Letters for Sunday, December 20, 2020

Seniors missing out on so much

COVID-19 affected everyone around the world, but especially the Class of 2021.

They have not been able to experience all the seniors’ activities. When you first become a high-school student, you imagine all the things you get to do. You can attend dances, assemblies, gatherings, Project Grad, sports games, bonfire and multiple spirit weeks. But the Class of 2021 got all this taken away.

So as a student of the Class of 2022 I am afraid that I will not be able to have the senior year I was looking forward to. My senior year was the year I wanted to go to all my dances, go to all school activities, and be a part of everything that happens, because once you leave high school you will never be able to experience them again.

I really hope that the seniors of 2021 get to at least finish the rest of their senior year and the Class of 2022 gets to experience our whole senior year without having COVID stop us.

Isley Ulanday, Lawa‘i

Hard to trust vaccine process

Hello. I am writing about the COVID-19 vaccine that is being distributed to the world.

I feel the world should be able to keep their rights when it comes to not wanting the new vaccine for COVID-19. Many people in the world are experiencing anxiety and anger because they feel the vaccine will be mandatory. I feel that businesses and travel agencies and companies should not force us to have a vaccine in order to work or travel with them. I also disagree with the new cards that Lt. Gov. Josh Green is talking about.

This vaccine was created way too quickly for me and others I’ve talked to in order for us to trust this vaccine process. Many of us are skeptical and hostile to this decision to receive a vaccine that was created in a year when all other pandemics and diseases needed more time to create a safe and working vaccine. I’m sure many other people are thinking the same as me. I am aware there are also many people who are looking forward to the vaccine to make them feel safer, but until it is clear what symptoms and side effects this creates, many people will not take or receive this vaccine.

Thank you for your time.

Tia Low, Lawa‘i

Maintenance at Kalapaki Bay is lacking

Taking advantage of Kaua‘i’s recent beautiful weather, we headed for Kalapaki Bay. Unfortunately, when accessing the parking lot between JJ’s Broiler and Duke’s (neither of whom own this parking lot), the beauty of the day was spoiled by the absolutely horrible condition of this lot. I’ve lived on Kaua‘i for almost 20 years, and I’ve never seen this parking lot in worse condition. In fact, I’ve never seen this lot in good condition.

Kaua‘i’s Parks and Recreation department is responsible for the maintenance of this lot but, by the looks of the lot’s condition, it’s obvious that no one has done anything for quite some time. Our County Council controls the money needed for the repair and maintenance of this parking lot. If everyone contacts the County Council requesting funds be made available for the immediate repair and long-term maintenance of this parcel, perhaps something good will take place.

Adjacent to this parking lot is a freshwater stream that also needs attention. The state of Hawai‘i monitors and maintains the quality of the water, but there is a small area, as the stream enters Kalapaki Bay, that is supposed to be maintained by the Marriott. This area has a tremendous amount of vegetation as well as dead trees. It is obvious no one is doing any maintenance. This is yet another blighted area on our beautiful island that needs attention.

Michael Diamant, Koloa

  1. Kahilirose December 20, 2020 2:23 am Reply

    Tia, preclinical work on therapeutic mRNA goes back at least to 1990. Therapeutic mRNA vaccines have been tested in a range of cancers, including acute myeloid leukemia, multiple myeloma, glioblastoma, melanoma, prostate cancer, and more. The mRNA vaccine can target tumor-associated antigens expressed mainly by cancerous cells,

    There are trials of regular therapeutics, one of which is an mRNA heart failure therapy being developed by Moderna and AstraZeneca. Preclinical studies showed new blood vessel creation and improved cardiac function. A phase I study of diabetic patients showed enhanced blood flow.

    mRNA vaccines for viruses have already been tested in humans for at least four infectious diseases: rabies, influenza, cytomegalovirus, and Zika. When the coronavirus appeared, mNRA scientists around the world dropped what they doing and worked together to bring about the vaccine. The groundwork had already been done. It is not new science.

    As more people receive the vaccine outside of trials, some restrictions are arising. Last week Dr. Fauci stated that people with a history of anaphylaxis should not be vaccinated unless they choose to, and then in a place with emergency interventions. Also, people who had Giullian Barre should not have the vaccination. Currently, the vaccine has not been tested with women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, so those interested in getting the vaccine need to have a serious discussion with their doctors before making a decision.

    These conditions aren’t secret. Researchers, doctors and the CDC have reported on them.

    If you are worried about eggs and fetal cells and other false ingredients, don’t. They aren’t in the vaccine.

  2. Lorelei Armstrong December 20, 2020 5:25 am Reply

    Just a brief response to Tia Lowe’s concerns about the mRNA vaccine for COVID-19. Yes, it does seem that this vaccine appeared too rapidly to be safe. But let me offer some reassurance. The mRNA process, which shows your cells the “recipe” to produce the spike protein from the outside of the SARS-CoV2 virus and lets your immune system react to that small part of the virus and form a defense against infection, really isn’t new. It dates back to the 1980s, and it has been under investigation since then for treating cancer, with the thought that it can get around cancer’s ability to appear “invisible” to the body’s immune system.

    This particular vaccine was first developed in response to the very scary emergence of SARS-CoV1 in China in 2003. That outbreak thankfully did not progress to become a pandemic, but the research into a potential vaccine has been ongoing since then. The fact that it did not remain an active virus meant that funding dropped, and also meant that stage three vaccine testing could not continue. Conventional stage three testing needs a disease to exist in a community so the double-blind testing of those who receive vaccine vs. those who receive placebo injections will generate statistically useful results. But the vaccine developed for another coronavirus, already tested on humans, was waiting when SARS-CoV2 emerged.

    When our current pandemic began, scientists in China released the entire genome of the vaccine to world researchers. Scientists with the old coronavirus mRNA vaccine had only to replace the spike protein for the “old” SARS virus with the new one. Having done this, Moderna (for example) was able to send the new vaccine to the CDC for initial safety testing in March. Everything that has happened since then is safety testing. One sad note is that COVID-19 is spreading so widely in America that they were able to get statistically significant proof of protection from the stage three, double-blind testing very rapidly. Basically, the odds of being exposed to COVID-19 are so high in this country that the protection offered from the vaccine, which is well over 90% effective, was obvious almost immediately.

    I will be getting this vaccine, which represents decades of research and seventeen years in the fight against coronaviruses, as soon as I can. Those are the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. If you want a more conventional approach to vaccination, the Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be a technology using a modified (non-contagious) chimpanzee adenovirus.

  3. MisterM December 20, 2020 5:49 am Reply

    Ms Low – don’t tell us, you ‘learned’ about the vaccine process on some right-wing nutter conspiracy website, right? Or in the crazyland world you inhabit, a ‘trusted news source’…

    Willfull ignorance at its finest.

    1. manawai December 20, 2020 6:14 pm Reply

      Sounds more like left-wing hippie thinking to me.

  4. John Moser December 20, 2020 6:27 am Reply

    It is difficult to have full confidence in a process that developed a vaccine so quickly. However I have seen many Bishops of my faith group, the highest ranking Republican of the Senate, and the highest ranking Democrat taking the vaccine, I going on there willingness to accept with so much more information than I will ever know.

    Will the vaccine cause negative long term effects, I surely hope not. However the alternate means shutting down our way of life as we knew it, which I am certain will cause much worse effects to so many more and our society as a whole.

    I chose to trust others, who disagree on almost everything else, and do what I believe is best for all in our country.

    Christmas Blessings to everyone, and I even mean those who wholly disagree with my position here. We are all one in God’s eyes.


  5. Chamundi Sabanathan December 20, 2020 7:19 am Reply

    I too have reservations about these rushed-to-market vaccines. Therefore, I hope local businesses will not require a vaccination card but will also allow someone to enter who is wearing a proper safety mask, has no fever and washes their hands–the same precautions currently required.

  6. michael leroy zieman December 20, 2020 7:20 am Reply

    What is the game plan for getting off the mandatory quarantine? Will we have to wait 4-6 months until most of the country is vaccinated? The rest of the state is doing just fine with the pre-travel test program that was tweaked to require proof of negative test before boarding flight to the islands.

  7. kauaiboy December 20, 2020 9:56 am Reply

    Dear Ms. Tia Low from Lawai,

    Please re-consider your apprehension about taking a new, tested, approved by the FDA vaccine.

    Unless 75% of the population agrees to be immunized, we will NOT achieve “herd immunity” and Covid-19 will continue to kill fellow citizens. Well over 300,000 Americans have died. Do you want to shoot for a million dead Americans? 3 million dead worldwide?

    Further, until we see Covid 19 numbers fall dramatically throughout the US, our economy will continue to deteriorate and people here will become more desperate as they lose their jobs, their livelihoods, their homes, and more.

    Please do not be selfish. If you do not think you will be impacted by the further spread of this virus, think again. If you think that others are not, or will not, be impacted by the further spread of this virus, think again.

  8. Raley Peterson December 20, 2020 11:09 am Reply

    Rights? Tia, what about the rights of the people who may be infected if you refuse to be vaccinated? I’ll accept your premise, if you’ll promise to never leave your home again!

    1. manawai December 20, 2020 6:22 pm Reply

      I hear ya, but their defense is that even if you’re vaccinated and protected, you can still be a carrier of the virus and infect others. That’s why if everyone doesn’t take it, the non-takers are still at risk. I say let’s take the shots, open up, and let the anti-vaxxers fend for themselves. It’s their decision.

  9. kauaidoug December 20, 2020 12:12 pm Reply

    I noticed yesterday, driving passed the Opeaka’a Falls, that even IF there were people waiting to cross in the crosswalk you could not see them from the weeds! Not to mention you can’t see the O falls from the trees on the other side!!

  10. Patrick H Flores December 20, 2020 2:01 pm Reply

    In support of Tia Low’s letter, the whole pandemic has been a political bomb from the start. This whole thing is 90% politics and 10% public health. No Thank you.
    Patrick H Flores, Wailua Houselots

  11. Tony Albertoni December 20, 2020 5:34 pm Reply

    Even though this vaccine has been developed and produced by some great minds, you can’t blame people’s apprehensions to take it when our vice-president elect announced to the world that she will never trust a vaccine that developed under Trump. She should know that he did not do the science or medicine—he just supported this vaccine. That was an extremely irresponsible thing to say and can only bring harm to our nation in trying to get past this monster.

  12. I saw a Vampire once December 20, 2020 8:19 pm Reply

    Nothing to it. Isley. Just another walk in the park. My name is Maverick. You’ve seen the show Top Gun. Came out in 1986. I agree with you. You miss school. You’re a good writer. Journalism can take you a long ways. Go with it if you feel it’s you. And good luck.

  13. I’m M’une December 20, 2020 11:02 pm Reply

    Aloha Tia, they got you 1/2 locked in with belief, blind faith, you want more study of a inept process. A laboratory system with failure and false hope from start to finish.

    As vertebrates, we humans are part of a 40,000 strong species group of perhaps, not billions, but Trillions of worldwide participants, utilizing Immune Systems, the oldest of which have not only depended on but have perfected the Immune System, as our primary daily source of survival, more than the “Fight or Flight” survival reaction; and the identical replay of immune systems in the oldest vertebrates, has been evolving for the last 550 Million years.

    Our precious Immune Systems are not a trifle interplay with nature’s worst for us, that is a cyclical series of virus, named by pseudo scientists almost like annual new car models, a series of sequalae virus that oscillate back and forth between frigidic polar hemispheres in annual mutational migration.

    Our human (vertebrate) Immune System makes puny of desperate-man’s meager attempts at challenging Great Nature’s even Greater Plan for Survival of our Specie, and the viral one too, co-existing on Earth for eons of time, with us the highest and most recent evolved, apparently still struggling to find ourselves before destroying life itself on the entire planet with our misuse of chemicals, indeed petrochemicals, the carcinogenic scourge on our paradisical planet.

    There’s no escape from this Natural Wonderland, as in who would prefer the environment of the Moon and Mars over Earth and what it potentially offers the Human Race in our short transience of Life.

  14. james December 21, 2020 7:24 am Reply

    You are lucky you can choose to take the vaccine or not. Let’s think back to the Vietnam War. How many thousands of young men were forced by our government to go fight and die in a war that was, essentially, unnecessary? Now that was something to protest against, not a life-saving vaccine. When we were attacked by Japan in WW2, I’m sure many people didn’t want to go to war or make sacrifices here at home, but they understood we were fighting for our survival and an eventual return to normalcy. This disease has attacked our country and has now killed more people than we lost in both of the above wars. Suck it up and take the vaccine for the good of the rest of us. Life throws us challenges. How we handle those challenges depends on each of us.

  15. Kaaona Kipuka December 21, 2020 8:36 am Reply

    Why do transplants always tout how long they’ve lived here??? It’s like their trying to fine some type of “local” validation or something. Well hate to rain on your parade there Michael but no one cares!!! On how long you’ve lived here or about that road. Why do you think it’s that way??? It was that way the 20 years prior to you arriving here. And it’s been that way for the 20 years that you’ve been here so…Do the math Michael… Do you want “them” to also pave the road to Mahaulepu & Polihale while their at it…Keep Dreaming guy….lol.

  16. jay williamson December 21, 2020 9:33 pm Reply

    Hypothetical question:
    If a person has been vaccinated for Covid-19, can that vaccinated person innocently pass the
    Covid-19 virus to another person? For example, the vaccinated person touches a metal object like a hand railing which has the virus on its surface and minutes later shakes hands with a person who then touches his eye or mouth?

  17. Craig Millett December 22, 2020 8:06 am Reply

    I notice that you failed to mention learning in the benefits of school or death as a possible side effect of attending these events now.

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