Kaua‘i is rejoining the Safe Travels program today. Rumors of sold-out rental cars and flights to Kaua‘i are creating a mixture of relief and anxiety.
Relief for people with businesses, those who are unemployed and those who are trying to make a comeback. For some of us, this will be the defining moment that determines if we have the privilege to call Kaua‘i home or be priced out of buying a place in our name. Many of us will be back to work and be able to afford basic needs such as food and shelter.
This relief can’t come soon enough, as many local small businesses have closed and local families are stuck in a hard place.
We can all feel the anxiousness building up — the increase in traffic, the effects on our local resources, or an increase in COVID cases; it’s palpable. One thing I hope we take away from all of this is that everyone had to change something about their life. No one could remain status quo.
Whether it was a job, education, relationship or health, we all had to grow or change in order to survive. So as we slowly open our home to visitors, we have to remember that we all can grow and change for the better.
Regardless of how hard it can get or how crazy it might seem, there are pockets of opportunity that are always in our reach. It’s not the strongest or the smartest who survive, it’s those with adaptability. With that said, here are my personal and professional takeaways of our current pandemic, and some things I hope we keep working towards as a community:
Health is the highest priority for every individual
We are able to work together to help one another towards better health. We learned that chronic-health issues intensify the difficult decisions we have to make, and that the majority of chronic-health issues are due to life choices. We all are able to sacrifice parts of our way of life to keep someone safe.
Everything can change, nothing has to stay the same
Things and ideas we thought were untouchable are malleable, after all. Let’s keep coming together as a community and working together to make things better for us all.
The way we do business on Kaua‘i is not sustainable
Having the highest unemployment rate in the nation, two times higher than the national average, revealed that we all have to change the way we do business. Implementing new business strategies from small to big businesses is the highest priority.
The way we care for the earth is not sustainable
We witnessed our oceans, forests and wildlife take some time to rebuild and regenerate. This highlights a need to prioritize sustainable practices to care for all life on earth.
Dr. Addison Bulosan is a business owner and resident of Lihu‘e.