I read with interest the letter published Sept. 16 by Janet Eisenbach. She made some interesting points. Reading further, the comments sent in regard to her letter were often angry and quite scathing. I do not know why, considering that her letter was not disrespectful.
My heart breaks to hear from so many people (like those who responded angrily) who feel tied to the restrictions imposed because of the fears that have been fed all of us in response to the COVID pandemic.
There are different points of view on all of the “scientific” and “health mandates,” and we must all recognize that science is not infallible, and our esteemed health experts have been wrong on many things in regard to the handling of this pandemic, the restrictions that were put in place, and the efforts that can be used to flatten the curve.
This crisis is unprecedented in that the world has never been shut down before, and we have never suffered from such an easily-spread virus in the age of worldwide travel. Our experts have all been reduced to “best-guess” scenarios. It does not speak well of anyone who is not interested in hearing different opinions in the hopes of greater understanding.
In regard to masks, I urge everyone to take some time to look into mask ratings. Different masks are rated for the protection they provide for different exposures.
It is important to also understand the type of exposure that COVID presents. The virus is extremely communicable because the virus does not require big droplets for transmission. COVID breaks down into very-minuscule particles — it become aerosol.
Those aerosol particles are NOT stopped by a cloth mask, they are not stopped by any of the disposable masks you see people wearing, either. Only the highest-rated hospital mask is COVID-rated.
Think that information all the way through. Now ask yourself WHY are we being mandated to wear a mask. These are questions we should all be asking our officials. Ask your doctor if a cloth mask is COVID-rated. Ask the mayor.
If you feel more secure wearing a mask, I am happy to oblige you, even though I will miss seeing your smile and it is very difficult to understand you when you speak. I am happy to social distance with anyone who has health concerns, and I want to respect anyone who is more susceptible to this virus or any other communicable disease.
But, with most respect, I must also ask where we are going with these mandates and social conditioning? We need to all recognize that we are unable to eliminate risk from our lives, and we also need to recognize that although any person suffering from sickness and the loss of a loved one is tragic, we must be finding a way to manage our fears and mitigate our risks with healthy attitudes and personal responsibility.
I personally choose not to jump off cliffs into the ocean, but I do not think we should draft rules to prevent it or shame the people who choose to do it. I don’t choose to live on candy bars, pastries and soda drinks, either, but should they be outlawed? How many people die annually from diabetes?
Why have we become so risk-adverse? Why has this become a cultural movement? How is it that my liberal-thinking friends have turned into people who endorse more restrictions and rules?
I thought being liberal meant that there would be a broader perspective and those people would be more open-minded. This new culture seems more judgmental and less individual.
History will look back on these days where all of our officials were dealing with unprecedented times. Have the sacrifices we have made cost too great a price? What about mental health? What about education? What about our goals, dreams and economic fitness?
All of the community-spread models were grossly overstated. Communities made big mistakes, and many people in age homes died. But, on the other hand, the disease was not as serious for a vast group of our population.
Imagine for a moment if our officials knew what they know now when this whole thing began. Would we have needed to shut down the whole world economy? Wouldn’t it have been more effective to quarantine the susceptible and let the low-risk individuals help maintain our quality of life and economies?
I would urge the people who wrote angry letters — please don’t live in fear (Ginger, George, Douglas and Joe and Alan). Let’s find a way to resume our productive lives.
Michelle Dillberg is a resident of Koloa.