In his commentary, “A plan to defeat COVID-19 in Hawaii — and we must deploy it now” (Star-Advertiser, Sept. 6), Lt. Gov. Josh Green summarized Hawaii’s successful efforts to tame the virus in the pandemic’s first few months, but continued: “Our apparent success started to crumble around July 4, after our local economy reopened and people began gathering in large numbers again with the belief that the threat was over.”
Green examined the failures that contributed to the COVID-19 crisis we now face. His carefully thought-out plan was summarized in two paragraphs near the end. I support his plan with one additional caveat: This time, lockdown restrictions should be lifted cautiously, guided by data and best practices.
Green’s attacks aimed at being elected governor
Lt. Gov. Josh Green is running for governor in 2022. This explains his attacks on Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s efforts to contain the coronavirus, because Caldwell will likely also be running for governor. This explains Green’s attacks on the Department of Health and Gov. David Ige, on the theory that all publicity is good.
Wearing his scrubs to aggressive press conferences (what, no stethoscope?) further builds his image: Josh Green, medical crusader. Now in quarantine from a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, Green still manages to go public, this time outlining his daily routine via cell phone. Lost in all this is the fact that the only reason a previously obscure legislator like Green is lieutenant governor is that the Carpenters Union spent $1 million in advertising to get him in.
Allow more businesses to reopen safely now
Thank you, Mayor: It was wonderful walking this morning around Magic Island at 5:30 a.m. just like old times. You never know how much in life you take for granted; everybody out there looked happy to be back.
Such a tendency for everyone to only complain. I’m not sure why the lieutenant governor has to publicly pontificate, rather than work effectively with those in his circle (“Hawaii Lt. Gov. Josh Green asks for loosening of latest Oahu stay-at-home order,” Star-Advertiser, Sept. 9).
But mostly, I feel so sorry for the many business and shops that are going out of business through no fault of their own, and wish those holding the reins would be creative, selective and strategic about which businesses can be opened safely now rather than to blanket-close all those deemed nonessential.
While I feel that everyone in public office is trying their best under unprecedented circumstances, I wonder how they would feel to have their paychecks suspended from this moment on until they find a way to transition from the present shutdown.
Leaders don’t suffer from loss of paycheck
All the folks making the big decisions on mitigating COVID-19, closing businesses, keeping folks from work and play, manning a broken unemployment insurance system and generally disrupting all of our lives: Anyone notice these people are still collecting a regular paycheck?
They are still able to buy groceries and pay the mortgage or rent. They don’t have to negotiate the shambles of unemployment insurance or hope that maybe in a couple of months they will see some help.
It doesn’t matter to them.
Perhaps if our leaders and decision- makers would forgo their pay, live like us, until this all sorts out, things would be handled more realistically.
And more worse, we keep electing them. Go figure.
Prepare for future of working from home
The post COVID-19 reality? One can only hope our state and city planners already are seriously considering a key outcome of the ongoing “work from home” initiative driven by COVID-19.
A vast number of employees previously working in Downtown Honolulu will have realized they really enjoy working from home. No more stress-filled, one-hour-or-beyond daily commutes with attendant fuel and vehicle costs. A more casual work environment and relaxed dress code, which is much easier on the pocketbook.
Many employers undoubtedly will realize how to make this happen as a win-win for their business with improved worker morale, increased productivity and a reduction in expense for leased space.
More employees working from home will have major implications for commercial property use: converting office space into residential use (rented or owned), freed-up parking, reduced vehicles on our roads, and greater and safer pedestrian and biking traffic.
Surge test data show encouraging results
Why aren’t we hearing more about the number of surge tests and the positivity rate of those tests? Could it be because the numbers are too good?
The last results I heard were 0.6% and 0.7% positivity rates, with as many as 7,000 tests per day. These low results don’t seem to fit into the narrative of these draconian lockdowns, do they?
Instead we hear results like 66 positives on about 700 tests, with a positivity rate of 8.5%. Something is fishy here.
And by the way, I enjoyed reading the letter from the couple who went to the Windward-side H-3 testing site on Tuesday with a 10-minute wait (“H-3 tests easy, efficient from the Windward side,” Star-Advertiser, Sept. 7). It took me 2-1/2 hours on Thursday. But I totally agree it was a first-class operation.
Republican Party isn’t as great as it used to be
James Hochberg should open his eyes and mind and read the news (“Republicans have always stood for liberty,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, Sept. 10).
Today’s Republican Party is not the party he is nostalgic about. It is now President Donald Trump’s party and has become corrupt and authoritarian. It should be completely destroyed and rebuilt from scratch so that it does actually represent the things that Hochberg remembers and that made the Republican Party great up until the time of Newt Gingrich and the Tea Party.
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