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fl(ASH)backHawaii News

David Shapiro: Everything looks ‘covidiotic’ in long coronavirus pandemic lockdown

It’s the last Sunday of April and time to “flASHback” on the month’s news that amused and confused:

>> As new coronavirus cases in Hawaii declined, state and county leaders talked of easing restrictions and inching back to a new normal. The new normal is like the old normal except we’re short of toilet paper to clean it up.

>> After ordering everybody to wear masks in public, Mayor Kirk Caldwell and Gov. David Ige sported their own, with the mayor favoring palaka and the governor kolohe stripes. They looked like Checkers and Pogo at a convenience store hold-up.

>> President Donald Trump disregarded his own federal guidelines recommending masks, saying he doesn’t need one. He just pulls down his comb-over and sticks it to his spray tan.

>> State senators shouted at Ige’s chief of staff, Linda Chu Takayama, about the governor’s handling of the pandemic, and Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz threatened a vote of no confidence. With our grandstanding pols, it’s more an issue of no shame.

>> Ige declared marijuana dispensaries essential businesses to keep them open and issued a proclamation allowing sales of takeout liquor. You need one or the other to make it through his daily briefings.

>> Caldwell and Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard puzzled residents by ordering an 11 p.m. curfew for Easter, traditionally a quiet holiday. Police were on the lookout for a giant bunny suspected of violating his 14-day tourist quarantine.

>> A tourist couple was the subject of a manhunt and shipped back to the mainland after serial escapes from their hotel quarantine. Our new official state greeter is Dog the Bounty Hunter.

>> Caldwell continued sweeps of Oahu homeless camps during the pandemic against the advice of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. More evidence that COVID-19 attacks the heart.

>> U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard blew back into town after dropping out of the presidential race and filled the local airwaves with coronavirus opinions. She’s like the fair-weather friend who wants to hang out again after the big kids she ditched you for wouldn’t play with her.

>> Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami made national headlines for calling a visitor from Florida who disregarded social distancing a “covidiot.” It’s always news when a politician is on the giving end instead of the receiving end of idiot-calling.

>> Maui Brewing Co. is being investigated by the county Liquor Commission for using its distillery to produce $25,000 worth of scarce hand sanitizer and giving it away. Company CEO Garrett Marrero said it better than I could: “No good deed goes unpunished.”

And the quote of the month … from Lt. Gov. Josh Green opposing proposals to release state prison inmates during the pandemic: “Prison is safer than Costco.” Nothing is more dangerous than desperate seniors racing our shopping carts to the last 30-pack of Charmin.

Reach David Shapiro at volcanicash@gmail.com.

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