As a small-business owner, I agree that improved COVID-19 contact tracing is critical, but it is equally important for testing to be readily available and rapid.
I called three testing facilities recently and each one gave different answers about eligibility criteria and the speed of test results. Most facilities said it would take at least three days to process a test, which is much too slow.
Small businesses and our economy will not survive if an extended shut-down is required every time a single worker tests positive and co-workers isolate while waiting for answers.
Until an at-home instant test is available, our government needs to intervene and ensure that testing is available to asymptomatic people with reasonable grounds for concern about exposure (e.g., they were in direct contact with a person who tested positive or whose close family member tested positive). Results are needed within 24 hours.
Shutdown would end before party weekend
Did anybody in the mayor’s office look at a calendar before announcing the shutdown date through Sept. 4? One of the biggest party weekends in Hawaii is Labor Day. Go figure.
Crowd enforcement needed a month ago
So Mayor Kirk Caldwell has shut down the parks again for at least another month, but he says we can still enjoy our ocean for swimming and paddle boarding. That’s very magnanimous of him. What he doesn’t seem to realize is that this applies only to those fortunate enough to live within walking distance to the beach and are able to walk the distance, since the parking lots are closed. This represents a very small number of people who would like to enjoy our beaches and parks.
When the parks were opened after the first shutdown, Caldwell mused that he was concerned about the growing tendency for large gatherings at parks and beaches. Rather than taking action, he simply wrung his hands until it got so bad he felt he had to close the parks again. Now Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard says her department will institute strict enforcement, with fines and arrests. Where was she a month ago when it might have done some good? This is a perfect example of poor leadership and ability to make good decisions.
Report gatherings that put our lives at risk
We are enduring another round of closures and crackdowns on large gatherings, and residents are not happy. It is our own fault that we are in this situation.
If you care about your life, the lives of your loved ones, our kupuna, the reopening of the state, your job and the jobs of your loved ones, then law- abiding citizens must take action.
If your neighbor is having a large party or gathering, or if you observe one, the Honolulu Police Department has provided a phone number to call to report it anonymously: 723-3900. Use it. This is not the time to be silent or be afraid. Your life depends upon it.
Community gardens should remain open
The current surge in COVID-19 infections on Oahu is very concerning and requires a government-level response to combat further spread. This lockdown should be an attempt to discourage the risky and careless behavior that has led to the surge — hence the imposed restrictions on gatherings around the island and especially in parks and on beaches.
But community gardens are not beaches or parks. Shutting them for the next month does not serve that end.
During the original, more restrictive, lockdown, the community gardens were accessed regularly and safely. What has changed since then, making the gardens places that have to be locked up?
The gardens are still a needed source of healthy food; the poster child for ideal outdoor behavior, perfect social distancing in an open airy space; and functionally a gym for many of our (mostly elderly) gardeners.
Please don’t close the community gardens!
Vice president, Moiliili Community Garden
Trump to blame for delays by Postal Service
I find myself incredulous you chose to publish the Cal Thomas column citing every example he could cherry- pick to puppet President Donald Trump’s specious argument about the ostensible “dangers” of voting by mail (“Postal Service problems show pitfalls of voting by mail,” Star-Advertiser, Aug. 11).
I also saw absolutely no mention by Thomas of Trump’s blatant attempts to impair the U.S. Postal Service, for what clearly seems to be Team Trump’s desire to suppress voting as his only hope for re-election.
I am also baffled that you apparently think this would not appear even more disingenuous on the heels of Hawaii’s own highly successful first-ever vote-by-mail election.
What gives? Is this what you consider “fair and balanced”? I rarely agree with Thomas, and would like to see far less of him on your op-ed page. But I think some of his opinions are more reasonable than others. This one is not, in my opinion.
Cal Thomas nothing but right-wing propagandist
What hypocrisy. How inane. What nonsense (“Postal Service problems show pitfalls of voting by mail,” Star-Advertiser, Aug. 11). Cal Thomas cites his experience with a delayed piece of mail as evidence. But it is the actions of the new postmaster general, a Donald Trump supporter, who, by curtailing mail deliveries supposedly to cut costs, that are endangering voting by mail. Hawaii has proved it works — and works well.
Cal Thomas has long been a far-right-wing proponent. His piece is propaganda, and should be labelled as such.
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