I’m writing this to you to give you our story and just ask “why?”
In 1995 my son was stationed at Pearl Harbor with the U.S. Navy. We came to Honolulu and Kaua‘i and fell in love with your state.
The people, weather and beauty are breathtaking. We made plans with my brother to take one, last, big vacation because our traveling days are coming to an end with our age.
I promised him that he would see a piece of heaven on earth and would enjoy every moment of it.
I told him the only thing he would need his phone for was to take pictures. I told him how the local people spend time on surfboards, not video games. When the virus came, everyone was affected by it.
My wife and I both had the virus in November, and we had friends pass away from it. We take the virus very seriously, and try to do everything to stay safe. We thought long and hard about coming to Hawai‘i, and when my son said he was getting married in Honolulu we decided to go for it. We put a large amount of money down and we were going to make it a vacation of all vacations.
We had our son in Michigan help us get set up on your Safe Travels website, had vaccine shots, rapid tests done and we were good to go. We did make it to O‘ahu for three days. When we got to O‘ahu we found very few places to get the rapid tests, and things started to fall apart. Walgreens and places we knew about back home didn’t do rapid tests, and we spent hours trying to download our negative results on Safe Travels.
Our piece of heaven turned into a day of hell when we got to Kaua‘i. I never thought that I would see the U.S. military waiting for us when we got off the plane. Then they give you a choice of going back, three days locked down at some resort bubble or a 10-day lockdown.
I’m not writing this letter to ask for sympathy. Just the opposite. After my son’s wedding I will say “aloha” to Hawai‘i and return to Indiana. I might even contact my governor and thank him for using a little common sense during these difficult times. My sympathy is for you and the people of Hawai‘i.
My questions are these: How you can treat people the way you do and blame it on the virus? How can you turn such a beautiful place into a combat zone?
The mayor’s office went from a place that should help people to a dictatorship ruling people.
When we got off the plane you could see the intimidation. You had the military, you had to sign the agreement, you could choose a three-day private prison with a wrist band to be monitored or a 10-day house arrest, and if you didn’t go by all the rules, a punishment of $5,000 and a year in prison.
I never thought I would see this in the United States. Then there are the local people that you claim you are protecting. You took away from them a way to make a living and support a family.
You also took a basic freedom from your people, and that is the freedom to travel. I just have to ask “why?” And is treating people this way the only way to fight this virus? The Bible (Matthew 6:21) says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
When Hawai‘i put their money into places to punish people for coming here and not help people when they get here, then that has got to tell you something.
You want to rule people and not help them. I must ask why Hawai‘i would not put their money into the health system and not into the criminal system.
If you had as many rapid-test sites as your lockdown prison sites you would be money ahead. Why don’t you give rapid tests before or after plane rides and let people out of quarantine when they prove they don’t have the virus. I ask again, why are you using the virus as a weapon against people?
David, Nancy and Robert Squires are residents of Michigan City, Indiana.