Letters to the Editor: May 21, 2020

A spot-on assessment

Thank you, Arne Werchick for writing exactly what I’ve been thinking for several months now. Werchick is spot-on in his assessment, especially regarding the requirements it might take to have every tourist enter this state safely. I can see the virus getting out of control quickly on this island and then what?

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We have all of two hospitals on the west side and neither is equipped to handle an overload of sick, virus-infected people. We all know the Big Island has a doctor shortage and our health care system is struggling. Hawaii has done a bang up job selling this state to tourists all over the world and now we are paying the ultimate price because we have become so dependant on the industry to be major job providers. Please explain to me how we are to fill most hotel rooms on the west side, not to mention the hundreds of timeshares newly built and fill them with tourists? We would be asking for mega heartache and lot of sickness as people from all over will bring the virus here and with no surefire testing or protocols right at the point of entry, we will be in trouble. What then? We would perhaps have to shut down the state. This would have to come from the federal government, good luck with that. Like New Zealand, we would need to shut down our state, treat or isolate whatever sick people remain here and start all over again with “stay at home orders.” Not a comforting thought to most residents, I’m certain.

Open things up to our local population on each island, as suggested, and then formulate a surefire plan regarding tourism entry and requirements and hope for a vaccine.

Kathy Awai

Waikoloa

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