Switching gears away from fear

Dear Kaua‘i ‘Ohana;

I am heartsick to see so many of our loving and caring citizens so deathly worried about the pandemic, and at the same time we are all watching as our island economy suffers from the effects of the shutdown.

I found more than 100 posts on the County of Kaua‘i Facebook page that spoke of the fear and panic that people felt when they heard that we have (after more than two months without a reported case) eight new COVID cases here on the island of Kaua‘i. People were crying out their concern, and begging our mayor to “please shut down our island again!”

I see a foundational problem in the way that the pandemic issues and statistics are being reported. We are learning only the most dramatic and worrisome facts and reports. Shame on the media and our leaders who are causing people to live in fear. Why are we not hearing much about the very mild cases? Why are the people who had little or no symptoms not being interviewed? People are left with the perception that everyone who contracts the virus will need to be hospitalized and very possibly may die. But this is not the truth.

Can I please offer some encouragement and hopefully calm some of the fears? It is widely understood within the medical community that approximately 90% of the people who contract the virus will have very mild to NO SYMPTOMS at all. The more testing we perform, the more we know that most people (including the new cases on Kaua‘i) have a very-mild reaction to the virus.

We also know that the virus becomes weaker as it mutates. The longer we go and the more healthy and strong people are exposed, the more resilient our population will be. A new case is NOT a cause for alarm. The alarm bells should ring if we have a drastic increase in serious cases or hospitalizations. We need to make sure that we have resources to take care of people, but a simple case is not bad news. Simple, non-threatening cases build herd immunity. Herd immunity is lifelong. Vaccination is only temporary (sadly, it can come with side effects), and never 100% effective.

We do not need to shut down our island economy. We do not need to live in fear. We need to respect those who have very real concerns, and help in any way we can to keep those people safe. Shame on our leaders and government health officials who share only the information that causes fear. They should not be focused on fear. They should focus on the issues that matter most.

Let’s ask the media and our government officials to tell us how we can be stronger and survive this pandemic. Please tell us what habits will make us healthier and more resilient.

Don’t focus on case numbers. Case numbers include all those people who have little or no symptoms. They should tell us the number of hospitalizations, the number of serious complications. They should tell us how many respirators we have available and if any of them are even in use. They should tell us if we are anywhere near running out of hospital beds.

So, who is at risk? Once again, it is well documented (but very rarely a focus of reporting) that those who have a serious reaction to the virus have compromised immune function. If you have ongoing illness, any degenerative conditions, if you are worn out, if you are stressed out, if you suffer from a poor diet, if you haven’t been sleeping — these contributors could allow the virus to progress and cause respiratory distress or related health issues.

Now, let’s look at how we can protect those at risk. We would be much wiser to allow our healthy population to go back to work, allow screened visitors to return to the island, and use our resources from a working economy to support our at-risk citizens. We could work to educate and support immune-building programs. These “Get Strong – Get Healthy” educational programs would benefit all of our citizens, and would reduce susceptibility to all diseases. We can create programs to protect at-risk citizens similar to the early shopping hours, home delivery from nonprofits, and employ more of our faith ministries to make sure that those at risk had everything they need.

Dear Kaua‘i, I hope this makes you feel better. I hope that we can all start to concentrate on what we can do, and start to diminish our fears.


Michele Dillberg is a resident of Koloa.

  1. Tears for Fear June 28, 2020 5:01 am Reply

    Mahalo Michele, very well said.

    More and more people are getting sick of the virus, not from the virus but of the ignorant mislead fear of the virus !

    The media has been the “Chicken Little” of the Virus Is Coming, the Virus Is Coming ! Vicious news reporting, and little information of what is really happening, such as 99% of those exposed or infected with the virus only have little to Zero Symptoms, or need only Bedrest, yet develop immunity every time to the virus, just like the other viruses over the years.

    And what? You never had the flu before?

    Very few understand immunology or viruses, much less even common bacteria, some bacteria and viruses, we need in our bodies.

    And while too many are In livid fear of this virus, this virus also results in immunity for all those who are exposed or infected by it, unless they have pre-existing disease, which apparently are life ending diseases anyway. And so what do you blame? The Common life ending diseases, or the new seasonal flu

    In other words, if you have one of the top 10 life ending Chronic diseases, and you get bit on the arm by a mosquito, but eventually die and the authorities blame the mosquito, or in this case the Covid virus, instead of the disease that kills millions of people annually.

    And if 20 people in Hawaii have died with the virus, out of approximately 1.5 million Hawaii residents, that equals a staggering micro 0.000013 %, or 1 out of every 150,000 of us…and none on Kaua’i.

    With the brief Media mention that those who died had Pre-existing conditions, we know those to mean chronic degenerative diseases that are eventually life ending diseases anyway.

    So there is a very real consideration that: did the people die from the Covid virus or did they die from their long running degenerative disease, while they also just happened to have the Covid virus in them when they died.

    Blame must be clear, are people dying from the virus or with the virus. If someone died while having cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes, yet they also had a bad cold, which is a virus, would it be scientific to say the bad cold killed them, and then shut down whole economies, lock down the population, ruin more lives than the few deaths, and say Bad Colds are a pandemic? Not reliable or need to do the shutdown and lockdown, because people die whether it is a chronic degenerative disease or a virus, or alcohol, tobacco, or drugs ( street or medicinal, happens every day)

    And while people know little about viruses except through the media virus blitz on “bad news”, most people are in livid fear that the virus will surely kill them.

    But that is wrong and wrong to scare people and just as bad if not worse it destroys their incomes that feed their families, and pay their bills and pay rent an mortgages; and if this ruse continues people will lose their homes, and even more businesses will shut permanently.

    And just as bad as Fear of the virus, people are mislead to think that the coming VACCINE, (the magic Bullet, the cure all, the Pill for Every ill) is the wonder drug to Save Us All.

    Wrong, the Vaccine only provides some immunity to the vaccine itself, and not specifically to the virus being feared. People should realize that the Vaccine is a synthetic disease virus being injected into them, the very thing they are trying to avoid.

    People who take the flu vaccine year after year, some still get the flu, the virus, and some even get sick immediately after getting the injection.

    You can fear the virus, but it is extremely rare to kill people, 1 death per 150,000 people.

    It would be wise to fear the vaccine, and instead strengthen your own immune system by not burdening it with junk and fast foods, sugar laden food dosed with chemicals, READ THE FOOD LABLES. Those foods burden the immune system as non nutritive and make one unable to combat invasive virus or bacteria, due to an over burdened immune system.

    With so much sugar additives to our food, most food is really just non-nutritious snacks.

    Main thing do not fear the virus, fear the synthetic disease vaccine.

    Get Healthy! How you say? That’s another lesson. Let’s hear more from Michelle Dilbeck.

  2. Scott Pritchett June 28, 2020 6:09 am Reply

    Very well said……

  3. John Patt June 28, 2020 7:01 am Reply

    Michele, For every place that you use the word “fear” you need to substitute the phrase “common sense.”

  4. james June 28, 2020 7:02 am Reply

    Oh good! Another conspiracy theorist! So entertaining!

  5. Conjecture June 28, 2020 8:25 am Reply

    “We are learning only the most dramatic and worrisome facts and reports. ”
    And, this guest opinion is worrisome conjecture.
    Please TGI printing articles like this ads to the divide.

  6. Kauaidoug June 28, 2020 8:44 am Reply

    Your assertions are full of holes and not factual for the most part. We cannot test and assure that an infected tourist will be detected and detained at this time . From what I have heard and seen it is still a crapshoot for how sick one can get. The myth of youth not being affected is false. In general, young people are not getting sick but some do. In general, children aren’t getting sick but some do.

    What I do agree with is we may have to look at somehow isolating the people who have a greater risk of serious infection, myself among them, instead of hobbling the entire economy. Until we can develop therapeutic measures to mitigate the virus or the vaccine we are hostage and must rely on our social distancing measures. In the meantime try to make those eyes smile from behind the mask. Remember, anyone wearing a mask cares about you!

  7. Joel kauffman June 28, 2020 10:24 am Reply

    Well said. From the CDC website 93% of all deaths were from people with underlying health conditions and the vast majority were elderly. Let’s spend our resources on protecting those people.

    1. Um June 29, 2020 4:33 pm Reply

      Do you not know how viruses work?

  8. Mick June 28, 2020 1:39 pm Reply

    Thank you Michele for allaying fears and sharing some sanity.

  9. Paulo June 28, 2020 2:03 pm Reply

    Thank you for your happy talk Ms Dillberg but that’s all it was.

    Perhaps you would do better skipping Facebook and realize that we have around 73,000 people on Kauai who are being smart and careful while still enjoying life.

    However lately we are getting new cases with one more today (Sunday). Yes we know some cases will be asymptomatic which does not mean they cannot spread the virus regardless of their personal health condition or lack of symptoms.

    You have made several uniformed assumptions.

    People who do become infected have various symptoms which may have nothing to do with how “healthy or sleep deprived” they are.

    You might want to read up on the physically fit patients who’s immune systems are so strong that they go on overload which does more damage to the person than the virus itself.

    Yes we know most people do not die but we do not want a family member to be one that does, nor do we want to be one that survives with lasting respiratory, or other permanent problems. Many of these patients also were healthy and fit before becoming ill.

    We do not know that the virus will become weaker as it mutates, so making a blanket statement like that is pointless and disingenuous.

    “Simple non-threatening cases” do not “build herd immunity.” They spread the virus just like any other case would, with the new resulting cases being anywhere from mild to causing death.

    Shame on you for assuming our leaders and health officials are misinformed and not doing their level best and need you to straighten them out.

    Because our leaders have been diligent and most Kauai residents have cooperated, we have a low caseload. We also are well aware that our ICU hospital beds are not in short supply and if there were to become a shortage we will be the first to know from TGI and our officials communicating to us just as they have been.

    Be safe, but be smart and pay attention.

  10. Lawaibob June 28, 2020 2:30 pm Reply

    Spreading misinformation isn’t the solution.

  11. Dean Lipoff June 28, 2020 5:55 pm Reply


  12. Chas June 29, 2020 4:19 am Reply

    37 total Kaua’i cases now including the original 20 cases, 19 of which were visitors who left the island.

    The remaining to date 18 cases, 1 a resident who returned from Las Vegas some weeks ago and apparently went through the flu healing process somewhere on the island and he and the other 17 new cases have or hopefully will have natural immunity to this virus if their immune systems are allowed to perform in a natural manner without interference. That’s the good news and unless someone interferes with their healing process they will naturally be protected from the next wave of this virus.

    As in all the people who have gotten the virus, and as we know the majority in the upper 90% have either zero to mild symptoms , or needed only bedrest, nature has shown that it needs no help internally in our bodies resolving this virus infection, however it does need no interference.

    In other words, interference by people helping the sick, based on their personal health care education vs. the eons of time that nature has intelligently developed the means to contain viruses and rid them from our bodies, has no compare.

    It is nature carrying on inside our bodies that allows people to have only zero to mild symptoms or need only bedrest, of course this is our immune system at work every day and at every moment of our life protecting us.

    Why the few suffer to the degree they need hospitalization and for those who sadly have and will pass away, the common denominator so far that we know is that those people who are badly impacted from the virus also have pre-existing conditions. At the final moment of life it is difficult to determine which really is the cause of life ending, is it the combination of the pre-existing conditions and their drug therapies, along with the presence of the virus, or is it a single one of these entities.

    It would seem the combination of all 3 is what overwhelms the ability of the body to stay alive.

    The pre-existing conditions we are told are the common chronic degenerative diseases mostly found in advanced stages in the seniors or elderly population along with their prescribed medications.

    While chronic degenerative diseases, along with their prescribed medications, could be looked at as an interference to nature’s ability to “squash” the virus, and so removing these potential interferences would require preventing the chronic degenerative diseases in the first place, and their subsequent medications, this would require early on in life lifestyle changes. And the common denominators would mean the foods we rely on for sustenance and health.

    Lifestyle food changes would be a long term, over a lifetime, of cooperation with nature in ones nutrition and sustenance. This approach is not easy either since our grocery store shelves are filled with sugared snacks. Read the labels.

    Until prevention of disease becomes the standard of lifestyle, to act at least as one preliminary personal method of health care, we will have to contend with some people failing to contend with viruses.

    However, apparently at least the majority of an upper 90 % of people have the means to “beat“ the virus infection, and thus develop natural immunity, this would preclude the need for vaccinations whose Injection of synthetic disease is not the first choice of best benefit to combat virus. While natural immunity is by far the best choice.

    So, it would seem that quarantine and isolation do not allow the immune system o the majority of the population to undergo and experience the natural path to self immunity by preventing healthy people from first getting virus exposure, then infection, then the immune response, which matches immune defense cells specifically with the virus cells to render the virus cells incapable of harming people. The body’s natural response to any foreign invasive virus, such as CoVid19, (a relative of SARS we are told, Southeast Asia Respiratory Syndrome), allows for an over-production of specific immune cells, and leaves an abundance of these, our own immune cells in the body, that act as first line of defense when, and if in case, the virus returns, as in annually. That is nature’s way of self immunity, some even lasting a lifetime of immunity.

    We need that immunity and we need to respect it, and not interfere with our own natural path to immunity.

    Since it seems it has not been described in local media, would someone please explain what ISOLATION means in the case of this virus on Kauai?

    Does it mean being brought to the hospital and being made to stay there until you are over the flu?

    Or does it mean you just stay at home until you are well, or at least without symptoms?

    Or does it mean being taken away, whether with or without ones permission, as in against ones will, and put in a building that houses other isolated patients, making them stay in rooms either singly or with others until one has no symptoms or + tests?

    Has locked down come to mean locked up?

    And what if the locked up have only zero to mild symptoms or need only bedrest ?

    Are the isolated people forced to take prescription drugs even though they may not want them?

    It seems like fear is going a little too far when pre-existing conditions, that burden people who have the virus, are preventable in the long run.

    It would seem to show now that it is time for a wake up call about people sliding down as to their health into chronic degenerative diseases early in their life, much of which caused by junk and fast food, sugared snacks, chemicals in our foods, and highly poisonous farm chemicals, all of which are a disrespect to nature, the same nature we as humans have relied on since time began.

    It appears taking the natural path is still the way to go.

  13. Bart June 29, 2020 3:16 pm Reply

    Chaz, I’m right beside you on that “natural” path we’ve been traveling the last millions of years.

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