Instead of grandstanding and criticizing our state and county officials, I wish U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz and U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard would return to Washington, D.C., and use whatever influence they have to get Congress and the administration to reach a budget deal that would help the most needy.
Isn’t that their primary responsibility, since they are elected to office at the federal level? Those in the travel and hospitality industries here and in other areas of the country dependent on those industries are in dire need of focused programs to provide assistance. That’s what they should be working on, not criticisms at the local level that produce little impact.
Asking people to wear their masks properly
Most people at grocery stores and at other essential businesses wear face masks correctly, with mouth and nose covered. A few other customers, for whatever reason, cover only their mouths, endangering anyone nearby. I rarely intervene (with mixed results).
Recently while I was in line at a store, I noticed an elderly man nearby whose mask didn’t cover his nose. When I politely reproached him, he snarled at me: “Go away.” Go figure!
In any case, I can’t help myself from occasionally being a mask-up vigilante.
Maximize virus testing accuracy, availability
The surge may be ending. If we repeat the mistakes after the first wave in March, we will again face a future lockdown. The virus is present, and preventing another surge will require increased testing, contact tracing and compliance with public health recommendations.
Accurate and scalable testing is imperative. The nasopharyngeal swab technique is the gold standard, but it is uncomfortable and hazardous to technicians. The alternative anterior nasal swabbing used in the self-administered kits eliminates discomfort and the need for trained technicians. However, this method may be less accurate, especially in individuals with early infection.
Saliva has been shown to be as effective as the nasopharyngeal swab for the diagnosis of infection. Advantages of saliva include ease of producing a specimen, technician safety and capacity to perform the test repeatedly. It is imperative that the state Department of Health explore all testing methodology to maximize availability and accuracy to prevent another surge.
Support isolation hotels to keep people safe
Honolulu and the mayor did a good thing. Using federal CARES Act funds, they are taking proactive steps to ramp up testing and contact tracing, and making hotel rooms available for first responders or others who test positive for COVID-19 but have no room to quarantine in crowded homes.
The Star-Advertiser’s coverage, however, is negative, carrying headlines like, “Hotel quarantine to cost hundreds of thousands per month in CARES Act funds” (Sept. 7).
Stopping COVID-19 and reopening the economy takes active testing, tracing, isolation and support, treatment, honest public communication, financing and good governance (including closing gatherings, commerce and travel).
We had a painful lesson in what happens if one (or all) of these elements is neglected. In our precious but precarious Hawaii — where wages are low, housing takes an enormous portion of the average salary and we value multigenerational families — it is in everyone’s interest to fully support well-run isolation hotels to stop this surge.
Doris Segal Matsunaga
More ballot lockboxes to ensure votes counted
We have to make voting work. That means convenience, safety, reliability.
We have to make sure our votes are counted. Lockboxes are too far away for many, especially those who don’t drive. The U.S. Postal Service has slowed down mail.
I strongly urge the city to place more ballot lockboxes around the island, at all post offices, in order to create greater convenience and security. This is the safest way to be sure your vote is counted.
For all who vote, dropping off your ballot at a ballot lockbox, or at the county clerk’s office, is the surest way your vote will be counted.
Ninole, Hawaii island
Republicans have always stood for liberty
On Nov. 19, 1863, the very first Republican president of the United States of America delivered his Gettysburg Address, in which he reminded us that the new nation of the U.S.A. was “conceived in liberty.”
Liberty has been one of the hallmarks of the idea of government’s role as sought by Republican lawmakers ever since, including the Territory of Hawaii’s Republican congressional delegate for 10 terms, Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole, from March 4, 1903, until his death.
In this election, it is time for us all in Hawaii to vote Republican to ensure our lives enjoy liberty.
Electric cars will prevail over gas-fed dinosaurs
Ahead of me is a primitive fire- breathing monster. I watch it nervously. Do I wait patiently for it to move slowly ahead, or do I swiftly pass around it? It stinks and is very noisy. And it is emitting soot and large volumes of climate-changing gases.
It is very backward and contains many, many legacy parts, including a starter motor, a carburetor, spark plugs, pistons, gears, a crank shaft, a muffler and a tail pipe. It is too bad that this monster and others like it have not already, like the dinosaurs, gone extinct. This monster is a 2020 Chevy Silverado, but there are many other related monsters all around.
I am more modern. I am quiet and have no emissions. I have few parts, a battery and an electric motor, so my maintenance costs are trivial. I am the future.
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