asking for some consideration and to follow the quatantine rules from those who do visit, or to delay visiting for the well being of all Kauaians !


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