comscore Letters: Runners need to keep their distance; It’s not selfish to be outdoors; End TMT stalemate for good | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Editorial | Letters

Letters: Runners need to keep their distance; It’s not selfish to be outdoors; End TMT stalemate for good

I am one of many seniors who walk around Kapiolani Park in the mornings. I’m wondering why none of the runners wear face masks. I’m also wondering why they have to pass us by within one or two feet.

A recent article said runners can leave a mist trail from heavy breathing up to 30 feet behind them (“A runner can trail respiratory droplets up to 30 feet directly behind, researchers say,” Star-Advertiser, April 17). Don’t they know about social distancing? Don’t they know they can appear healthy but still be a carrier of COVID-19? Don’t they know the virus is deadly to seniors?

Or maybe they just don’t care about others. Mighty inconsiderate.

Jim Cook



Be tough with scofflaws putting others at risk

I am a high-risk person for contracting COVID-19. I am 71 years old and am paralyzed from the chest down. I have half a normal person’s lung capacity.

I haven’t left our residence since the governor’s stay-in-place order. I’ve had contact with just my wife, who leaves masked only to get food and stays in the grocery store for less than 15 minutes. So we are doing what we can to stay safe.

I curse every reckless vacationer and resident who endanger us by ignoring the governor’s orders. They are criminal to risk our lives. Cite every resident who is unnecessarily out and about. No exceptions. Don’t waive any fines. And monitor all visitors with 24/7 surveillance, using laid-off public and hospitality industry employees. I suggest posting a monitor on every visitor, in the hall outside their hotel room, down at the hotel pool, and in the hotel’s restaurants. And if they step off the property, call the police.

Yes, that’s a stringent restriction of our freedom. But this is life and death. I don’t want to die for some selfish bonehead’s suntan.

Lunsford Phillips



Abiding rules, it’s not selfish to be outdoors

Over and over I hear people say they are angry at “those people who just don’t get it,” endangering everyone else due to their own selfishness. Please refer to Gov. David Ige’s Third Supplemental Proclamation, issued on March 23: Part I.B Permitted Activities Outside the Home: 7. “Outdoor exercise activities, including ocean activities such as surfing and swimming, so long as social distancing requirements are maintained.”

Yes, I will continue to walk for exercise and mental well-being, maintaining the required social distance, and I do not consider myself selfish for doing so.

Jeanne Martin-Hopkins



End TMT stalemate for good of hard-hit state

Recent events should give Hawaii a real wake-up call as to the danger of having all our economic eggs in one basket. Tourism has always been a fragile basket, subject to international whims beyond anyone’s control. And so here we are with an economy literally dead in the water, thanks to a viral pandemic.

What natural resources do we have? Farming, ranching, fishing? They might help us toward self-sufficiency, but can they produce export crops in quantity?

Technology? How can we compete with the behemoths on the mainland and in Asia?

That brings me to an outstanding resource we have that is unequaled anywhere else in the world: the astronomical observatories atop our highest mountains, Mauna Kea and Haleakala. Astronomy is clearly capable of continuing on as a sustainable and valuable contributor to the state’s economy, but the stalemate at the mauna puts it all in jeopardy.

It is time for the state and the kia‘i to call a truce and compromise on a path that will accommodate their needs and those of the state.

Mollie Foti



U.S. medical system not best to deal with crisis

Marc Thiessen blamed “socialized medicine” for the tragic situation in Italy but neglects other European countries (“Pandemic reveals failures of government-run health care,” Star-Advertiser, April 17).

He said our medical system is better prepared to deal with pandemics than anyone else. That would be laughable if it were not for the suffering and needless deaths.

He neglected to mention that our medical system is profit-motivated: The uninsured are ignored; drug prices are higher than in other countries; our medical costs per capita are by far the highest in the world; and our system is responsible for many private medical bankruptcies.

He blamed “bureaucrats,” not the Trump administration, for shortages. He also neglected to mention that our congressional votes are for sale, cemented by the Citizens United court decision. One must ask: In a civilized world, should health care be a privilege or a right?

The Italian dilemma rests with its political ineffectiveness (resonating with us), rather than with Italy’s medical system. Just look at Scandinavia, Germany, and others.

Hubertus Guenther

Hawaii Kai


The Honolulu Star-Advertiser welcomes all opinions. Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor.

>> Write us: We welcome letters up to 150 words, and guest columns of 500-600 words. We reserve the right to edit for clarity and length. Include your name, address and daytime phone number.

>> Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Advertiser 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210 Honolulu, HI 96813

>> Contact: 529-4831 (phone), 529-4750 (fax),,

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Comments (24)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Scroll Up