I recently completed my last day of imprisonment aka the 14 day quarantine. After the governor promised that he would end the quarantine substituting a COVID test in lieu of it I booked a trip to the Mainland. But then the governor reneged on his promise, but by then it was too late to stop the trip so I went ahead with it anyway. Thus I faced two weeks of sitting in my house when I returned to Kaua‘i.
This would have been bearable if there were some sort of scientific rationale for it all other than a whim of the governor. We’ve seen corona cases on O‘ahu go up and up recently even with a quarantine. Lock downs and quarantines really don’t work as we’ve seen demonstrated in other areas where they are attempted. The more onerous they are the more cheating we see. Look at all the stories in the paper about people arrested for violating the terms of the quarantine. You gotta figure that for every person arrested there were another dozen never caught. During the entire time I was in quarantine only twice did anyone come by to see if I was still at home. It would have been easy to slip away from time to time if I were a mind too. After all there’s not enough National Guard and police to babysit all people for two weeks who come to Hawai‘i.
Wouldn’t it be far better to test everyone flying into the state than attempt quarantines and just hope everyone is compliant. I don’t know about you, but I’d feel far safer if a planeload of people had all tested negative before arrival than just hoping that no one on that plane had COVID and we didn’t know about it. Who’s to say that that one infected passenger might be the very one who defies the quarantine and spreads the virus around. I’d also feel much safer were I sitting on that plane for six hours knowing that none of my fellow passengers were infected.
Look also at how this quarantine is destroying our economy. Very few tourists are going to come here if two weeks of their vacation is spent trapped in their hotel— even if that were changed to a “bubble” forcing them to remain on the hotel grounds. There have been just under 50 deaths in the entire state from the corona virus since this all began, but how many lives have been destroyed by our bleak economy, how many suicide deaths have there been. The quarantine is not without cost in lives and dollars. It is time to return to the plan as promised, testing people coming here in advance, and ending the quarantine not next month, not next week, but now immediately.
CDR Ken Fasig USN (ret.) is a resident of Kalaheo