Letters for Thursday, June 10, 2021

Slow down and move over

The three feet between your vehicle’s mirror and a cyclist is the same distance as required for Police Officers who’s making a traffic stop along the shoulder of the highways/roadways/streets.

The same three feet between your vehicle’s mirror should be given to anyone walking, jogging/running, fixing a flat, fixing to tow a vehicle, riding a moped, etc.

“SLOW DOWN AND MOVE OVER” when approaching any of those situations mentioned above. To include all others not mentioned along side of the highways/roadways/streets.

Howard Tolbe, ‘Ele‘ele

Welcome Back?

Last week I was parked at Nawiliwili Harbor and a tourist Jeep was coming towards me, but not looking at me. I gave a tap on my horn and the young woman in the passenger seat flipped me off!

Every time I see a Jeep now, I’m reminded of that incident.

Not the kind of Aloha we need here, money be damned…

Lulu Pak, Kalaheo

Let’s see the smiles

Why are Kaua‘i’s clerks, cashiers, waiters… still being forced to wear masks? Certainly, the mayor/governor’s emergency powers have long expired. The state reports only a few new covid cases, with no deaths on Kaua‘i. Hardly an “emergency.” Those who wanted the vaccine have already got it. Those who declined are clearly not spreading the virus. We are nearly overrun by tourists—from everywhere. By all appearances, IT’S OVER.

Moreover: the one thing we have learned, or should have learned, during this year-long drama is: ‘masks—the kind we’ve been wearing all this time— do little or nothing to mitigate any air-born virus.’ A rarely-referenced CDC research paper titled: “Nonpharmaceutical Measures for Pandemic Influenza in Nonhealthcare Settings—Personal Protective and Environmental Measures”—which references 50 scientific studies, states emphatically:

“In our systematic review, we identified 10 RCTs that reported estimates of the effectiveness of face masks in reducing laboratory-confirmed influenza virus infections in the community from literature published during 1946–July 27, 2018. In pooled analysis, we found no significant reduction in influenza transmission with the use of face masks.”

And again: “…Our systematic review found no significant effect of face masks on transmission of laboratory-confirmed influenza.”

We’ve been living a fallacy for a year. The report goes on to say: “Proper use of face masks is essential because improper use might increase the risk for transmission.” Tossing our masks on car seats, stuffing them in our pockets, and wearing them over and over again would probably be considered as “improper use.”

So, the question is “Why?” Why are cashiers…or anyone for that matter, still being forced to wear masks? At this point it should be by individual choice—to wear or not to wear. It’s time for governors and mayors to step aside.

Richard Morse, Kilauea

  1. I saw a Vampire once June 10, 2021 12:13 am Reply

    Perhaps he was another local? Nawiliwili. Did you call the cop? I wouldn’t worry about it. Usually easy going there. relaxed. I’m from West Virginia. My mom lives in Hanalei. Greenery. Street violence ? Nah. Minor. Take it easy and no worry.

  2. I saw a Vampire once June 10, 2021 12:36 am Reply

    Howard Tolbe: were they wearing face mask? Moped. I think these are the most hazardous situation. Did you beep your horn? I can see how these rules are set. Really good to know.

  3. I saw a Vampire once June 10, 2021 3:07 am Reply

    Well written letter Richard. You’ve take. A letter off my own post. Vampire. I don’t know too much, but if they want to not wear it, so don’t. Where’s the law? Take the case to court and sue them. I’m sure there is more waiters in California. Minor junk detail from one bro to another.

    Somewhere Else…

  4. Mark June 10, 2021 6:57 am Reply

    Reply to the first statement—- I am so frustrated with people walking in front of cars , walking on the road with no regard for drivers! People need to walk on walkways, cross road at crosswalks and be watchful of traffic!!!! Also with heavy foot traffic in Poipu we need more designated walk ways to get tourists to stop walking on the road!!!!

  5. Kauaidoug June 10, 2021 7:36 am Reply

    The sooner we get to 60% vaccinated the better so we can all enjoy not looking like bank robbers. I had no problem wearing a mask but I’m vaccinated at if you aren’t then getting sick with Covid19 is on you. Time for county workers and others come out from behind closed offices or limited personal interaction. Wear a mask but the public should have access once again to all govt offices and buildings. There are new variants making the rounds so just get vaccinated, please.

  6. Uncleaina June 10, 2021 8:14 am Reply

    Richard Morse, if you’re still here after 16 months still questioning masks, that’s sad. Please show some respect for the 600,000 people who died. Get your vaccine and chill out. Or move.

  7. Reality Bites June 10, 2021 10:36 am Reply

    Richard, it is called “Government Conditioning”. You are correct sir…..there is no data that supports wearing the bandanas around the face will protect you from anything.

    Many want to continue to wear them because, …you know…they “feel safe”.

  8. Dr Jim June 10, 2021 10:56 am Reply

    Aloha Richard,

    Thanks for pointing out the manuscript.

    A few things. That paper was about getting Influenza as an individual. Comparisons with Covid may not be completely valid, but probably have merit.

    The statement from that paper about the controlled household studies was ” Most studies were underpowered because of limited sample size, and some studies also reported suboptimal adherence in the face mask group.” Suboptimal adherence doesnt work. That’s not a surprise. And they state there are not enough cases to conclude anything about facemasks.
    Only one paper of those reviewed in the referenced manuscript was about infected people wearing a mask to prevent spread of influenza. That was in the British Medical Journal “Nonpharmaceutical Measures for Pandemic Influenza in Nonhealthcare Settings—Personal Protective and Environmental Measures”. It concluded “The study indicates a potential benefit of medical masks for source control, but is limited by small sample size and low secondary attack rates. Larger trials are needed to confirm efficacy of medical masks as source control.”

    Unfortunately, we now have much larger data sets with which to work. Many of these data sets were reviewed in a February article in the Journal of the American Medical Association – https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2776536. It’s conclusion was “When masks are worn and combined with other recommended mitigation measures, they protect not only the wearer but also the greater community. Recommendations for masks will likely change as more is learned about various mask types and as the pandemic evolves. With the emergence of more transmissible SARS-CoV-2 variants, it is even more important to adopt widespread mask wearing as well as to redouble efforts with use of all other nonpharmaceutical prevention measures until effective levels of vaccination are achieved nationally.”

    Please continue to wear a mask for those around you that may be at risk including our Keiki.


  9. Patrick H Flores June 10, 2021 11:52 am Reply

    Mr. Morse, you make too much sense, David Ige wears a crown and good sense doesn’t fit in it. It people control not disease control!
    Patrick H Flores, Wailua Houselots

  10. YuCalJoe June 10, 2021 12:07 pm Reply

    Lulu, you are spot on! No place needs idiot tourists like that. Tourists should remember that they are “guests” while on Kauai. When visiting, I do my best to not interfere with the everyday lives of the residents of Kauai. I avoid driving at busy traffic times if possible, and I treat locals as honorable hosts. I am the guest, and I must respect the island, the lifestyle, the people, and the Aloha. Those who don’t understand that they are “guests” should stay home.

    1. Jake June 11, 2021 2:32 am Reply

      Here we go again……..Kauai is no different than any other place on the planet. This island is not some otherworldly and blessed land. The people here are just like any other island, nation, or country…..you treat them as you would want to be treated.

      Common courtesy is a lost art these days across the board. Everyone is “special”, a “victim” of something.

      Spare me the most overused word on these islands…..”respect”. Respect is for everyone…..everywhere. “Guests should stay home”??????……. FFS.

  11. Dr Jim June 10, 2021 2:26 pm Reply


    So I emailed Ben Cowling, Professor of Public Health at the University of Hong Kong and the corresponding author of the Manuscript that you reference and asked him if he advocates for wearing masks for COVID. His response was yes, and he said he had already addressed this in a published editorial in Eurosurveillence Dec, 2020.

    Cowling Benjamin J, Leung Gabriel M. Face masks and COVID-19: don’t let perfect be the enemy of good. Euro Surveill. 2020;25(49):pii=2001998. https://doi.org/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2020.25.49.2001998

    His concluding paragraph was “There are clear evidential gaps in the science of modes
    of COVID-19 transmission. Nevertheless, there is compelling evidence that masks can contribute to the control of COVID-19. Given that face masks are inexpensive
    in comparison to the other public health measures
    being used to control COVID-19, even a limited effect
    on transmission would justify their widespread use.
    In addition to recommending that people wear face
    masks in poorly ventilated, crowded settings or when
    community prevalence is high, some health authorities
    might even consider to recommend the practice in all
    settings when in company. ”

    If this guy is the expert, then trust him when he says wear a mask!

  12. Stop already June 10, 2021 5:18 pm Reply

    OMG Lulu….one incident with a tourist, and damn them all. I would say that you are lacking in aloha. I have lived here for 17 years, and there are many times when locals have done crazy things driving a car. However, I don’t use a blanket condemnation about one group of people. Maybe you just don’t like Jeeps.

  13. Jake June 11, 2021 2:24 am Reply

    Lulu…..thanks for your side. Perception alters reality……I’ll bet the person in the Jeep wasn’t staring straight ahead, didn’t have tunnel vision, but was ensuring she was clear off all other obstacles. Sorry she didn’t “look at you” because YOU wanted her to. SMH.

    1. Pharm St June 11, 2021 6:12 pm Reply

      Jake, I hope when you drive you look where you’re actually going once in a while.

  14. mark June 12, 2021 8:52 am Reply

    We need HTA to put monies to provide an appropriate walking path for tourists to walk along Brenecke’s beach in Poipu… promote safety before a tourist gets hit by a car….
    this is a critical concern…

  15. biden harris 2020 June 12, 2021 4:36 pm Reply

    darn, Howard that was me driving the jeep! sorry! also, i am born and raised here also

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