Letters for Sunday, August 23, 2020

Quarantine all visitors together

I have felt safe on this island since the quarantine started and had no problem obeying the rules.

But now I just found out what quarantine means and I’m a little concerned.

If someone flies over and stays at your house, the visitor has to quarantine in your house (not a lockout unit), with everyone, and can’t leave, but everyone else can leave every day.

I hope someone will clarify this.

I personally don’t think this is a good idea. I feel like an idiot for telling people who want to come to visit us that we would all have to quarantine for two weeks with them in our house so as not to spread the virus. Or they would have to go to a special hotel.

I don’t know why with all the issues with cheaters and finding loopholes, we don’t just make EVERYONE stay at a special quarantine hotel with access to food and drink in their rooms and no leaving your room for the beach or the pool, so you don’t contaminate the workers there.

Why are we making quarantine like a vacation, when it’s quarantine? If the tourists are all in one place we use less manpower trying to keep track of them. We could use different hotels on different parts of the island with super-strict rules. Then we will know when tourists are out in public that they are OK to be there. And we can share our aloha again and feel safe.

Debi Dill, Wailua

Stop inbound flights

So far we seem to be doing OK here on Kaua‘i. BUT we really need to slow/stop inbound flights. Protect our island.

Blake Robeson, Wainiha

Bring back white-goods recycling

There are over 6,000 white metal appliances discarded and replaced yearly on Kaua‘i.

These can become a source of new jobs to help replace some of the losses from our obsolete tourist industry.

They can be refurbished and resold at a profit.

This can be accomplished simply, by the county and small business people working together.

It would be economically and environmentally beneficial.

This program was created after Hurricane ‘Iniki by JoAnn Yukimura, the mayor of Kaua‘i at that time. Please reinstate the recycling program that she established.

Tosh E (Tashi) MacLaine, Kapa‘a

  1. ruthann jones August 23, 2020 5:54 am Reply

    Blake…so those hotel employees who have to handle dishes, food and have to clean up after these guests are not in danger of contracting covid? Better idea to continue preventing tourists from coming to Kauai for now…the island is doing so well.

  2. Kenneth Conklin August 23, 2020 6:27 am Reply

    What a great idea Debi Dill! Round up all the incoming tourists and force them into a concentration camp for 14 days. No foahget da bob wiah

  3. Jeremy August 23, 2020 7:13 am Reply

    You are correct about the quarantine rules. They don’t make sense, fortunately for the ones who made the rules got lucky because we find out later asymptomatic spread COVID is very low. However knowing the quarantine Restrictions has been flawed the entire time And we’ve only had a few cases in 6 months. 56 cases in over 180 days on kauai. You should actually be confident that the virus is much less dangerous than previously believed. As we stand today if you get COVID you have a 99.992% of surviving. The odds do not get much better than that regarding anything in life. If you’re scared stay home. If you are at risk take necessary precautions to stay safe. And if you’re like the rest of us we need our rights given back to open up businesses tourism included and live our lives. This is in fact our god given right.

    1. Michele Dillberg August 23, 2020 5:50 pm Reply

      Very well said Jeremy – and compassionately written. Sadly, our leaders and our media has not given us anything but fear to base our actions or manage our risks. Debi Dill is clearly living in fear – Poor thing! I hope she reads the statistics you quoted, and does more research if she needs further documentation. Shame on our Governor and Mayor for not sharing these important facts. We all need to be able to plot our path forward, and allow healthy people – who rightfully should have the opportunity to manage their health, and gauge the very low risk (for the great majority) – to go back to work! Let’s welcome visitors with the proper precautions (not concentration camp!!), let’s stamp out fear with intelligent actions.

    2. Citation needed August 24, 2020 11:19 am Reply

      That is a straight up lie. Where did you get such misinformation?

  4. james August 23, 2020 7:38 am Reply

    Debi; Intelligent people like yourself have been begging for this quarantine solution, similar to your suggestion, for months without any response from the Governor. My guess is that the powers-that-be don’t want to piss off the tourism industry and tourists. So, Kauai residents risk catching Covid because the State refuses to strengthen the quarantine strategy. I guess it shows us where we residents stand in the scheme of things.

  5. manongindashadow0711 August 23, 2020 8:10 am Reply

    The best reasonable way to quarantine returning /visitors. TGI letter, “Quarantine all visitors together” author Debi Dill on 23AUG20.
    Ofcourse, “our leaders won’t listen!” It not their idea.
    Also, same day TGI letter, “Stop Inbound Flights” author Blake Roberson.

  6. Everythingisawesome August 23, 2020 8:51 am Reply

    “I don’t know why with all the issues with cheaters and finding loopholes, we don’t just make EVERYONE stay at a special quarantine hotel with access to food and drink in their rooms and no leaving your room for the beach or the pool…”

    Sounds almost exactly like the intent of the state’s rules. If a visitor isn’t part of your household, they shouldn’t be in your home until they complete a quarantine. Though poorly written, as is often the case with official documents in this state, one of the rules per
    https://www.hawaiitourismauthority.org/news/alerts/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/ is “only people who usually live with you should be in your home”. I say poorly written because the intended audience is the traveler, not the host.

    “We could use different hotels on different parts of the island…” Not sure what “different parts of the island” would accomplish…but, hotels are private property. IF the county had the authority to require a hotel to accept and quarantine travelers, they could do the same with your apartment or house. They don’t. And we would never want them to.

    Is your concern that you might catch it? Do you feel ‘unsafe’?? We are on an island that (1) is actively and effectively controlling access of visitors (2) has fewer than 10(?) known active cases with (3) no(?) hospitalizations and (4) the only Kauai ‘resident’ to die was on the mainland. You won’t catch this by simply standing next to someone at Costco or walking on the beach, mask or no-mask.

    Another island newspaper shows almost daily the number of ‘visitor’ arrivals and how many continue on from HNL to other islands. Although this number does not include direct flights to Kauai, the number of visitors is already essentially zero on Kauai.

  7. jl August 23, 2020 8:58 am Reply

    Excuse me, but you are assuming all visitors/tourist ARE infected and will CONTAMINATE the residents of Kauai? As a person who has visited Kauai every year since 1982 I would not even think of coming without a negative COVID-19 test 48-72 hours prior to arrival, and yes, I would even be willing to take a SECOND test at an approved testing site on island and quarantine while waiting for the results- but the attitude of many residents on Kauai is really getting offensive. Why wouldn’t you want people with negative test results to come and stay, rent a condo or home and peacefully contribute to the local economy? I would wear a mask, social distance, wash my hands and of course be respectful of the beautiful Kauai I love – I wouldn’t trash a sacred beach or drive my car over burial grounds. You do realize that only a few of the 56 confirmed cases (51 active) came from people on the mainland, and many came from Oahu? I love and cherish Kauai, own a home there, pay the highest rate of property taxes. I am sick to my stomach reading the news, taking in the anti-visitor hostility that is brewing and local government focusing effort on crazy schemes like ‘resort bubble’s’ vs. making private rental homes/condos available to visitors so they can social distance, make meals in, and help Kauai business claw back. I pray for the return of Aloha and miss beautiful, beloved Kauai.

    1. Rampartview August 24, 2020 8:59 am Reply

      Thank you so much for that wonderful note. We also visit every year but do not own a home on the Island. We have never disrespected the place or the people. We attend local functions with respect and pay the high rental rates. We have become friends with people and look forward to seeing them each time we return.
      Now we are feeling not welcomed. We have canceled our trip this year. The people that we acquaint with miss income when people like us do not travel to your island. We travel to the Island because you are unique but still a part of our country. And you are a part of the USA like it of not.
      We hope that you will return to some of your senses and understand that without the visitors the Island cannot survive and none of us want to see abandoned homes and businesses decaying before our eyes.

      1. Jamie August 24, 2020 2:59 pm Reply

        The reality is, covid has exposed the true feelings of the locals to those of us that visit very frequently. They don’t care that we respect the land, contribute to the economy and support the spirit. They only care about their small country called kauai. I for one will never return after the things I have read in this paper. In my opinion, no one from kauai should be allowed to come to the mainland….. kauai will soon become Jamaica without tourism. Good luck to those of you that welcome kind and respectful visitors. The rest of you, no luck.

        1. Jims August 25, 2020 1:45 pm Reply

          You are missed already!

  8. JC August 23, 2020 11:14 am Reply

    I have to ask the question, “Who came up with 14 days as the magic number?” The majority of cases will show symptoms between day 1-4 of exposure. Fourteen days is complete overkill!

    1. CDC August 25, 2020 1:47 pm Reply

      “…even if you test negative for COVID-19 or feel healthy, you should stay home (quarantine) since symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus.”

      1. JC August 29, 2020 3:26 pm Reply

        And there lies the problem…the faith we put in the CDC. We would all love to think this is an upright division of our government and they have our best interest at heart. But this is not the case. The majority of cases will show up by day 5 at the most. Again I have to present the idea that we can not hide from this disease, but if we shortened the quarantine to 5-7 days, this is a happy medium to the solution. Better yet, a test with quick results is a pretty safe path! But hey, if ya’ll want to just submit to the BS of quarantine and masks…so be it. Have fun breathing in your own virus’s and God be with those that need the highest paying job on the islands…tourism! Oh, and while you’re at it, just screw your immune systems that build from being with each other. True fact…we build each other’s immune systems.

  9. LTEreader August 24, 2020 12:48 pm Reply

    Although you might be compliant, many aren’t (see recent newspaper article below). What makes you think Mainland visitors would behave any better than O’ahu residents? Some will, many won’t, and there’s no way to ensure their compliance while staying in a vacation rental.
    The low numbers on Kaua’i are because the majority of residents are adhering to the policies, tourists don’t want to deal with a 14 day quarantine, and/or because potential visitors respect that we only have 9 IUC beds with very limited medical services.
    As for testing? Many Mainland States can’t return results in 48-72, some are apparently taking 10 days. So what about the added exposure in that 10 day span? It would negate the results. There’s also not enough tests in Hawai’i. They said on the news last night they’re having thousands more sent here because as of today we’ve had 22 consecutive days of triple digits. How would Hawai’i handle testing visitors after arrival if they can’t even handle testing the current population?
    Spin it however you want, but the restrictions have nothing to do with “anti-visitor hostility” but rather keeping us as COVID free as possible so we don’t get sick and/or overwhelm our hospitals & medical professionals further (some of whom are testing positive too). Perhaps you’re not aware that FIVE O’ahu hospitals are near max. capacity. They’re setting up a tent for anticipated overflow, and need at least 50 to 100 more RN’s, but are having a hard time getting this support from the Mainland because they’re in high demand over there too.
    So continue getting “sick to your stomach” all you like with our “offensive attitudes”, but as a long time resident I have the utmost of respect for what, and how, our Mayors and Governor are dealing with this unprecedented situation. As someone who says they “love Kaua’i” you should have more respect too, regardless of your property tax rate (something many of you off Island investors feel the need to throw in with your negative comments).

    August 19th:
    HONOLULU, O’ahu “Since the the city closed parks and beaches on August 8th, Honolulu Police have arrested 400 people, issued 7,000 citations and another 11,000 warnings. Each violation requires a court appearance. On average, the city’s new COVID enforcement hotline gets up to 150 calls a day.”

    1. Jaime August 25, 2020 5:57 am Reply

      Another mainland transplant with a self absorbed point of view. If you are so rich that you don’t need to rely on tourism to make a living, maybe donate all of your extra money to those hurting for income.

      1. Wha? August 25, 2020 1:51 pm Reply

        ” If you are so rich that you don’t need to rely on tourism to make a living…”

        What exactly do you mean by that? Everyone HAS to live off of tourism? What about people working for mainland-based companies? What about people working at the hospitals?

        And what do you know about anyone else’s giving standards?

        If you are so angry that you can’t be polite, maybe take a walk on the beach and think about it.

  10. jl August 26, 2020 7:16 pm Reply

    Appreciate your post…..the pre-travel program required a negative test no more than 72 hours prior to arrival, so the 10 day window would not be a factor. We have been booking our flights hoping to come visit, yet each month usually around 2 weeks before the pre-test program is to start, it’s pushed out, and with not much notice. I feel for the hotels and other businesses that ramp up staff and provisions in anticipation of the opening only to find it changed. And I am not an ‘investor’ – I’m a woman who has been visiting Kauai for almost 40 years and finally bought a home there in hope of retiring in Kauai with my husband who is pure Polynesian and considers it his true home. I have been extremely cautious here in CA and have left my home less than a dozen times since COVID started in March to keep myself and others safe.

  11. LTEreader August 28, 2020 10:31 am Reply

    Again, some State labs (including California) cannot return test results in 72 hours, thus delays in the ‘pre-test travel program’ that was to commence on Aug. 1st. Cases on the Mainland spiked so high last month that labs apparently can’t keep up.
    And, your husbands ethnicity + 40 years visiting Kaua’i are irrelevant. Until you become residents you’re investors, and as such I hope you can redirect that negative energy into patience + consideration for the residents that do currently live here. It’s appreciated.

    Rampartview and Jamie,
    You don’t get it. Let me reiterate – 9 ICU beds on Kaua’i, 3,069 licensed beds Statewide with a 60 to 67% occupancy (without COVID patients), compliant residents that have sacrificed for months (lost jobs/closed businesses, etc), and O’ahu hospitals completely overwhelmed. Please join jl and redirect that negative energy into patience + consideration for us residents that are dealing with this, and the medical staff on O’ahu who are currently treating an unprecedented number of patients.

    “HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) – Oahu’s healthcare system is nearing crisis with some COVID-19 patients forced to share rooms as hospitalizations continue to rise.”

    Why ANYONE would want to vacation here right now is beyond me. Medical issues other than COVID can occur, and the outer Islands rely heavily on O’ahu hospitals for anything major. If you did get really sick, or had a heart attack/stroke/serious accident, etc. wouldn’t you want the best of care?

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