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Letters for Wednesday, March 3, 2021

COVID-19 may be down 99% by May 31

Currently, there have been about 900,000 reported new cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. in the past 14 days (reported active cases, “RA cases”). This is down about 70% from early January, but it is still substantial.

I prepared a spreadsheet to predict where the numbers will likely go from here. It is based on last year’s COVID-19 reproduction numbers starting April 1, adjusting each generation of COVID-19 transmission for the current levels of immunity to calculate this year’s numbers. I assumed that those who either had COVID-19 or two vaccine doses are 90% immune.

Last year’s COVID-19 numbers from March appear unreliable, since we were just getting started with testing. Therefore, I did not include a forecast of change for March this year.

With this calculation, the RA cases of COVID-19 would drop from 900,000 on April 1 to 210,000 by April 30; to 12,000 by May 31; and to 600 by June 30. This is a 77% reduction by April 30, a 99% reduction by May 31, and a 99.9% reduction by June 30.

This may seem optimistic, but it is just math. The COVID-19 death rate should drop even faster, since the more-vulnerable are being vaccinated first.

With the growing levels of vaccinations and spring coming soon, I encourage our leaders to open Kaua‘i as soon as possible, before any more of us lose our jobs and businesses.

Mark Beeksma, Koloa

Don’t adopt HB1286 as it stands

Aloha tatou;

Two weeks ago The New York Times printed a map illustrating the probabilities of contracting COVID-19 in counties across the U.S. It showed Kaua‘i to be the safest in the entire country. The state of Hawai‘i should be proud of what our island, gallant mayor, his hardworking health team and many supportive citizens have accomplished.

Instead, House Bill 1286 proposes to penalize us by forcing Kaua‘i to conform to the lower standard of the state’s so-called Safe Travels protocol. Why?

According to statements by House Speaker Saiki and others, Kaua‘i’s insistence on using a different program confuses visitors and discourages them from coming to Hawai‘i. The implication is that accommodating tourists is more important than protecting our citizens’ lives. If this is not immoral, I do not know what is.

If the Legislature wishes to create a uniform protocol for the state, why not adopt Kaua‘i’s? It has been proven effective. Please do not adopt HB1286 as it stands. It is a terrible proposal.

Heu‘ionalani Wyeth, Anahola

  1. I saw a Vampire once March 3, 2021 12:47 am Reply

    Nice letter Wyeth. Even if they opted out of the safe travel program, they would still need to take a 14 day quarantine, while receiving a negative test prior to landing on Kaua’i. HB1286 was set to make it uniform for the whole state. By adopting HB1286, visitors would still need a negative test upon arrival to Kaua’i. This uniform approach for all residents and visitors will make it a mandatory test that assures proper testing for everyone coming in as negative. It seems logical that HB1286 to not cover the cost of quarantine and thereby collecting it from the customers or locals alike. This uniformity guarantees proper testing. I think this is a good idea, and has good proper protocol for COVID-19. Even if locals do fork up the quarantine cost. I’ll still stay with health and stay with the HB1286. Even if they do opt out of the safe travel program, this will still ensure everyone will get a proper 14 day quarantine and thereby a necessary expense to the traveler. Continue as planned for the safety for all residents and tourist is the HB1286. Just my opinion.

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