comscore Letters: Protect those workers who protect all of us; Make your own face masks; Use mapping software | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Editorial | Letters

Letters: Protect those workers who protect all of us; Make your own face masks; Use mapping software

This is a simple request from a local boy asking for the public’s help in this desperate time.

I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Hawaii and have personally experienced the devastation of COVID-19 firsthand, as I am one of the emergency physicians staffing the Emergency Department at Evergreen Hospital in Kirkland, Wash., the original epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S.

I remember working the day the first positive test for COVID-19 came back; I have experienced many intense, stressful and emotional shifts in the emergency department since that first day. Many of the patients I have cared for have died.

A COVID-19 outbreak starts with one infected patient. It can then spread and exponentially increase, overwhelming available medical resources unless mitigation strategies are quickly employed.

Please listen to state officials and help protect the public and the workers on the front line of this pandemic who have elected to serve you despite the inherent danger to themselves and their families. I implore all of you to stay home and endure appropriate social distancing.

Kevin M. Hori, M.D.

Redmond, Wash.


Take responsibility for your own finances

As harsh as this sounds, it is not the government’s responsibility to help pay our rents and mortgages, contrary to what Ernie Itoga thinks (“People require help paying rent, mortgages,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, April 4).

Government’s responsibility is keeping us safe with law and order, not bailing us out because we didn’t have any emergency savings.

It’s been mind-boggling to me how being unemployed for just one month has brought people to their knees (myself included). Financial guru Suze Orman always said one should have at least eight months of emergency savings for times like this. But most of us would rather have that latest smart- phone, daily latte, vehicles with all the bells and whistles (again, myself included). In other words, not living fiscally responsibly.

When this is all over, I’ll change my spending habits and start living more prudently. It’ll be a “need to have” and not a “nice to have.” This has been a wake-up call for me. I will not rely on government (or anyone else) to bail me out — because it’s not going to happen, nor should it. I’m going to listen to Suze Orman.

Mildred Adlong



Don’t grumble, make your own face masks

Some writers want the state to supply face masks. Some want hand sanitizer. Go online and look up how to make them yourself. Google it or YouTube it. The suggestions are better than nothing and way better than grumbling.

And for those without a smartphone or a computer, ask a neighbor to look it up. I’ll bet they’d be glad to help.

Debbie Aldrich



Angry about people who ignore safety rules

As angry as I am about visitors coming here at this time, I am more angry at the selfishness of people who live here and don’t follow the stay-at-home order.

Those who can’t seem to get it because of their own selfish need to go out, have get-togethers at their homes, or go for a drive because they’re bored, are putting all of us at risk.

I’m terrified because of my age, and I have asthma. I have been intubated because of it. I’ve seen my family’s faces when they thought I might die. I’m scared every day because my husband and sons are essential workers.

My husband, who is a cancer survivor, goes to the bus every day and comes into contact with drivers who risk their lives every time they get in a bus to do their job.

I don’t want to lose anyone and I don’t want to die from this virus. I miss watching my grandkids play sports and I miss going to Chili’s for a margarita, but I know the safest place for all of us is at home. Please put aside your need to go out. This will be over much sooner if you follow the rules.

Donna Tomimatsu



Use mapping software to check store crowds

Did you know that you can find out how crowded a store is on Google Maps? I didn’t. You just open Google Maps, click on the name of the store and a left panel opens with information. You scroll down and there is a chart that shows how busy the place is right now.

Google clocks data from people’s phones in the store in real time, just like they do with traffic on the freeway. I used it recently. I needed to shop but I got up late. So I looked on the web and the chart said the crowd at my supermarket was way below normal. So I went and the place was deserted. I think it’s creepy, but it works.

Hang in there. Aloha.

Robert J. Conlan



To protect seals, control feral cats at Ko Olina

I was saddened to read that Pohaku, a female monk seal, died after a long struggle with toxoplasmosis, a disease spread by cat feces (“Female Hawaiian monk seal dies after battling illness spread by cat feces,” Star-Advertiser, April 2).

Pohaku was found sickened at Ko Olina, where I have lived for many years and often have observed endangered monk seals basking on Ko Olina beaches. On walks around Ko Olina, I regularly see feral cats, and the number seems to be increasing — on a recent walk I saw feral cats in three separate locations.

When it rains heavily there is drainage directly into the ocean, which may be the means for seals to become infected with toxoplasmosis. I suggest that feral cat control at Ko Olina should be stepped up to protect endangered monk seals.

John Earle



Even in these days overshadowed by the coronavirus, bright spots exist. If you see kindness or positivity going on, share it with our readers via a 150-word letter to the editor; email it to We’ll be running some of these uplifting letters occasionally to help keep spirits up, as we hunker down. We are all in this together.


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