Don’t reopen Kaua‘i yet

Aug. 1, 2020 a date to reopen Kaua‘i or begin practicing safe distancing funeral procession? It has become plainly clear as to how the Corona-19 Virus is spread – uncontrolled human contact. Not wearing masks, not socially distancing, not following the science guided directions.

We’ve see on the mainland crowded beaches, the wide open bars, restaurants without any social distancing, boardwalks with people shoulder to shoulder, political rallies as though it was 2017, all without masks and not a care in the world. No one caring about anyone else and all behaving as though they were immortal. Well, they aren’t and neither are we here on Kauai.

We done a good job here. We don’t need to become a Petrie dish in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. We don’t need to invite the virus here with Aloha. Do we have the infrastructure to monitor the tourists who ignored rules in their own cities, counties and states? Do you think they are going to come here and follow our rules? You think they’re going to hangout in hotel rooms for 6 days? They couldn’t even stay in their own home for a day. No, they’re coming here to escape the hell that’s been created around them. Covid-19 test and 72 hrs. later Aloha Hawaii! How long before fake negative test forms show up on the internet? Anyone ever actually read a doctors signature and then know their name?

This is recipe for disaster and death. Just look at the numbers in Arizona, California (where a high % of our tourists arrive from), Texas, Florida … Do we care about Kapuna? Do we care about one another?

More 130,000 dead! Do you know how ventilators are on Kaua‘i? Try 8 (unless some got quietly brought in and no one is talking about them) reserve yours now.

It should be more than clear to any reasonable person by now that the White House is never going to provide any actual leadership during this pandemic. It is up to citizens of Kaua‘i and the citizens of the Great State of Hawai‘i to demand that our leaders act in the best interest of the people of Hawaii.

Yes, this is difficult, stressful, economically a disaster, emotionally draining – now add in deaths by the hundreds. Is that going to relieve difficulty. Is the agonizing death of a loved one not emotionally draining? Do you want a parent or grandparents to die alone with tubes down their throats. But not to worry it’s no longer just Kapuna. Now, it’s also young children, high schoolers, millennials, and X generation. Those who survive may suffer life long lingering health issues.

The islands do not have to become the Petrie dish of the Pacific. If we join together and make it clear to our elected representatives that we don’t want Kauai or the state of Hawaii to make the same fatal errors that so many other states made.


Lawrence Hornbeck is a resident of Kilauea.

  1. citizen July 14, 2020 2:55 am Reply

    This is fear mongering. It is nonlethal to more than 99% of people. 40% are asymptomatic. We can let visitors in with a decent pretest plan. This is about weak leaders and scared sheep.

    1. C H July 14, 2020 8:06 pm Reply

      Totally agree! Others have re-opened, like Alaska safely. It can be done with competent leadership.

    2. loladog July 15, 2020 4:04 pm Reply

      So, is Covid-19 harmless in your opinion if infected persons are asymptomatic?

      Asymptomatic carriers infect many, leading to your parents and grandparents who have a higher lethality rate.


    3. Reina July 15, 2020 11:07 pm Reply

      Your kidding right??

  2. Richard DeTucci July 14, 2020 3:04 am Reply

    I completely agree with the article. My wife and I lived and worked on Kauai from 2005-2012. We know many good people on the island. We very much miss the values of the culture. Now we live inFlorida. It is a mess. Keep us out.

    1. Thomas July 15, 2020 4:31 am Reply

      Your really not going to mention rioters.?? Bc they congregated with total disregard for social distancing. This is a politically motivated article

      1. loladog July 15, 2020 4:14 pm Reply

        Wear your masks, don’t follow the example of the President who does not.

  3. nobody July 14, 2020 7:39 am Reply

    This unfortunate delay in reopening will accelerate the “citizen swap” that’s been occuring on Kauai for quite some time. With the $600 UI federal bailout ending in two weeks many citizens who have lived paycheck to paycheck depending on tourism soon will be facing the option of relocating to the mainland to financially care for their families. Kauai citizens paying attention may have already noticed some of your new malihini neighbors. (Notice any tourist looking people with dogs?) Once the quarantine is lifted more malahinis will flood in to relocate. Housing shortages will only worsen.
    I see some of our politicians, not all, are aware of this migration. Not sure what we can do besides support tourism until we find some other means of supporting us.
    Oh yea, the new malihini citizens come with money, no need jobs. They want to save Kauai from tourism. Yep, go figure.

  4. Reina July 14, 2020 8:26 am Reply

    Thank you Lawrence for writing this.
    This is exactly what people need to understand.
    As you said we are a petri dish in the middle of the ocean there is NO ROOM FOR ERRORS

    Everybody is financially struggling we all know this everybody is.

    If only they could bring more money and to help support the businesses.

    But this virus is no joke.

    And that’s exactly what tourist want to do they are dying to get out of the hell that they are coming from. And they will not honor our rules they don’t care what they leave behind when they return to mainland.

    They are not following rules on Mainland do you think they’re going to follow rules here?

    We dont have the CAPACITY in our hospital as you said witha a few ventilators and beds?
    I tell you it’s game over if they let tourists in.

    I’m thankful that you and other folks are posting these things and reaching out to everybody because this is a really big big big deal.
    Our Island should all join together and protest opening tourism with our Mayor Kawakamis support.

    Mahalo and bless the island.

    1. Da Shadow July 15, 2020 2:36 am Reply

      we should be asking why our “leaders” haven’t increased the number of venilators/capabilities to accommodate potential patients.
      Those of us who work for a living would sure like to earn a paycheck again.

    2. Kauaidoug July 15, 2020 11:40 am Reply

      You got it, Reina. Once the genie got out and we had a major outbreak it would be lockdown, tourists fleeing to their own Covid19 infested states, that’s why they were here, returned deposits. We must stay the course!

  5. Hirondelle July 14, 2020 8:28 am Reply

    One of the challenges everyone faces for the future is the lack of widespread, accurate and timely returned Covid 19 testing. A 72 hour test turnaround remains an out of reach dream all over the US. Who is going to risk that test result coming back just one day late, after the booked and paid for airplane has left without them? Who will pay in advance for lodgings they might never use? I would love to spend another winter in Kauai, but I don’t want to bring infection to the island or take up a scarce ICU bed and ventilator because I picked up something on an airplane or brought it with me after a false negative test.

  6. Mailman Mike July 14, 2020 9:22 am Reply

    I agree with Lawrence 100%. I am 70yrs old.

  7. Rick July 14, 2020 9:38 am Reply

    Not sure why anyone would want to reserve a ventilator… There is a vast amount of information that this topic. The fact that people still believe this virus is VERY DEADLY and SUPER CONTAGIOUS means that they get the majority of their information from “the news” this is sad. Please read more studies. (not CNN’s take on the studies) Read them for yourself. Thanks.

  8. Doug July 14, 2020 10:13 am Reply

    Well written Lawrence, but it’s too late, Ige has already opened the floodgates. American has already said that their direct flight from LAX to Lihue is still going to happen on August 1st. Other airlines are “scaling back” but still intending to ramp up. We will be overwhelmed on the 1st as the tourists will just come anyway, as they don’t care about our residents and certainly won’t quarantine (see: Miami Beach). Unless the Mayor figures out some way to corral them at the airport, it’s a done deal. Get ready Kauai!

  9. Andy Logan July 14, 2020 10:19 am Reply

    As a lover of Kauai, I totally agree with your position. We desperately want to be on Kauai, though we’ve stayed in California and have been happy knowing Hawaii and Kauai have done well with containment. California also did well in the spring and now is at grave risk. Sadly, many don’t wear masks, even indoors here. As a surfer, I am at the beach here and see masks about 5-10 per cent of the time. Young people are the worst offenders, as they think they are at less risk, yet they don’t appreciate they carry the virus to others more at risk and they may have health complications later in life. We don’t know much about the course of this disease. I wish people were more thoughtful about the risks and disciplined about masks, but they simply aren’t, so if Kauai opens, the virus will make landfall and it will endanger all the residents. If I were the Mayor, I’d fight for funding and ride out the hard economic times rather than risk the health of the residents. Like the floods, the virus doesn’t care about politics or human behavior. It’s coming, so please protect yourselves before it’s too late. New Zealand is the model to follow, not the United States.

    1. Rick July 15, 2020 4:47 pm Reply

      If New Zealand is the model to follow then we shouldn’t be wearing masks. ps. I totally agree by the way…

    2. Lizzy July 15, 2020 10:51 pm Reply

      Thank you Andy

      This is not about racism, this is not about having money and not caring about the economy of those who are struggling.
      CNN does hype up a lot of things but this is NO HYPE. We simply can NOT handle this virus right now or ever. Take a look at the ER rooms across mainland and the mayhem that is ensuing there with the sick people everywhere(dying) and the medical teams who are totally overwhelmed can not keep up and overburdened. No Hoax folks.
      And have you people noticed the new people trickling in and no quarantining going on?? Anytime we see people going about freely and you clearly know that person is not a local then confront them and ask them how the quaranteening is going?

      We face a huge scary crisis comin up here. The bigger problem as another person posted
      If Kauai was infested with Corona do you think Disneyland would let us in with open arms?
      I dont Tink so.
      Another great point made is that the young people coming over mingle with the young people here and they bring it to their families and kupuna and there you have it

      We really need to do the right thing and as Kauai Dog says Stay The Course.


  10. Kathryn July 14, 2020 4:23 pm Reply

    Please no more protests that’s one of the reasons everyone is in the mess we are in right now. Parents need to educate their children .Everywhere you go on this island you see a lot of kids hanging together, no masks, no social distancing. I remember when school was going to be on line all the kids were together in groups. It’s sad that race is being used and a Dog?Everyone has a right to live where ever they want , government in Kauai can set the rules for more affordable housing.We all our living this together lets do it by educating ourselves and others.

  11. C H July 14, 2020 8:05 pm Reply

    Why punish tourists for what the locals are not doing. The last surge on Kauai was all locals not behaving. And flight attendants (Hawaii residents) not behaving. Why is all the focus on not allowing tourists to come back, when it is unproven that they are the cause of the problems Kauai has been faced with recently. You can’t look at California and other states and say, thats why you can’t come here. Its not the same thing at all.

    I wonder if the author, like so many nay-sayers, has a job. Because a lot of people are being devastated with no income and no prospects.

    I agree with ‘Citizen’.

  12. Tim turnbout July 14, 2020 9:03 pm Reply

    Well, I think this should go two ways. Keep tourists off kauai but at the same time keep people from kauai off the mainland. If we don’t have the right to come there, you shouldn’t be allowed over here. The upside is, most of us that frequent the island and respect the culture have now lost respect for most of the locals after reading your hateful garbage about tourists. You all seem to forget, kauai is in the United States of America whether you like it or not. You do not own the entire island as much as a lot of you would like to think. So you stay over there because your not welcome over here. Good luck keeping schools, fire, police and social services when all the tourists decide enough is enough with your racist anti tourist bs. Aloha in kauai means we hate visitors plain and simple.

    1. Rick July 15, 2020 4:59 pm Reply

      As someone being born and raised on Kauai it is so sad to see some of the events and things that have been said by some locals….. These people think they have Aloha but they don’t. True aloha doesn’t allow fear to dictate nothing! True Aloha will treat people with dignity and respect regardless of how they treat us. Period.

    2. Reina July 15, 2020 11:03 pm Reply

      For Tim, and Terry

      Kauai doesn’t hate tourists. And we all understand our ‘constitutional rights’ to travel,
      What is being misunderstood….

      is that there is a Time and a Place for everything.
      Travel and rights and money mean nothing if your dead.

      That is the point that is being made.

  13. Terry Hlivko July 15, 2020 4:08 am Reply

    Contrary to Gov. Ige ruling, he is in VIOLATION of the Constitution of the United States of America and should be taken to court. Supreme Court says so.
    Sweeping restrictions on travel violate the fundamental constitutional right to travel. We live in a country made up of 50 states. Before the Constitution was ratified, vicious rivalries between states led to trade wars and other restraints on freedom. The Constitution put a stop to all of that by guaranteeing freedom of commerce and motion between the states. The Supreme Court has held that the Constitution protects the right of individuals to travel between states. This right to travel can be limited only when necessary to achieve a compelling state interest.

    1. Wha? July 15, 2020 3:13 pm Reply

      The Supreme Court has, more than once, upheld the constitutionality of health related emergency actions like this.

  14. steven July 15, 2020 8:53 am Reply

    The value of real estate is dropping. There will be a shortfall when new tax assessments are done. Will the County raise the rate? Cut services? Put off projects that were never started for reasons we will never understand. The only secure jobs are state and county government employment. Let all the tourist-related employees go back to the mainland. Government employees can certainly bail out a sinking ship. Affordable housing? There may be lots of housing avaiable.

    1. ch July 16, 2020 10:59 am Reply

      You are wrong – they just adjust the tax rate to collect the same or higher property taxes even If property values drop. Very convenient.

      And you make the major point – the decision makers – are all employed – think about it. Government works are all still employed – how are they impacted? Where is the lowest unemployment in the state? – Honolulu. Where is the highest – Kauai north shore by University of Hawaii numbers – 96% unemployed.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.