While the leadership theme is well stated, the underlying information is a strong reminder that politicians, government leaders, hospital administrators, civil defense and emergency preparedness managers throughout the U.S. consistently spent millions of our tax money to write pandemic plans, then mostly ignored them (“Leadership requires taking responsibility, not finger-pointing,” Star-Advertiser, Island Voices, April 23).
Cities and states failed to maintain any decent amount of emergency stockpiles. Hospitals viewed emergency supplies as too costly to bother with in their for-profit world, and several federal agencies never properly replenished their supplies over at least five administrations. And when the forecasted emergency came, everyone seemed to point at the White House.
How convenient, how deceitful. And the media just ate up the lie and lazily repeated it.
We all failed this one, so spend your energies on fixing and getting it better, not whining and blaming.
Remember, when you point your finger at someone, your three other fingers are pointing back at you.
Unrealistic, unwise to keep Kauai on virus lockdown
As of Friday, there were no known active cases of COVID-19 on Kauai, yet we remain in total shutdown. How is this reasonable, fair or even realistic? How many people have to lose their businesses, homes, relationships before it will be enough?
Is the shutdown more important than the livelihoods of thousands of families? Than the welfare of children? Than the mental health of the entire island? This is complete insanity.
I would get on a plane and fly away — to Sweden! — if it was legal to travel, but I am trapped in a “Twilight Zone” episode. What happens in the fall when another round of COVID-19 or any other virus comes around? Is this going to be the new normal?
Life is not without risks. Getting sick is one of them. Why would you mandate that well people must quarantine?
Sick people should stay home and those who are fearful of getting sick can opt to stay home. But the rest of us have lives to live. Open Kauai now!
Raise hotel room tax, ban B&Bs to limit tourists
If we are to discourage travel to Hawaii, the state should drastically increase the hotel room tax, $300 a day or more, even.
This should help pay for monitoring as well as discourage travel spurred by cheap hotel rates and airfares. B&Bs and vacation rentals should be permanently banned and ankle monitoring should be implemented.
Economics favors a lot more testing for Hawaii
State Health Director Bruce Anderson didn’t exactly inspire confidence with his recent testimony to the state Senate Special Committee on COVID-19 (“Senators say plan is needed as airlines resume flying to state,” Star-Advertiser, April 23).
When asked about a plan to reopen Hawaii to tourism, he said there is no plan yet. Then he went on to say that first we must be sure the health care system has the capacity to treat the cases that may arise and to trace contacts of known infected persons.
By contrast, many experts (epidemiologists and economists) are saying we need to do a lot more testing. Mayor Kirk Caldwell wanted to spend $2 million for 10,000 tests to distribute to community health centers (“Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell outlines plan to reopen businesses,” Star-Advertiser, April 24).
So, apparently it costs about $200 to test someone. At that price, we could test virtually everyone in Hawaii for about $200 million. Then we quarantine everyone who tests positive and the rest of us go back to business. It sounds like a lot of money, but it’s a bargain compared to the cost of shutting down the economy for months.
We still need a plan for reopening tourism. That also will probably require a lot of testing.
Associate professor of management, University of Hawaii
Hospital capacity indicates it’s time to open economy
In my opinion, Oklahoma has the right approach to the COVID-19 pandemic: focus on hospitalizations.
The idea of “flattening the curve,” used as justification for shutting down the economy, was to not overwhelm hospital capacity. The number of infected cases does not matter at all if none of them end up in the hospital.
If there is plenty of hospital capacity available, it is time to incrementally open up the economy while continuing to protect nursing homes, avoid shaking hands and touching your face, disinfecting surfaces, wearing masks, and so on.
We cannot wait for a vaccine. We have to learn to live with the COVID-19 virus. There have been influenza vaccines for years but we still have to live with the flu virus.
In any event, daily COVID-19 cases in Hawaii peaked at 34 on April 3. The time to reopen the Hawaii economy is overdue.
Rhoads Stevens, M.D.
Expand unemployment services to 24 hours a day
The processing of unemployment checks seems to be taking longer than expected. Opening a third location at the convention center for processing applications will help.
However, I think it could be more efficient if the state expanded its unemployment services to 24 hours a day.
I think the difference in shift pay would be justified by getting checks out to individuals faster, i.e., 200% faster. The state could accomplish in one day what would take them three days to do now.
Home schoolers know best teachers may be parents
Home schoolers are not shut down at all. We successfully educated our three children.
Most courses already are taught online, with amazing curricula that parents choose themselves. SAT and Iowa tests are easily available outside the school system.
Our kids were capable of taking on higher levels of credits, graduating early, and saving us a bundle. Our daughter graduated magna cum laude.
Don’t let the government or private schools convince you that you are not capable. The best teacher cannot beat a parent who cares. There are plenty of resources to help in subjects you may not be up on.
And the social question is a myth. Our kids were swamped with activities. Besides, non-home schoolers are peer-based socially. Home schoolers are at ease with adults.
As an employer, I can detect home schoolers by their superior ability to communicate, which I find refreshing. And it is safer. No virus, no school violence and no drugs. In the home school groups, the parents know each other and their kids.
To defend Constitution, get rid of President Trump
Perhaps the irony was lost on the demonstrators saying, “Protect Our Constitution,” at a rally against public health measures (“Lockdown has gone too far, Hawaii protesters say,” Star-Advertiser, April 20).
The real threat to the Constitution is President Donald Trump.
Trump has done everything he can to attack reporters and get rid of a free, inquiring press.
He undermines the rule of law through attacking law enforcement agencies, falsely claiming they are part of a “deep state.” He claims that investigations into his misbehavior are a “witch hunt,” and he fires people trying to protect whistleblowers who report governmental misconduct.
He routinely lies and violates the constitutional mandate to serve the people rather than his own selfish interests.
For speaking about the coronavirus he uses his “press briefings” (aka election rallies) to promote himself and rewrite history, not unlike his role model, Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has spent the last 10 years spreading misinformation about America’s public health agencies.
If you really want to defend the Constitution: Dump Trump.
Thomas A. Wills
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