Letters to the Editor: March 31, 2020

More details needed about COVID-19 case locations

Why is the state Department of Health not telling us what town the COVID-19 cases are in? Being in one of the most vulnerable groups at age 65, I want to know where these cases are because I have to go shopping for food, my wife and I don’t have anybody to go for us.


As of Monday, there were 15 cases on the Big Island but where on the island are they? Every other state is informing what city the cases are in. Please let us know so us kupuna know where the cases are so we can take extra precautions.

Roland Spoon


Eateries need support now

In the March 27 edition of Letters to the Editor, Gordon Peterson of Holualoa said that he wasn’t a bad cook and for a few days it was fun but now he misses the the Kailua-Kona restaurants and that he’ll be back when this is over.

Please patronize your favorite restaurants now. Find out which ones are open for takeout. Some are doing delivery, The Jade, Christine’s Deli. Others are part of a delivery services. There’s DoorDash, FoodsOHawaiiDelivery.com and others.

Many are helping their employees through this crisis. They can only do this if they have customers who are supporting them.

Support our local restaurants. If you don’t, they may not be around later.

Ronda Hoxsie


Make masks fashionable

What unprecedented times these are where we are negotiating between global health impact and global economic impact. We know that lockdowns are going to impact the economy. We should at least all do our best to make it work and work as quickly as possible. That means preventing spread.

Coronavirus is sneaky in that there is a two- to 14-day incubation period during which people may be infected and contagious and not have any symptoms. Since we don’t know who we encounter who may have encountered the virus, we should all take precautions, to protect ourselves from others and to protect others from ourselves.

While not 100%, masks do decrease transmission of infectious airborne particles. Think about spraying something through a towel. While the towel may not absorb everything, it will absorb a lot of the mist. Masks will help prevent transmission.

Wearing a mask is not a substitute for social distancing but will aid in minimizing spread in unavoidable close contact situations … like the checkout at the grocery store. If everyone wears a mask when they need to go out, that is two layers of barrier between a potentially infected respiratory system and an uninfected one.

I know there is a shortage of supplies. But the rectangular standard surgical masks are very easy to make for anyone with a sewing machine and a basic level of skill. In a pinch, they can even be stitched by hand. It is essentially a pleated rectangle with four ties. Several DIY (do-it-yourself) instructional videos on the internet, as well as recommendations for readily available materials and their relative efficacy in preventing passage of 0.2 micron particles. And they would be washable and reuseable. Anyone who can sew should make as many of these as possible and share them.

Big Island cases are currently low. That doesn’t mean we should be complacent. Masks are a cheap and simple preventive to help keep those numbers low.

Please consider and kokua.

(This is based on a degree in veterinary medicine that the veterinarian exercise all precautions to insure that s/he is never a vector or cause of disease transmission.)


Shannon Nakaya, DVM