Number of cases will continue to increase
The goal was to flatten the curve so we didn’t overwhelm our health care systems. We did that.
However, flattening the curve doesn’t change the area under the curve. It doesn’t mean fewer cases; it means spreading the same number of cases over a longer period of time.
As we reopen, we will see more cases. It’s going to seem like a spike because our numbers have been so low. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t reopen.
It certainly doesn’t mean we should lock down again when case numbers go up, unless the numbers threaten to exceed our ICU capacity.
It means we should continue to practice hygiene and social distancing. It means vulnerable people should continue to isolate. It’s unrealistic to think we can eliminate the virus without stopping incoming traffic (and the economy) indefinitely.
Government, social programs must shrink
Social distancing, use of face masks and customers, including incoming travelers, will be carefully vetted as a normal part of reopening our economy. This will continue until a vaccine for COVID-19 is approved and the population widely immunized.
The main drivers of our economy and employers are tourism and government. It is totally unrealistic to expect that our economy will return to the normal state prior to COVID-19. The decrease in tourism and business volume due to these constraints cannot sustain our economy, or government services and programs previously implemented by our Democratic and union-driven government.
It is obvious that programs, and especially social programs, need to be drastically curtailed and/or eliminated. In addition to this, our government work force also needs to be proportioned to the size of our changed economy.
While nonprofit organizations are taking the opportunity to expand their own agendas, they also are unsustainable.
Ultimately the market decides what makes economic sense in taxation and the spending of tax revenue.
Warming climate leads to more pandemics
An article in Scientific American in November 2016 discussed how thawing of the permafrost in northern latitudes is releasing long-dormant pathogens, including anthrax, into the atmosphere.
A warming climate is allowing vectors, such as mosquitoes and ticks, to migrate northwards, carrying their disease organisms with them.
A burgeoning human population, along with destruction of natural habitat, is bringing people and wildlife into closer proximity, increasing the likelihood of viral transmission.
All of these things mean that more pandemics are coming. What will be our response? Something more reasonable and effective has to be found other than this general shutdown of life and economy.
Use contact-tracing app to keep track of virus
In addition to having adequate testing supplies and personal protective equipment, we need to deploy and use a contact-tracing app.
With reasonable conditions for social distancing, a business should be required to have coverage with the app, probably with one or more employee cell phones or other ways.
Businesses may refuse service to a customer without the app. Signs can be posted. Visitors must show that they have the app before leaving the airport, and turning it off would be a violation.
As to privacy concerns, Google already has this information and sells it. The government would not. If legislation is needed for this, get busy.
St. Louis Heights
Drive safely, even with fewer cars on the road
After living here for nearly 40 years, I’ve never seen the patented aloha spirit more alive then it has been during these unprecedented times.
That said, the stay-at-home rules have left our highways and roads empty. That’s no excuse for treating them like NASCAR. The speeding and weaving in and out of traffic will cause accidents and unfortunately fatalities. This must stop.
Also, while pedestrians have the right to walk at a crosswalk, they must look right and left for vehicles and bikes. It’s incumbent for everyone to be aware and courteous to others. And, get off your phone. This will make a difference.
Wide-open highways tempt drivers to speed
Stories about so many people getting speeding tickets during the coronavirus shutdown corroborate my experience. And I don’t get it.
Sure, on the rare times I go out, the mostly wide-open roads are like driving in a TV car commercial.
But think about it: The faster you get home, the more time you’re going to be cooped up there.
Keep tour helicopters away from residences
It is so nice to read about positive and important action affecting people’s daily lives: helicopters close to national parks (“Court orders limits for noisy flights over Haleakala and Hawaii Volcanoes national parks,” Star-Advertiser, May 4).
Now would someone please do the same for Hawaii? We live along Waikiki and helicopters start their tours at 7:30 a.m., and there is more than one company.
They drone on all day long. This has stopped due to the coronavirus and what a difference it has made in our daily life here: It’s quieter, oh, so much quieter. This is the way paradise was meant to be.
Helicopters are such a disruptive noise. And we have learned, that noise affects our bodies in adverse ways — nerves and brain function, to name just two.
Please continue with this very important health issue.
Jim and Susanne Lenz
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