As we endure mandated stay-at-home directives from state and county leaders, we need to understand the threat to civil liberties this situation may pose to our normal way of life.
Although scientists and virologists are far from truly understanding COVID-19, we as a nation cannot stay shut down in fear forever. Any restrictions to civil liberties are supposed to be narrowly tailored, yet we see states imposing substantial fines, unwarranted arrests and executive power overreach that most Americans would not tolerate.
Our governments should trust Americans to do the right thing as we reopen for business, while at the same time protecting our most vulnerable. This can be done without the heavy hand of government beating its citizens down for noncompliance.
Common sense needs to rule — not fear, intimidation or the implementation of heavy-handed policing — to get through this crisis.
Reschedule graduations for Christmas holidays
Having high school and college graduations canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic crisis has caused great disappointment and deep sadness for those who were excitedly looking forward to publicly celebrating their great achievement with their families, friends and fellow graduates.
I suggest that this year’s graduation ceremonies be rescheduled for the winter break when most of the graduating students will be home for the holidays.
Parents and/or grandparents of students who are studying on the mainland can consider giving them a trip home as their Christmas present.
I cannot think of a better or more appropriate Christmas present that the Board of Education can give to our graduating seniors than allowing each school to plan and sponsor a full-on graduation ceremony during the winter holiday of 2020.
Congratulations, seniors. You deserve to have a real graduation ceremony.
William T. Kinaka
Ige’s mistakes hurt small-business owners
I understand the need for stay-at-home guidelines. But the governor mishandled the issue of florists being able to deliver for Mother’s Day (“Gov. Ige reverses his decision and allows flower shops to make deliveries for Mother’s Day,” Star-Advertiser, Top News, April 28).
Statistics show that florists generate about 25% of their sales in May. Here in Hawaii, that number is higher because of graduations and Memorial Day. Florists already have ordered their flowers and canceling them is not possible. So not only would they lose sales, but it would create a net loss for them. A mistake by his administration has very large implications for the lives of these small-business owners.
Mail obituary notices to the White House
With all this talk about opening up parts of the country much too soon, and well before there has been adequate testing, I think everyone around the country should cut out the obituary pages from their local papers every Sunday and mail them to the president at the White House.
Purchasing local newspapers will help keep them in business and able to keep reporting the news. And purchasing the stamps needed will help keep the U.S. Postal Service in business as well.
Maybe this could help with this presidential administration’s awareness of all the people in this country who are dying, and all of the people it is hurting with its poor decisions.
Unemployment claims website should be 24/7
Why is the unemployment claims website available only from 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekends? It is automated, so why is it not 24/7?
Why can’t people who get kicked off the first time get a code to log in at a certain time later that week, instead of forcing people to stay glued to their computers for hours trying to log on?
It’s downright cruel. People already are super-stressed about not having an income and being under indefinite lockdown.
Get some help from Pierre Omidyar. He made his fortune developing eBay and runs Ulupono Initiative here in Hawaii. Get his team working on the unemployment website.
Use alphabetized system for unemployment info
Unemployment claims certification and unemployment insurance information are almost impossible to do with constant “system busy” messages, probably caused by 200,000 UI claimants trying to get in every day.
How about an alphabet-based call-in system, like this: last names beginning A to E on Monday, F to J on Tuesday, and so on? UI needs to up its game. The benefits have to flow for the well-being of us all.
Fear of coronavirus won’t easily go away
Hawaii’s economic dependence on tourism makes us especially vulnerable.
Most people are convinced that the coronavirus is a major threat that justifies the extreme measures that have been adopted, bringing the economy to a standstill.
However, the fear that has been produced will not be easily or quickly erased when the danger has passed.
Consumers will not immediately feel comfortable flying to tourist destinations.
Government officials and workers in tourism will not immediately feel comfortable welcoming millions of unscreened tourists back to Hawaii. Until that happens, the tourism industry will be in steep decline.
Returning to normal could take a long time — if it ever happens.
Carl H. Zimmerman
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