My son is in the restaurant business in Seoul, South Korea. We talk daily. Seoul never closed restaurants and most businesses. Schools and churches were closed. Theaters are open. Everyone wears masks — special filter masks are sold only at pharmacies with each person allowed to purchase two per week on days set by their birth date. Cloth masks are readily available in stores.
Businesses take each person’s temperature, then sanitize hands with alcohol sprays. There is no separation inside of restaurants — normal sitting. Bars were closed when outbreaks occurred, as many are in basements with poor ventilation and no windows.
Seoul seems to be doing well despite no massive closure of businesses. Masks are seen as a key part to overall control. It’s hard to comprehend U.S. complaints and early advice that masks do not help. I don’t understand why Gov. David Ige is slow to open up businesses, with our low incidence of infection.
Lift restrictions slowly and wisely; no short cuts
I am all for American freedom and rights, having even fought for these. However, I draw the line when it comes to saving lives.
To date, Hawaii’s residents have done an excellent job in abiding with masking, social distancing and stay-at-home orders. And, we can be justly proud to have one of the lowest rates of COVID-19 incidence and death in the nation.
In moving forward, we need to continue to listen to our medical professionals by lifting restrictions a little at a time. There are no short cuts to be taken here. Countries around the world, even Japan and Singapore, are now paying steep prices for lifting restrictions too soon, or for not having adequate safety protocols in conjunction with each lifting.
Every American needs to take personal responsibility for stopping the virus, even if it means temporarily giving up liberties and rights. Undisciplined, unmasked citizens, and those who ignore social-distancing and stay-at-home measures, can easily ignite a flurry of new infections. Our survival is linked to the common sense of all.
Don’t let covidiot ruin common-sense strides
David Biacan says that “common sense needs to rule … to get through this crisis” (“Citizens can be trusted to behave responsibly,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, April 30).
Unfortunately, common sense is not so common anymore. All it’s going to take is one covidiot who will ruin it for everyone else and the already-suffering businesses.
Let’s all consciously keep that gray matter between our ears engaged to its fullest potential and do the right thing to get us through this.
Tourism reset involves safety, higher-spenders
The plans outlined in “Transforming tourism” (Star-Advertiser, May 3), have several gaping holes.
First of all, the main problem is not making tourists feel safe, but making absolutely sure that they aren’t carrying the virus with them and reseeding it here.
Second, budget travel to Hawaii will be decimated not because of the virus- related concerns, but because cost- conscious travelers simply won’t be able to afford it. (However, this is a golden opportunity to focus on sustainability, i.e., higher-spending visitors. There was no explicit mention of this either.)
Finally, talking up Hawaii as the “world’s safest place” is simply asking for trouble. The implication is that we are somehow guaranteeing people’s safety, which is patently ridiculous.
Contrary to protesters, there’s no ‘right to work’
There is at least one takeaway from the front-page report on protesters’ civil liberty woes (“Protesters arrested at rally,” Star-Advertiser, May 2).
There is no “right to work.” There is a right to hire, and there is a right to fire, but there is no right to work.
“Right to work” is a successful slogan created by the anti-organized- labor movement.
There is a right to quit a job. There is a right to join a union, and there is a right to not join a union, but contrary to that very effective propaganda slogan, there is no “right to work.”
Food stamps were intended to ensure that no one in our land of plenty would fear going hungry. Although there is no right to work, it’s a sad commentary on the respect for work in this country that one needs 20 hours of it to be eligible for that charitable gift that keeps the worker from going hungry.
Joseph E. “Joe” Kelleher
Volunteers can ‘adopt’ visitors to help keep tabs
I keep hearing officials say there is no way to track the visitors coming into the islands. There have been fewer than 200 visitors per day during the quarantine requirement mandate.
I would be willing to bet there are thousands of local residents (I’ll do it) who would volunteer to “adopt a visitor” to keep tabs on while they’re in quarantine. Visitors would have to agree to this process, but that is a very small price to pay for them coming here and threatening our safety.
Rather than wasting all the sacrifices we’ve made as a state, please give us a chance to keep COVID-19 from flying into our island by the droves. Let us help if you don’t have the resources.
Revise mandate against sitting on isles’ beaches
I typically have considerable respect for elected officials, but lately that confidence has waned. Gov. David Ige and Mayor Kirk Caldwell mandated that people cannot sit at the beach.
The safest place to avoid contracting the coronavirus is in bright sunlight. Ultraviolet rays kill the virus. Hawaii is blessed with miles of beaches. Even when tourists are here, we can maintain 8-10 feet of social distancing.
I recently was at the beach near the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Two police vehicles came driving down the beach, and soon, officers were writing citations to the few citizens sitting and enjoying the sun.
I have always held HPD in the highest regard; its presence typically makes residents feel safe. It is sad to have its brand tarnished by requiring officers to cite law-abiding residents whose only “crime” is sitting on the beach.
Please revise this mandate before all of our faith in elected leaders and law enforcement is lost.
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