Feeling relatively safe for a few reasons

As the planet battles the COVID-19 pandemic, we here on Kaua‘i can feel relatively safe for a few reasons. First and foremost, our primary safety barrier is the Pacific Ocean moat that surrounds us, guaranteeing a wide social-distancing area between us and other large land masses. What has helped to keep us safe has been the swift and decisive action taken by our mayor, Derek Kawakami.

Of course, rules and guidelines are only as good as those who are sworn to enforce them and by those who abide by the mandates because they care about everyone’s well being. But, we must give credit where it is due and congratulate the mayor for his diligence in keeping on top of the news, analyzing the changing dynamics of the disease and acting in accordance with what is in the best interest of us, the citizens of Kaua‘i.

Although you may be affected in ways that you don’t think are apt for the situation, it’s hard to deny that the mayor has done things that benefit the majority and without malice towards any one group.

The most important of his moves has been the nighttime quarantine, the wearing of masks and implementing the 14-day quarantine to try to deter tourists from coming here. Even though our island economy revolves around tourism (including both my wife’s and my job), we all need to understand that the sacrifice we give now is in an effort to keep our numbers down and to prevent community spread from taking hold as it has on O‘ahu, Big Island and Maui. If we can continue to self quarantine, staying at home as much as possible, we have the best chance of stopping the disease from needlessly taking island residents’ lives.

To those of you who are having a difficult time with money, food, shelter, etc., I sincerely hope that you are able to get the help that you need through the public-assistance process and with the help of family and friends. If you are weathering the situation well, there is no reason for you to balk at the simple requests being asked of you.

We are going stir crazy, feeling bored, getting lazy, missing friends, gaining weight/getting out of shape. But just be thankful that we are so lucky to just have this to deal with instead of what is going on in so many big cities around the world.

I’d like to send a big shout-out to all our first responders, (police, fire and EMTs), health-care professionals and to all those who keep the food moving to be within our reach. You truly are our heroes!

Thank you Mayor Kawakami for your regular updates, for telling us the truth about the number of coronavirus victims on Kaua‘i and for your foresight in fighting the pandemic BEFORE it became an emergency. But mostly, I want to send out a huge mahalo to you for leading by example.


Jack Custer is a resident of Kalaheo.

  1. RG DeSoto April 24, 2020 7:47 am Reply

    Good suck-up rant, Jack.
    As Marie Antoinette said: “let them eat cake” (The phrase was first attributed to Marie Antoinette in 1789, supposedly having been callously uttered during one of the famines that occurred in France during the reign of her husband, Louis XVI.)
    Well, our illustrious leader, on his Instagram account, encouraged us to make ice cream, other treats and blithely demonstrated the fine art of arm farting. While he collected a full taxpayer funded salary, others who were commanded to “stay at home”, limped along with no work, no income and a chronically flawed State unemployment system. Yes, Jack he is our savior.
    RG DeSoto

    1. mina April 24, 2020 10:00 pm Reply

      RG, you need to spend a couple of days in New York, where this monster has taken root and is killing people left and right. Your short sightedness doesn’t see the danger of this thing now. You haven’t seen the body bags piling up in hospital parking lots nor watched your loved one’s suffocate to death from viral induced pneumonia. It only takes one carrier of the virus in the right spot at the right time to start an avalanche of cases. Think of the virus as a robber with a gun pointed at you saying, “Your money or your life.” If you think of that as two options instead of only one, then maybe you are the kind who would rather get your brains blown out instead of missing a few payments on your lifted pick-up truck…or die from a dangerous virus because you desperately needed to fleece a few more tourists.

      1. Linda D Peavy May 17, 2020 1:12 am Reply

        Angry? Bitter? Uninformed? I’d say all, Mina. You are a sad, judgemental, and prejudiced person. Your outrageous post is an embarrassment. You have no idea what you are talking about in regards to Covid-19. You’re just brainwashed minion. Good thing you’re on Kauai where you can’t do much harm.

  2. Valerie Weiss April 24, 2020 8:02 am Reply

    Cheers to Mayor Kawakami!

  3. Kauaidoug April 24, 2020 9:59 am Reply

    Amen, well said.

  4. Charlie Chimknee April 24, 2020 8:21 pm Reply

    This duping of the public has presented us all with the opportunity to solve the greatest world puzzle and mystery since Pres. Kennedy.

    International intrigue, phony testing false + and – ‘s, bloated numbers, no comparison to the ongoing decade after decade other Pan and Epi demics, zillions out of work worldwide, people losing their homes, Their jobs, cars, businesses, stress divorces, domestic violence, Will it go violent…protests already brewing, and allegations that our own of the NIH CREATED the virus in Wuhan, China…after his east coast lab guys were shut down for fooling with biochemical warfare…

    Yes this mystery widens as new evidence and players are called into the game…who will make billions on the vaccine, who will be indicted for fraud, treason, murder in the 100’s of thousands…

    It’s started already the mystery novel game of life and death.

    Add a clue each day till its figured out…have fun And binge on your investigation…who will be the economic winners while too many will be losers…take a loan and go into bigger debt, there’s no coincidence, nasty people ruining your life and getting away with it.

    Provide a clue each day until there is a winner…!

    If you find an old old dog on the side of the road…dead…and it is covered in flys…did the flys kill the dog or was it old age…who decides what was the trigger that killed the PSYCHOVid-19 victims…old sick people covered in multiple chronic degenerative diseases and some same old flu virus all over them…and you discount the diseases and all their toxic remedy prescriptions and blame it on a little virus from Wuhan.

    Do the people die of old age, pre-existing disease, bottles and bottles of prescriptions with the virus…or do they die of the virus…and who can make the definitive decision of what was the final Aloha in ones life…while the millions and multi millions have NO SYMPTOMS, MILD SYMPTOMS, OR ONLY BEDREST…

    Let’s play the deadly game of name that which killed.

    Why do some scientists claim the PsychoVid Is not capable of killing when the vaccine drivers claim otherwise in the face of no exposure no immunity.

    Vaccine makes vaccine partial immunity, but no immunity to the disease they’re making the vaccination for…

    What fools the mortals be…just the way they like it…take a free vaccine shot and get a free trackable microchip…get a fever…satellite will send the ambulance to haul you away…

    Who can send in a clue to the flu in the comments…?

  5. Everythingisawesome April 25, 2020 3:40 pm Reply

    You forgot the most obvious reason to feel safe: LAIRD LIVES HERE!

  6. gmasuda April 25, 2020 6:14 pm Reply

    Sad, some people need a one way ticket to somewhere else, where they hopefully can cope. Or call our hotlines. I’m hearing a cry for mental help,

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