It might be helpful to view the coronavirus pandemic within a historical context.
The 1918 influenza pandemic killed between 20 million to 50 million, according to the World Health Organization. Back then, the world population was 1.8 billion.
Today with global population at 7.5 billion, we hopefully will not experience anything near the 1918 death rate. We’ve made significant advances in immunology and patient care in the last 100 years. Hopefully a vaccine will be quickly available. And breathtaking advances in communications technology assures an informed, knowledgeable global population.
Contrast communications using postal letters or radio. Why the wide range of the 1918 death counts? Deliberate underreporting for political reasons. The pandemic overlapped World War I, and low counts were offered to not demoralize the population.
Today, we need complete truth for appropriate actions to safeguard our safety — not President Donald Trump’s political spin.
Science guides policies now and should in future
The very same fossil-fuel industries that work to undermine the science of our climate emergency are now begging the scientists to save us from this coronavirus pandemic.
We humans are now facing two serious, global, and frightening crises — one immediate and one on the horizon. We are looking to our politicians to protect us from this virus and they are trusting the scientists to lead the way. Very smart.
Yet they fail to address the upcoming climate crisis. Our so-called leaders defer instead to the powerful fossil-fuel industries that use their limitless money and influence to deny the science and protect their profits. Very greedy.
We’ll get past this pandemic, but will our corporate and political leaders take the actions needed to save our planet?
Focus on solutions, not on casting blame
I’m humiliated. Calls for China to reimburse countries for funds required to counter their COVID-19 virus efforts are scandalous. Where the virus originated is less material than the world’s efforts to counter it. Placing blame is not part of our makeup. Let the United States focus on solving the problem, not pointing fingers.
Public workers, use idle time to broaden skills
With tens of thousands of state and county workers not working because of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, this is a great time for all public sector employees to enroll in online training courses of various types.
Employees can broaden skills; catch up on mandatory training classes; learn new skills; study and become current on various certifications that workers may have been putting off.
Fill the time void with employee education and advance the skills of our public workforce.
Von Kenric Kaneshiro
Shortsighted to continue peddling isles to tourists
It is no surprise that, despite the overcrowding, jam-packed freeways and increasingly degraded environment, our shortsighted government officials and business leaders continue to peddle Hawaii not only as a tourist haven, but are now branding it as the “safest place in the world.”
If 10 million tourists a year before the coronavirus pandemic weren’t enough, I can only imagine what opening the door to 20 million will do to finish off the destruction of these ecologically fragile islands.
Time to liberate Hawaii residents from lockdown
The governor extended his stay-at-home policy and restrictions on commerce and personal activity, possibly for another month. Given the damaging economic impact of this action, it is disheartening that he did not present the public with a measured plan for liberating our community.
People are facing personal challenges relating to medical, legal, and financial issues that require consulting with professionals. Delay leads to stress and complications that could be avoided.
No one can argue against the need keep our community safe from COVID-19. However, given the new face-mask policy and social distancing guidelines, we should be allowed to engage in economic activity safely.
Rigid and draconian policies that result in citations and arrests seem out of place and unwarranted. The multiple and competing state and county emergency declarations seem to create confusion.
Halt new stadium; use funds for health, services
Let’s stop all work on and planning for the new Oahu stadium, immediately and for the foreseeable future.
It would be nice to have, but we can’t afford it, and we need our curtailed revenues for human services and health needs. If you think we must have a new stadium as soon as possible, see the history and current condition of the Waikiki Natatorium.
If golf courses can open, so can tennis courts
I’m just one of thousands of residents who get their weekly exercise playing tennis. We are rarely 6 feet from each other on the court, so social distancing isn’t an issue. Apparently Gov. David Ige and Mayor Kirk Caldwell never saw a tennis match.
So why are we opening golf courses and not the tennis courts? Is it because those with more influence play golf versus tennis?
Ideas and participation will yield innovation
When faced with a problem like we see today, we cannot expect the answer to come from a single person or organization. A complex problem does not demand a complex solution, but it may take creativity and innovation.
Luckily, this is when a free and industrious society thrives. The answers are sure to be found as ideas evolve. Evolution works only with many diverse approaches to a problem, however. The more people participate in conversation, the more ideas others have to use as jumping-off points, the more tinkering we do, the sooner a good answer will be found.
So please participate, research, write, submit suggestions, be involved in the conversation, act. Participation is, after all, why democracies and free markets work so well for so many.
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