Letters for Thursday, April 23, 2020

Headaches come from government, media

Since the mayor sees a continual need to restrict people with his new laws to conform, it seems by the pictures of a protest in Lihu‘e on Saturday the 18th that his laws and fines proposed are a waste of time. All of the protesters had no masks in public and were all deliberately too close for comfort.

Why make laws and restrictions if there is not going to be enforcement of such laws? I think Government and the media are what’s making our lives a big headache. Once again it’s government trying to save us from ourselves with threats that boil down to be nothing more than words of fear mongering with no enforcement. It’s no wonder people don’t comply.

Steve Martin, Wailua

Approach COVID like we do rabies

Hawai‘i is void of the rabies virus. Completely. Our pets don’t need rabies vaccinations unless one moves to the mainland. Bringing a pet to Hawai‘i requires extensive blood work, vaccinations, and a 120-day quarantine. Does anyone really feel violated or have civil liberties dashed because of it?

Not likely. If Hawaii can successfully keep the virus, rabies, from taking root — for decades of time — then surely we can manage some kind of protocol for people coming from the mainland as well. Can’t we? Vaccinations when available, a time line of home-based quarantine? Why not? If we can do that for Fido, surely we can require safety measures for anyone not from here. We have the skill — if we only have the will.

Cheryl Ann Farrell, Koloa

We can get back to normal quickly

In the past 10 days (April 13-22), Kauai has had no new cases of Covid-19. As of Arpil 22, there was only one active case on Kauai.

We are almost completely free of Covid-19. We can now take a different approach. All the rules can now be aimed at keeping the virus from being imported to Kauai. The rest of us can get back to work, school, etc. This approach would be like what we have done regarding rabies for many years. To bring a dog into Hawaii requires tests, paperwork, control, and extra fees. We can now do the same thing with people coming to Kauai.

Everyone would be carefully tested before they come on the island. Arrivals would be allowed if they are tested and show antibodies for Covid-19 at least 14 days before coming. Or, if they have no antibodies, they could come if they are tested for infection on arrival and wait in a secure quarantine hotel until the test results show negative. For additional safety, we could require that they are also tested with negative results for infection before they even get on the airplane.

Certain resorts could be set up to quarantine new arrivals. The visitors waiting for test results would pay for the tests, the resort, their food to be delivered to their door, and maybe also the fees to the County for patrolling the resort. We also may need some kind of safety measures for products being shipped or flown in.

When Kauai is free of the virus, it will be a double paradise. Many will want to come and have long stays here. Kauai could be completely safe and have an economy that is back to normal.

As other Hawaiian Islands become free of Covid-19, they could adopt the same strategy.

Mark Beeksma, Koloa

  1. Major Lee Hung April 23, 2020 3:15 am Reply

    This quarantine has affect your brain if you truly think people will come here if they have to be treated like animals are.

    1. Mark Beeksma April 23, 2020 8:59 pm Reply

      Major, I think many will come. But, even if not that many come, we are better off with this approach than we are now because restaurants, schools, etc. can be reopened.

    2. community advocate April 24, 2020 7:15 am Reply

      I truly don’t care what people think about testing before they come to Kaua’i. My concern is for the people who live here, have their jobs, families and roots here. If we are covid free and you want to come here, you need to prove you’re not carrying it. People will come no matter what. Just as I may ask you to wipe your feet or remove your shoes before coming into my home, we, the residents of Kaua’i, ask you to make sure your “your feet are clean” before stepping foot on our shores.

  2. Paulo April 23, 2020 8:50 am Reply

    Opening our state and Kauai to visitors based on testing alone, without a viable vaccination requirement, will not guarantee our safety. Tests are all we have currently. They are needed and they are helpful but after testing negative it’s possible to pick up the virus immediately or any day after.

    Until we have a vaccine, we are not out of the woods.

  3. RG DeSoto April 23, 2020 4:17 pm Reply

    All this talk about vaccines is absolute nonsense. It’s been 40 years since the HIV thing came along….there is and will be no effective vaccine. Just other treatments to prolong life. Same for the SARS virus.
    Moreover, despite flu vaccines the annual death toll has not been reduced. If you are immune compromised it is your and your family’s responsibility to protect you. This holds for the Corona-virus. It is also far less fatal than everyone believes. The reason is vastly more people have contracted it without any symptoms–they are asymptomatic.
    We should simply let this thing run its course granting 99.8% of people immunity. The compromised need to take care.
    RG DeSoto

    1. Otto April 25, 2020 4:11 am Reply

      I try to ignore the Soto, but once again I can’t let this pass up: He is advocating letting everyone get the virus, which at the moment has a nearly 6% death rate in the USA. So that 99.8% immunity is (while unproven) dangerous as it is left for the survivors – those who don’t die. That 6% would definitely be higher is the medical system is overburdened. Additionally, if the system is overburdened for this virus, it won’t be able to respond sufficiently for all those other issues – strokes, heart attacks, cancer, etc.. (All things elderly people like the Soto should be worried about)

      Soto, if you want more people to die, don’t wish it on the locals!

      1. Mark Beeksma April 28, 2020 4:51 pm Reply

        New York testing has indicated that there are 10 times as many Covid-19 cases as previously reported. The Standford study indicated that there are 50 times as many cases. Therefore, your 6% death rate is really either 0.6% or 0.12%, depending whether the NY or the Stanford numbers are correct.

  4. Ron Rodarte April 23, 2020 5:48 pm Reply

    Kauai Island can open safely but 1 thing is clear – testing for every arriving passenger must be a mandatory requirement, and then a follow up test within days after arrival – and a test before returning to the home airport.
    Macau/Hong Kong opened their airports after their Covid-19 infections leveled off. Macau and all of the hotels and casinos are closed now. I took the last plane out of Macau on March 15, one of 4 pasengers allowed off to return to Bangkok the night they shut down all flights because I had a Coronavirus test the day before in Bangkok. The only way to insure a safe restart is to slowly allow guests to Kauai to arrive in numbers that cannot overload the medical systems, the highways, and the mess over-tourism has made the Hawaiian Islands. Test guests before they get on the plane, test them here, and test them before they board for their return flight.

  5. Mark Beeksma April 23, 2020 9:01 pm Reply

    Paulo, I understand that you can catch it after the test. But, my suggestion was to test them after they arrive and quarantine them until the test results are known. If they are on Kauai, and no one on Kauai has the virus, who are they going to catch it from?

  6. Doug April 24, 2020 9:29 am Reply

    My suggestion would be for the County to temporarily hire the people at the Humane Society who deal with importing animals from the mainland. They are very professional and really know their stuff, they could help the county set up a plan for anyone coming in to our island in a heartbeat! Then the only issue would be enforcement, I suggest using the National Guard (since they are already involved in this) to do the follow up checks to ensure compliance. An extra tourist fee would cover the cost.

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