comscore Letters: Physical distancing essential to fight virus; Trump puts politics over health; Unemployed should help with public works | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Editorial | Letters

Letters: Physical distancing essential to fight virus; Trump puts politics over health; Unemployed should help with public works

Hawaii needs to be a good example for public health rather than follow the examples of Florida, Texas and Arizona, where the COVID-19 virus is now surging. Without good public health there is no economy. Health is essential for tourism.

We are all tired of physical distancing; however, suddenly abandoning it will only slow our economic recovery and create prolonged pain. COVID-19 deaths are now a leading cause of death in persons under 50 and increasing. COVID-19 is not going away soon. It is predictable. Only we are unpredictable with our physical distancing.

Roger White, M.D.



Not wearing a mask is reckless endangerment

Regarding the article on wearing a mask in public (“Wearing a face mask is showing aloha for others,” Star-Advertiser, June 29): Actually, Hawaii, as well as most states, have laws on the books prohibiting “reckless endangerment,” which non-mask-wearing people are basically violating. A felony charge would be available if a person was positive for COVID-19 as that person would be definitely endangering others.

Police, government officials: Do your job and charge these people accordingly.

Allan Chock

Niu Valley


Veteran journalists provide accurate info

Home and food insecurity, systemic racism and COVID-19 are killing us.

America’s highest office communicates with speech that incites with fighting words and threats. Our “leader” harms us with medical misinformation.

Crowd-sourced mobile content cannot replace the work of veteran photojournalists like the Star-Advertiser’s Bruce Asato and Cindy Russell. Investigative journalists like Rob Perez document stories that are hidden from us.

There is no substitute for Kristen Consillio’s health care reporting expertise, when it comes to covering complex COVID-19 news. Public health treatment, prevention and policy updates need to be reported daily.

Dan Nakaso’s coverage of local politics and social issues is vital for an informed electorate, especially during this pivotal election year.

No government ombudsman can replace Christine Donnelly because we know how to reach her and she answers our questions.

If only the U.S. government could be held to the Society of Professional Journalists’ code of ethics, what a wonderful world this would be.

Cindy Hartwell

Aina Haina


Trump puts politics over health, welfare of crowd

According to the June 27 issue of The Washington Post: “In the hours before President Trump’s rally in Tulsa, his campaign directed the removal of thousands of ‘Do Not Sit Here, Please!’ stickers from seats in the arena that were intended to establish social distance between rallygoers … The removal contradicted instructions from the management of the BOK Center, the 19,000-seat arena in downtown Tulsa where Trump held his rally on June 20.”

The likely reason for this action was to concentrate rallygoers in a small central area in order to create the illusion of much larger numbers when the TV cameras focused on the closely packed crowd. Such flagrant violation of social distancing rules has subjected rallygoers and their future contacts to increased risk of COVID-19 illness and death.

Putting Trump’s political agenda ahead of the health and safety of the people attending his rally is morally reprehensible and corrupt.

Robert Retherford



Prepping for tourists headed to Turtle Beach

For nearly 50 years I’ve studied Hawaii’s sea turtles to sustainably promote their conservation. Never once during all that time did I ever dream that turtles would be a factor in transmitting a deadly disease between people. But that’s exactly what can and likely will happen at the tiny cove of Turtle Beach at Laniakea on Oahu’s North Shore.

When tourism reopens, many hundreds of people a day will again crowd and mix there close together from all over the U.S. to see turtles sleeping on the sand — and in the process, once again create the traffic jams and pedestrian jaywalking nightmares so familiar to residents of the region.

The time is now to prep for the prevention of chaos and to ensure social distancing. Turtle Beach should be closed, at least for a six-month trial period. Provide a marked right-of-way path to and from the sea for surfers and other ocean users. But keep the rest of the beach a turtles-only zone.

George H. Balazs

Hawaii Kai


Unemployed should help with public works

I was just wondering why we are not requiring residents who are currently unemployed, and receiving unemployment or other sources of state and or government money, to help with issues constantly mentioned in the news regarding maintenance of our aina, like parks.

Being outside supporting our community, while helping avoid additional costs, seems a fair way to repay the financial assistance or at least feel like one might be. There isn’t much benefit for anyone to just sit around all week.

Would one day a week be too much to ask unemployed residents to commit to? Just like they commit to seek employment weekly, couldn’t they also list what and where they have worked supporting our community?

Greg Schmidt

Hawaii Kai


Legislature should repeal deposit program

One of the things our representatives should do in their mini-session is to repeal the bottle and can deposit program.

I saved cans since March, when my regular charity van closed. It’s open now but it is not taking cans. I can’t find a replacement charity. The recycling businesses are gone. My residence uses dumpsters so we have no recycling bins. I just tossed several hundred cans in the dumpster. The law is not working.

Mary Macmillan



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