Wearing mask is act of valor by warriors
My wife’s father crawled foxhole-to-foxhole across France with his mortar platoon during World War II. Like most Purple Heart veterans of that era, he spoke little of his battle experiences. Late in his life, we watched “Saving Private Ryan” together. He said the movie wasn’t quite accurate, at least as he recalled. He said that he had respect for the German soldiers, because they were well-disciplined and fought hard. He said that about 60% of the Americans fought hard. Among the others, half were frozen in fear and didn’t fight. He said that he could understand and forgive that. The other 20% cowered in their foxholes, letting others risk their lives in battle.
In the current war against COVID-19, those who follow health directives to wear masks, wash hands and socially distance are warriors actively fighting the virus. I urge those who are cowered in their Fox (News) holes to mask up and join the battle. This war isn’t going to be easy, but the more of us who fight, the fewer will die.
Don’t want to live life cowering in fear
At last, the voice of reason in your paper: Dr. Peter Caldwell’s article calling for calm reasoning and examining the data regarding the coronavirus (“The politics of fear overwhelming us today,” Star-Advertiser, Island Voices, May 19).
Many of my senior friends are living in fear. Unfortunately, they are responding to the liberal media’s scare tactics. My daughter is also a medical doctor and she has been saying what Caldwell has been saying for months. I am in my 70s, but I am willing to take the risks and live my life without cowering in fear. To me, that is not living.
Sweden’s death rate higher than Norway’s
As a retired physician, Dr. Peter Caldwell surely knows the importance of making decisions based on accurate facts (“The politics of fear overwhelming us today,” Star-Advertiser, Island Voices, May 19). To bolster his argument that governments are overreacting to the coronavirus threat, he said that there is “no significant difference in mortality data with Sweden taking the common-sense approach … while Norway has put in serious restrictions and closures.”
However, a recent article in Newsweek says, “Sweden’s death rate is nearly six times as high as that of Norway.” President Donald Trump tweeted the same day that Sweden is paying “heavily” for not locking down the country. Which is it?
Class of 2020 should hold 1-year reunions
The high school graduating class of 2020 have been real troupers despite all the obstacles and cancellations of memory-making lifetime experiences. Class trips, camps, proms and graduation ceremonies are lost forever.
To the Class of 2020, consider having a one-year class reunion. Schools should pay for part of it. Classes can raise funds from their freshman year.
Congratulations. See you at your one-year class reunion.
Airlines must enforce mask-wearing rules
Richard Bennett may appreciate what Hawaiian Airlines is doing to keep his elderly body safe on an interisland flight, but in his letter he describes unsafe behavior on the part of the flight attendant in allowing the flirty “cool” guy to board the flight with only his chin masked (“Wearing a mask protects people near wearer,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, May 18).
Since we know that some people may have little or no symptoms, it is important that everyone wear masks appropriately to protect others from potential virus spreading. Any interisland plans on my part are on hold until Hawaiian Airlines flight crews take masking guidelines for passengers seriously.
Ken H. Smith
Tourists overrun isles with low-cost vacations
The article by Allison Schaefers got me thinking about the changes I’ve seen to Hawaii since I began vacationing on your beautiful islands (“Visitor counts rise to highest level since Hawaii quarantine began,” Star-Advertiser, May 19). Cheap airfares, the proliferation of rental cars, the internet and unhosted vacation rentals have caused tourism to harm the quality of life for Hawaii residents and Mother Nature.
The recent closure of the Kuhio Highway north of Hanalei to unrestricted traffic is a great idea that could be replicated elsewhere in Hawaii.
Cheap rentals cars and navigation apps are taking tourists on routes best left to full-time residents. Bermuda has banned tourist rental cars altogether, has an excellent bus system, and consequently much quieter streets.
And lastly, home-rental companies are taking vitally needed housing off the market for locals, driving up prices. Mainland and international real-estate speculators shouldn’t expand their portfolios at the cost of the quality of life of Hawaii residents.
Hotels and resorts need to refocus on value, end ridiculous resort fees and encourage the tourists who left them for the value of rental homes to return. This will help concentrate tourists away from residential areas.
Scotts Valley, Calif.
Charge top dollar for mandatory testing
There are reports of visitors attempting to get around the 14-day quarantine. Instead of a quarantine, which would take almost all of most visitors’ vacations, make testing mandatory instead.
Charge visitors two or three times what testing would cost and use the profits to test our high-risk kupuna, service providers and first responders. I’m sure most visitors would gladly pay for testing if it means not violating quarantine rules and risking arrest.
Ko Olina closed public parking at lagoons
Monday midafternoon, we decided to take our two 1-year-old twins out to the Ko Olina lagoons, put them on the grass and sand and watch them play and discover. We figured that the beaches are now open and it’s a Monday, so we’d have a good chance to find a parking space at one of the lagoons.
To our dismay, the parking lots were all closed. All of them. When I inquired at the front guest gate house on our way out, the very nice young lady suggested that if we want to use the beaches, we can get dropped off.
I think she’s been told to say this. She said it with a straight face. Now, I don’t blame the messenger in this case. But what kind of chicanery is going on out there that the public has no access to the beaches?
Ko Olina’s management executives have no right. That was the deal. They get to build out there. The public gets access to the beaches. To suggest we get “dropped off” is disingenuous at best, and manipulative for sure.
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