Mayor Kawakami’s latest Emergency Rule 19 is incomplete and unscientific because it wasn’t thought through. His intention is to be able to go from Tier 1 up through Tier 4 as the virus escalates. In theory this is a good plan, but the virus does not follow a pattern. Kawakami talks about consistency and then proposes a rule that reeks of inconsistency because the rule has to be re-evaluated every day. How is anyone supposed to book flights or lodging based on a rule that can change daily?
Suppose in a two week period, there are no new cases for five days, 8 cases on the sixth day, and no new cases thereafter. Based on the rule, the quarantine would be imposed only on days 7 through 13 and abandoned on day 14 because there had been no new cases in the last seven days. If a visitor lands on day 7 does he get a 14 day or 7 day quarantine? How do you communicate the change in policy quickly and efficiently?
Or suppose there are less than 2 cases in a week, then on day 8 there is another 2 cases, then it drops down to 1 new case on days eleven and 14. Under that scenario, businesses would have to close down a little on day 8 but get to re-open on day 15. How can a business operate like that?
Here are the sad truths. It looks like about 3% of the general population is going to get COVID, SOONER OR LATER. The states that had few cases early are now having more cases. Of those infected, about 3% die. So sooner or later, about 2100 Kaua‘i residents will get the virus and about 63 will die. Every death is a tragedy but that is the reality. However, to put it into perspective, the national infection rate for the Swine Flu in 2009 was approximately 20% of the population (probably 15,000 got it on Kaua‘i) and the Obama administration was lucky that the death rate was much less than 3% because that administration did almost nothing to fight the virus. Not fighting this virus may be the best option (I know that sounds strange but keep reading).
The WHO now denounces lockdowns because the lockdowns themselves are contributing to increased suicides, contributing to child and spousal abuse, and have doubled the world’s poverty rate in the last seven months. People in lockdown are not getting screened for more serious problems like cancer and heart disease, so the death rate from these diseases is higher. Sweden, which has no lockdowns, no mask laws, and no social distancing has a lower cases/100,000 than almost any other European country.
I urge Mayor Kawakami to put science ahead of his polling numbers and open Kauai without Emergency Rule 19.
Smedley Aberdeen is a resident of Scottsdale, Arizona.