Apparently, fear of the COVID-19 virus has caused an unseemly run on the heavy-duty face masks known as N95 respirators. Local hardware stores can’t keep them in stock; one Kailua store reported a customer tried to buy 50 boxes, with 20 masks in each box (the store sensibly limited him to 20 boxes).
The masks, if used properly, may offer some protection against the virus. But health experts warn they’re not a foolproof replacement for simpler, cheaper precautions like washing your hands and keeping your distance from coughers or sneezers. Visit cdc.gov for more information.
Vacation rentals shift to neighbor isles
This week’s Hawaii Tourism Authority report shows a drop in the vacation-rentals bookings on Oahu, which is not a surprise: This is where the city has a crackdown against illegal operations. It’s noteworthy, though, that this accommodations sector is thriving on the neighbor islands, especially on Maui, which has seen growth exceeding 27% in both supply and demand.
The diversion of crowds may give Oahu some welcome relief from traffic. But it also stands to dent the tax base, which in anticipation of city bills for rail, may not be such welcome news.