I remain at home, you should too

Recently there has been an increase in protesters across the country, claiming that the “stay-at-home” policies enacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic are infringing on our rights given by the constitution. Many good people have lost their sources of income because of widespread shutdown of “non-essential” businesses. Some claim that this is a government overreach, and others claim that the data being used to estimate quarantine time is flawed. As a concerned community member, I am here to say that these people need to seriously consider the implications of their actions on the rest of our island community.

Everyone’s life has been dramatically altered by this virus. New data is so frequently being released that the news you heard yesterday (or even a few hours ago) no longer holds true. What does hold true is that doctors and scientists are tirelessly working on treatments and vaccines, with the end goal being to help us return to our normal lives.

Protesting the stay-at-home measures is an act of selfishness, as our community contains people most at risk of suffering from COVID-19, such as the elderly and the immunocompromised. But its not just them; healthy people with no underlying conditions are also suffering at the hands of COVID-19. It is selfish to think that these measures to stay at home and refrain from large gatherings have other motives besides keeping our community safe. Our healthcare system is not equipped to handle a spike in cases (like those in states without stay-at-home orders). It’s time we believe our medical professionals, who have extensive training and experience under their belts, to guide us through these uncertain times.

It’s time we put our health first, instead of our ego. If you or a loved one was hospitalized due to COVID-19, I am sure you would change your perspective.

As I am in my 20’s, a global health emergency of this scale is something that I have (thankfully) not experienced until now. I was attending school in New York when a surge of cases came to the United States, and was immediately told by university officials that all students who could leave, should.

I left my school knowing that I would never see my friends again, and that I would not receive a traditional college graduation ceremony. I arrived home on Kaua‘i and immediately knew that I presented a risk to my family, so I remained in isolation for the recommended 14 days. After nearly 30 days of not leaving my home, I breathed a sigh of relief as I (or any of my family members whom I was in contact with) showed no symptoms of COVID-19.

I continue to remain at home so that I can protect myself and my family from getting sick. I remain at home for the essential workers jeopardizing their health and safety to fight for the health and safety of others. I remain at home so that, eventually, I can return to my community knowing that we got through this together. I remain at home, and you should too.


Bryson Baligad is a resident of Kapa‘a

  1. Citizen April 21, 2020 2:21 am Reply

    Last l checked we live in a free country. The risk of getting this on Kauai right now is near zero. Don’t be a sheep.

    1. HiImAnIdiot April 21, 2020 3:56 pm Reply

      Freedom or being selfish? There’s a reason that the risk of catching this disease is low on our island. Don’t be a sheep and listen to what the mainstream media says, I learned that from Fox news, the biggest mainstream media company.

  2. Major Lee Hung April 21, 2020 4:07 am Reply

    I feel bad for whoever paid for your education.

  3. Steven McMacken April 21, 2020 4:29 am Reply

    Bryson, you are wise beyond your years.

  4. Rev Dr Malama April 21, 2020 7:27 am Reply

    Mahalo Bryson for the intelligent and well thought out letter.
    This is not a test or a false alarm situation we are in!
    And sadly the governments had warnings and other crisis’ in the past 80 years to become well prepared for the eventual pandemic and economic collapse…..
    But government failed due to many political problems of duality of priorities…. mostly, imho, lack of adequate access to higher education and medical for all.
    We have an obligation to ourselves and the future generations on Kauai to set an example of changing the status quo of “ALL ABOUT THE MONEY ” to “ALL ABOUT SUSTAINABLE HEALTH, WEALTH AND HAPPINESS “!
    I trust our young people to create a new world through innovation and science…. you have skills never drempt of when I was your age and I support the work and learning process that is now crucial for all of us to thrive in a culture of multivariable talent.

  5. Rick April 21, 2020 8:48 am Reply

    I would love to see an alternative opinion article to this one. This issue is not black and white. This article is overly simplifying the perspective of the protesters.

  6. WestsideResident April 21, 2020 9:12 am Reply

    Essential worker is any person with children dependents and a mortgage on a home.

  7. Everythingisawesome April 21, 2020 9:15 am Reply

    Was it art school?
    I make decisions based on data, you should too.
    I know that 99% of us will survive this, you should (know this) too.
    See how that works?

  8. JASCILYN April 21, 2020 9:45 am Reply

    Well said ❤

  9. Bryson Rocks April 21, 2020 9:52 am Reply

    Bryson I am rising to give you a standing ovation. excellent. I am honored to share an island with you.

  10. Dan Freund April 21, 2020 10:15 am Reply

    I’ve had enough of this trampling on my rights! And don’t even get me started on stop signs. Where does the government get off telling where, when, and how I can drive the car that I bought with my own money? It’s socialism, that’s what it is. And it’s unconstitutional to boot (just don’t ask me to cite where in the constitution). If you don’t like the fact that I’m putting your life in danger then stay off the road!

    1. Kimo April 21, 2020 1:49 pm Reply

      and I’ll gladly put flowers on your grave for not following the safety guidelines.

      1. manongindashaow0711 April 22, 2020 4:15 pm Reply

        Kimo, I second that!”

  11. Alexandra Stanton April 21, 2020 10:38 am Reply

    Thank you Bryson for being an intelligent and caring young man. My youngest granddaughter graduates from UCSD this june. She too is sad about not seeing a lot of the friends who she may never see again. But she, as well as my other nine grandchildren are all staying home. Like you, they are care about more than just themselves. Thank you again for being such a good young man. Your family must be very proud of you.

  12. Barry Dittler April 21, 2020 12:08 pm Reply

    Well Bryson, you came “home ” to a house and food that you don’t have to work for. You bemoan “missing your friends”. How about the people that are missing rent and mortgage payments, losing their businesses and having a hard time feeding their families ?? Very easy to judge others when you have no skin in the game ! We have had no new cases in over a week, only one “possible” case of community spread. I am not saying to stop all safety measures (social distancing, masks etc.) but the time has come for the Mayor to loosen the reins of our society and begin to let things return to normal, slowly and with great care, but return it must . The rest of the world is seeing this happen slowly, why no movement here on Kauai ?

  13. numilalocal April 21, 2020 12:28 pm Reply

    I wish that one of my neighbors – the ones who keep having all their friends over – would understand the whole concept of STAY AT HOME.

  14. rk669 April 21, 2020 1:58 pm Reply

    Frightened Little Tyke? Live long enough,this is Nothing!
    2Tim 1:7

  15. RG DeSoto April 21, 2020 2:54 pm Reply

    Wake up Bryson…
    RG DeSoto

    Why Central Planning by Medical Experts Will Lead to Disaster
    April 9, 2020
    By Gary M. Galles
    Also published in Mises.org Wed. April 8, 2020

    A great deal of the coverage of the COVID-19 crisis has been apocalyptic. That is partly because “if it bleeds, it leads.” But it is also because some of the medical experts with media megaphones have put forward potentially catastrophic scenarios and drastic plans to deal with them, reinforced by assertions that the rest of us should “listen to the experts,” because only they know enough to determine policy. Unfortunately, those experts don’t know enough to determine appropriate policies.

    Doctors, infectious disease specialists, epidemiologists, etc. know more things about diseases, their courses, what increases or decreases their rate of spread, and so on than most. But the most crucial of that information has been browbeaten into the rest of us by now. Limited and imperfect testing also means that the available statistics may be very misleading (e.g., is an uptick in reported cases real or the result of an increasing rate of, or more accuracy in, testing, which is crucial to determining the likely future course COVID-19?). Further, to the extent that the virus’s characteristics are unique, no one knows exactly what will happen. All of that makes “shut up and listen” advice less compelling.

    More important, however, may be that in making recommendations to address COVID-19, those with detailed knowledge of the disease (the experts we have been told to obey) do not have sufficient knowledge of the consequences of their “solutions” for the economy and society to know what the costs will be. That means that they don’t know enough to accurately compare the benefits to the costs. In particular, because of their relative unawareness of the many margins at which effects will be felt, the medical experts we are being told to follow will likely underestimate those costs. When combined with their natural desire to solve the medical problem, however severe it might get, this can lead to overly draconian proposals.

    This issue has been brought to the fore by the increasing number of people who have begun questioning the likelihood of the apocalyptic scenarios driving the “OMG! We need to do everything that might help” tweetstorms, on the one hand, and those who are emphasizing that “shutting down the economy” is far more costly than planners recognized, on the other.

    Those who have brought up such issues (how long before they are called “COVID deniers”?) have been pilloried for it. Exhibit A is the vilification of President Trump for “ignoring the scientists,” such as the New York Time’s claim that “Trump thinks he knows better than the doctors” after he tweeted that “We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself.”

    One major problem with such attacks is the substantial literature documenting the adverse health effects of worsening economic conditions. For just one example, an analysis of the 2008 economic meltdown in The Lancet estimated that it “was associated with over 260,000 excess cancer deaths in the OECD alone, between 2008–2010.” That is a massive “detail” to ignore in forming policy.

    In other words, the tradeoff is not just a matter of lives lost versus money, as it is often portrayed as being (e.g., New York governor Cuomo’s assertion that “we’re not going to put a dollar figure on human life”). It is a tradeoff between lives lost due to COVID and lives that will be lost due to the policies adopted to reduce COVID deaths.

    Larry O’Connor put this well at Townhall when he wrote:

    Why should the scientific analysis of doctors solely focusing on the spread of the coronavirus carry more weight than the very real scientific analysis of the deadly health ramifications of shutting down our economy? Doesn’t the totality of the data make the argument for a balanced approach to this crisis?

    This issue reminds me of a classic discussion of specialists and planning in chapter 4 of F.A. Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom. “The Inevitability of Planning” is well worth noting today:

    Almost every one of the technical ideals of our experts could be realized…if to achieve them were made the sole aim of humanity.

    We all find it difficult to bear to see things left undone which everybody must admit are both desirable and possible. That these things cannot all be done at the same time, that any one of them can be achieved only at the sacrifice of others, can be seen only by taking into account factors which fall outside any specialism…[which] forces us to see against a wider background the objects to which most of our labors are directed.

    Every one of the many things which, considered in isolation, it would be possible to achieve…creates enthusiasts for planning who feel confident…[of] the value of the particular objective…But it is…foolish to quote such instances of technical excellence in particular fields as evidence of the general superiority of planning.

    The hopes they place in planning…are the result not of a comprehensive view of society but rather of a very limited view and often the result of a great exaggeration of the importance of the ends they place foremost…it would make the very men who are most anxious to plan society the most dangerous if they were allowed to do so—and the most intolerant of the planning of others…there could hardly be a more unbearable—and much more irrational—world than one in which the most eminent specialists in each field were allowed to proceed unchecked with the realization of their ideals.

    Panic has seldom improved the rationality of decision-making (beyond the “fight or flight” reaction to facing a “man-eater,” when to stop and think means certain death). However, much of media coverage has fed panic. But the illogical and intemperate media attacks against those questioning the rationality of draconian “solutions” drown out, rather than enable, objective discussion of real tradeoffs. And if “Democracy dies in darkness,” as the Washington Post proclaims, we should remember that it does not require total darkness. The same conclusion follows when people are kept in the dark about major aspects of the reality they face.
    Gary M. Galles is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute, Professor of Economics at Pepperdine University, and Adjunct Scholar at the Ludwig von Mises Institute.

  16. yes, and.. April 21, 2020 3:42 pm Reply

    “It’s time we put our health first, instead of our ego.” I think it’s a mistake to paint everyone with the same brush. Many people are scared and they are feeling increasingly desperate financially. That is not necessarily ego – it’s fear, and when fear is present rationality can go out the window. Your main argument is well taken, but in order to come through this as a community, still intact, we need compassion and understanding of where people are coming from so that they feel supported when they are told to go home and shelter in place.

  17. Iron Knee April 21, 2020 5:33 pm Reply

    Talk about ego. Wow.

  18. Ann Bjork April 21, 2020 6:50 pm Reply

    It’s time we put our (collective) health first, instead of our (individual) ego(s). Repeat as many times as necessary for it to sink in.

    1. Across the Pond April 22, 2020 11:18 am Reply

      Thank you for sharing that. Too bad a lot of people just refuse to get it.

  19. sunida crites April 22, 2020 7:37 am Reply


    Thank you for caring about others. We all need to take in that health cannot be replaced. Aloha.

  20. Teach your children well April 22, 2020 8:37 am Reply

    Shame on EVERY single one of those who have denigrated this young man in the comments! Put politics aside. The dismissive comments show a complete lack of empathy for what this man just did. He put his heart and soul into composing a well written letter that most of our youth would be enviable of. He shared his emotions with the community and you ripped it apart. Bryson, you should be very proud of yourself for doing the right thing. You are what humans should emulate to be. I’m sorry about your schooling being cut short. I hope that you are not a senior and will be able to return next year to complete your degree. You represent Kauai out in the world of education and you’re doing great. Please keep a positive attitude through all of this.

  21. Across the Pond April 22, 2020 11:17 am Reply

    Bryson, good for you in addressing the situation. Unfortunately, the majority of those who chose to comment on your article are of the ‘island mentality’ types. Can’t blame them though; when you live on a rock in the middle of the ocean, it’s difficult if not impossible to comprehend what’s going on beyond the horizon.

  22. Chris Dahlberg April 22, 2020 1:51 pm Reply

    Aloha Bryson,
    I applaud you for a letter so we’ll written by such a young adult. I was very impressed by your maturity and educated mind. I was also very impressed by the way you talked about health care workers and the fact that our Hospitals are not equipped to handle an outbreak in huge magnitudes. Very Impressive.
    As for the protesters and for the people who write ignorant comments bashing our Mayor, they need to wake up and smell the coffee. Mayor Kawakami is doing a damn good job!! Thank you Mayor!!
    As for the protesters, I would to know how long they have lived here on our Beautiful Island. They can return to where there from and wish they never left. Our health is number one importance!
    Mahalo again Bryson!

  23. rk669 April 22, 2020 2:16 pm Reply

    Hey Bryson, the Sky is falling and your hair is on Fire!

  24. What A Joke April 22, 2020 2:40 pm Reply

    More far left, stink opinions from establishment news puppet, The Garden Island. Editors.. How about giving some opinions from BOTH sides of an issue for once. Disgraceful BS as usual.

  25. manongindashaow0711 April 22, 2020 4:07 pm Reply

    Bryson, “good job!” Don’t worry of the ignorant comments.

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