The recovery of 37-year-old Coby Torda from COVID-19 after six long weeks of medically induced coma shows us that Hawaii has done the right thing by shutting down early and well (“Waikiki bartender recovering from coronavirus,” Star-Advertiser, May 4).
Had Torda gotten that severely ill somewhere where hospitals were admitting hundreds of new COVID-19 patients every day and having to jerry-rig respirators to be shared by two to four patients each, he probably could not have received the level of attention and care he needed to survive.
Long before the pandemic, Hawaii had a serious shortage of doctors and medical facilities, so avoiding overwhelming the system was critical. Skeptics keep equating COVID-19 with seasonal flu, but COVID-19 patients require much longer hospitalization than flu patients, longer stays in the ICU, and many more days on respirators. Hence the overwhelm.
Thanks to our early lockdown and public cooperation, Hawaii now has one of the lowest rates of COVID-19 infection, hospitalization and deaths in the nation. We’ve dodged a bullet.
Federal government failed to help protesters
To protesters demanding an immediate end to the stay-at-home orders by mayors and the governor: For those suffering financial hardship (e.g., cannot pay rent, no money for food), I understand and sympathize with their frustration and anger. However, too many of them are demanding the wrong thing — to go back to work — before there are adequate safety measures in place.
Rather, they should be protesting how the federal government, both Democrats and Republicans, have failed to help them during these very, very difficult times.
They only need to look at other nations such as Canada, Germany and France to see how they should be helped: with a monthly universal basic income for the duration of the crisis, free health care, rent and mortgage freeze, hazard pay and personal protective equipment for essential workers.
Unfortunately, only the federal government has the ability to provide them with this assistance. Protest, yes, but protest against the true enemy, our U.S. representatives (and their corporate donors) who have failed to help you during this pandemic.
Postal Service a godsend to remote communities
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) badly needs financial aid, and has requested help from the federal government. (“Postal Service must raise fees, Trump says,” Star-Advertiser, National Report, April 25.) Such an impediment and others by the president are not practical or needed.
The Postal Service has been around since 1775, with Benjamin Franklin as its first postmaster general. It provides mail service to all addresses. That includes money-losing locations where others do not deliver due to cost. What company would deliver to Hana, Maui, or Nome, Alaska? Many would not get their medicines, goods and mail were it not for the USPS. Many post offices lose money due to such operations.
The USPS is truly a godsend. Can one imagine not receiving mail in the mailbox, sending out cards and mail, saving stamps for philately, etc? Save the USPS!
Lawrence M.O. Chun
Landlords should help good business tenants
One would hope that business owners could go to their landlords and say, “Look, my business is shut down by the virus, it means no income for me, so I have nothing to pay the rent with. I’ve been a good tenant for all these years but there’s no way I can pay rent with no income.
“I can just completely close up shop and move all my stuff out and you end up with no income as well. You’re not going to find anyone else to come in and start a business here while the virus rules are in place.
“So how about letting me stay here, pay no rent until the virus rules end, and when it does, we’ll both be back in business. Either way, you (the landlord) will get no rental payments for the duration of the virus, but by letting me stay in place, you’ll be guaranteed a paying tenant once this is all over.”
Test visitors to Hawaii before they board plane
Thank you for your constant, worthwhile reporting during this difficult COVID-19 pandemic.
I recommend visitors to Hawaii (and anywhere else) be tested for COVID-19 symptoms before they board planes. Emirates Airlines requires passengers to have a pre-boarding blood test that gives results in 10 minutes.
Passengers who are tested only on arrival may have already infected other in-flight passengers. And testing prior to boarding would also save the state from spending time and money monitoring visitors during quarantine.
Use cloth towels instead of disposable paper ones
I’ve been advised about the unavailability of paper towels, which must be the most overrated household cleaning item in America.
Surely, soap and dishwasher detergent are indispensable. However, replacing absorbent paper towels, which leave a residue of lint, can be accomplished effectively with a kitchen cloth hand towel, rubber sponge, or even a handy face towel. Yet we spend a fortune on paper towels whose greatest fame appears to be that they are quickly disposable.
Tomorrow belongs to those who plan today. It’s time to be self-sufficient.
Let’s not be held hostage to convenience, as long as our push-button washer and dryer, and cleaning cloth towels, remain nearby.
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