comscore Letters: Dust masks won’t help against COVID-19; Limit madness of hoarding; Fluoride pills are better | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Letters: Dust masks won’t help against COVID-19; Limit madness of hoarding; Fluoride pills are better

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I’m painting the exterior of my 100-year-old house. I need dust masks to keep termite droppings and lead paint off my sweaty face. I went to the neighborhood hardware store and was told all the masks are gone. Later, I went to a building supply store in Iwilei and the sales associate told me a lady came and scooped up all the dust masks.

As I lay in bed that night, I contemplated what I accomplished that day. All of a sudden it occurred to me that some people are buying dust masks to ward off the COVID-19 virus.

The dust mask only gives the illusion of protection. The dust masks and even HEPA filters cannot protect against any virus. Imagine a motorcycle (the virus) zooming down an empty 8-lane freeway (the gap between cloth or paper fibers of a mask). My advice to the lady is to return all the masks and get her money back. Then maybe I can buy a packet of dust masks and get back to painting my house.

David Arakaki



Don’t panic, but prepare for effects of COVID-19

I’m having difficulty understanding the two-weeks-of-isolation preparation. We stay home for two weeks and then what? The virus is gone and we’re free to go out and about?

We should learn to live off the land and be more self-sufficient, so that being cut off from certain shipments won’t be so horrendous. It’s tough, as being on such a remote island chain makes us very dependent on outsourcing.

There are 88,000 cases of the COVID-19 virus worldwide with a death toll of about 3,000, making the virus fatal to only 3.5% of those who contracted it — quite minute considering the universal high panic.

We can’t control this outbreak, and it doesn’t help to sit around and panic. It’s important to take steps to prepare as one would for a physical disaster. Hurricane or virus, they’re both disastrous in their own ways, flying through the very air we breathe, the very air that keeps us alive.

Inbar Maor

Hawaii Kai


Retailers can limit madness of hoarding

What is with the craziness of people emptying the shelves of stores for toilet paper, hand sanitizer, masks and whatever else, due to the COVID-19 virus situation?

The state Department of Health (DOH) started this panic by suggesting people prepare like there was a hurricane coming. The Star-Advertiser also is guilty of contributing to this madness by having a front-page picture of Sam’s Club’s empty shelves (“Isle residents stock up on supplies,” Star- Advertiser, Feb. 27).

Once that statement came out from DOH, all retailers should have immediately put a limit on the amount of these products for each customer.

Yes, prepare, not hoard.

Sharon Yamamoto



Fluoride pills better than tainting water supply

Imagine a family household in which the grandpa has cancer, the grandma has severe rheumatoid arthritis, the father has diabetes with chronic kidney disease and a child has multiple chemical sensitivity with obsessive compulsive disorder. One of their married children, who has multiple myeloma, lives with them and his wife has just given birth.

Now you want to give the entire family an industrial-grade, bio-accumulative neurotoxin in their household drinking water for sake of the infant’s teeth. Auwe! No make sense!

Why not give the family free prescription fluoride pills or drops and tell them to fill up a bottle with good Hawaii tap water and drop a pharmaceutical-grade fluoride supplement into it?

Those who want can now drink precisely dosed fluoridated water, and those with fragile health can still benefit from Hawaii’s clean tap water.

It’s a simple solution that targets only those at risk for caries, with no expensive equipment, no corrosion of piping systems, no industrial-grade chemicals and no controversial legislation required.

Adrian Q.S. Chang

Hawaii Kai


Leaders can’t mitigate Hawaii out-migration

Your editorial, “Oahu residents pessimistic” (Star-Advertiser, Our View, Feb. 29) said that a 2019 National Community Survey for the City and County of Honolulu revealed some depressing attitudes in how Oahu residents view their home.

Just 16% said the value of services for taxes was excellent or good, a drastic drop from 68% in 2006. When we add our people’s growing discontent with Oahu’s high cost of living and more mainland job opportunities, we are having out-migration issues.

Hawaii has withstood out-migration trends before. Hawaii’s civilian population in 1949 was about 500,000. The 1949 dock strike caused many people to look for jobs elsewhere. Between 1949 and 1953 in excess of 100,000 of Hawaii residents moved away. Hawaii’s economy recovered, thanks to federal defense spending, sugar and pineapple, the start of tourism, banking, real estate, insurance, transportation, utilities, and state and local government spending. Many factors helped this recovery, including good luck.

Is there the leadership, a course correction to withstand another wave of out-migration? Survey says no. And I agree with you: The status quo is neither acceptable nor sustainable.

Gregg Uyetake

Hawaii Kai


Actions after Bryant crash reprehensible

As if the grief suffered by the family of NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna wasn’t enough, I cannot find the words to describe how I feel about those first responders who were on scene of the crash who took pictures of the deceased victims and, most reprehensibly, made the family relive that nightmare again.

My advice to those specific individuals — and they know who they are — is that they represent all responsible and caring professional first responders across our nation. They should seek in-house counseling, group peer support, or, in my personal opinion as a former first responder, resign.

Byron “Jiro” Kaneshiro



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