Gov. Ige of our great state of Hawai‘i has denied all of the great, hard-working residents of Kaua‘i the capability to live with our families and friends in a predominantly secured and healthy environment, an enviroment that has had zero active cases of the ongoing COVID-19 virus for many, many weeks, a zero COVID environment that all Kaua‘i residents, of all ages, from all cultures, have sacrificed for with the loss of income, loss of jobs, and some with loss of loved ones.
All these life offerings kicked to the curb because it would be “Problematic, as it would overload testing capacity,” stated Lt. Gov. Green. The lieutenant governor also said, “Tests should be prioritized for first responders and high-risk groups, not travelers.” Lt. Gov. Green may be right — the first responders will be giving the test to our kupuna.
The travelers will be the group passing the virus to the residents of Kaua‘i, initiating the possibility of renewal of COVID-19.
Dr. Janet Berreman, Kaua‘i district health officer, has stated a second, 72-hour test was a “Solid, middle-ground test as opposed to a 7-day test…And provided considerable protection while also helping bring our economy back.”
Mayor Derek Kawakami is a stand-up guy, someone who any Kaua‘i residents could on any Saturday morning, sit down with, have coffee and malasadas, and talk stories. Our mayor has, from the start of this affliction, taken a tough position of a “lockdown.” The results of this vigorous stand had been a ZERO COVID VIRUS count for numerous weeks.
It also produced a healthier environment for our families, friends and lifestyle and, I’d like to think, helped save lives.
How is it that the governor and lieutenant governor can be so casual with actions that put aside the sacrifices of the hardworking citizens of Kaua‘i — loss of jobs, income and, unfortunately, loved ones who have suffered because of the virus and those that have left us? A 72-hour, post-travel COVID-19 test is a protective action for all of us. Residents who live here will still be here when travelers have left. Will they leave an unwanted virus?
A second post-travel COVID test would be “Problematic,” as it would overload testing capacity,” said the lieutenant governor. Is the safety and good of the welfare of the residents of Kaua‘i a problematic issue? Does the island of Kaua‘i and its people just get thrown under the bus?
Let us remember these words when these men ask for our votes for a second term in office. Let us all stand together in support of our mayor as he continues the struggle to keep the garden island residents safe. Another test is a safeguard for the good of the welfare for ALL.
H.K Pang is a resident of Kapa‘a.