comscore Letters: Shutdown needed to get people to act safely; Lap swimming seems safe at Kroc Center; Expand access to polls, voting service centers | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Letters: Shutdown needed to get people to act safely; Lap swimming seems safe at Kroc Center; Expand access to polls, voting service centers

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Please take more serious action before this pandemic kills or treatment harms more of our population. Many of us, especially the elderly, are delaying important doctor and dental visits.

Every day medical personnel warn of our insufficient number of health care workers; yet nothing more is done.

It is clear that many will not take precautions on their own. It was necessary to shut down bars, gyms, restaurants and other nonessential businesses. We need a governor like Andrew Cuomo in New York to take bold action now, rather than wait for the situation to get even worse.

Karen Edwards



Per capita death rate is key COVID-19 statistic

Every day I watch the local and national news and get frustrated when they keep focusing on the number of COVID-19 cases in the state and nation.

Unless everyone is tested on the same day, there is no accurate way to determine how many residents actually are infected with COVID-19. The statistic that we should focus on is the number of COVID-19-related deaths per capita. This is a better statistic because the number of residents in the state and nation as well as the number of COVID-19 deaths are firm and can be validated.

As of Aug. 13, Hawaii still has the lowest amount of COVID-19 related deaths per capita. Of the 160-plus countries tracked by Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. has the 10th most COVID-19-related deaths per 100,000 people.

John Kikuyama



Lap swimming seems safe at Kroc Center

I know everyone has a favorite activity that they believe should still be allowed under our current restrictions. Mine is lap-swimming pools. This is how I get my exercise that keeps me healthy in body and mind.

Recently, these pools were closed again. I was very impressed with the precautions put in place by the Salvation Army Kroc Center where I swim. Anyone wanting to swim had to make a reservation for certain time slots and the pool was cleared after each time slot. Lanes are 5 feet apart, with only one person allowed per lane.

We were questioned about any symptoms prior to entry and had to sanitize prior to being allowed to proceed. We had to wear masks.

I’m 70 years old and have kept my activities very restricted, but I felt totally safe because of these precautions. There have been clusters attributed to indoor gyms, yet they remained open. There have been no cases attributed to lap pools. It just doesn’t seem much thought was put into some of the restrictions.

Rebecca Andrew



Community gardens safer, healthier option

Let’s urge Mayor Kirk Caldwell to reopen our community gardens right away. It has been mentioned just how important it is to grow our own vegetables and thus reduce our risks for COVID-19 by keeping us out of stores and helping us financially, too. Gardening also is a creative activity that nourishes our spirits at this time when we really need it, and it is healthy exercise.

Having others water our gardens for us does not satisfy that need. The weeding, soil building and planting are important tasks that only each of us can do for our gardens. Social distancing and mask wearing are easy tasks in our gardens.

Please Mr. Mayor: Open up our community gardens for the good of us all.

Lila Gardner



The public needs to know the truth

Why didn’t closures and quarantines from March 17 stop COVID-19 spread?

Citizens making masks when not available for purchase, social distancing and complying with inconsistent government proclamations only delayed the spread. Dr. Scott Miscovich initiated drive-through testing, performing essential public services, a government function.

Lt. Gov. Josh Green consistently advised that testing and contact tracing are key, but they didn’t occur. That is the real reason for the spike in COVID-19 cases. Government isn’t making this a No. 1 priority or using all available resources. With more than 450 contact tracers trained, willing, and available, they weren’t hired.

What is the logic in closing all parks? Why do homeless sweeps and government stealing property from people with almost nothing continue during a crisis? Why are lawsuits always required to effect change? And when will the public be told the truth?

Ellen Koppenheffer



Expand access to polls, voting service centers

The reports of mail-sorting machines and mailboxes being removed so close to the general election should prompt our national, state and county elections officials to do more to ensure no one is disenfranchised.

In this pandemic, vote by mail (VBM) must be embraced with greater energy by all. VBM eliminates the challenge of getting to the polling station, exposure to infection, and the need to juggle competing responsibilities in order to vote.

Hawaii has tried to respond to the challenges of COVID-19, but clearly improvements are still needed to address the growing crisis of community spread. The CARES Act provided funding to ensure secure elections. Yet there were only eight voting centers statewide. Yes, the primary turnout was better, but nearly half of all registered voters did not vote.

Nationwide, and locally, we need more voting service centers and ballot drop boxes, longer hours, better staffing, more training, and enough PPE to keep voters and poll workers safe. Anything less suppresses the vote.

Anne Fojtasek



Let Honua Ola burn invasive albizia wood

Why not let Honua Ola Bioenergy turn albizia wood into electricity (“Hawaiian Electric takes on threat of albizia trees,” Star-Advertiser, Aug. 31)?

Ken Obenski

Captain Cook, Hawaii island


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