Letters to the Editor: July 12, 2020

Getting more scared

We are grateful to live on the Big Island where we appreciate the good health of our citizens. We are grateful for the participation of so many in our health care community, including all the health care providers and their support teams, for literally putting their lives on the line to protect us all. And we are grateful to our county and state government officials and the administrators who have supported all efforts to keep us safe. But we are still scared and getting more scared when we anticipate premature opening of our island sanctuary to the deadly disease of COVID-19 coming here from outside Hawaii.

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We want children to go back to school safely. We want businesses to reopen safely. We want employment for all our citizens. But we don’t want to die as a result of ignoring the guidelines for all our safety. And that can happen if airplanes accept just one passenger carrying the virus on board — because that one passenger can easily infect everyone else on the plane, passengers and crew alike. And just one of those visitors carrying the virus who goes to the local gym where masks are not worn by everyone all the time, or to a restaurant with just a few too many diners who remove their masks to eat and laugh at a joke, can destroy our safe haven. And one local child who plays with one visiting child can bring the virus into her schoolroom. She might not be sick, but she’s a carrier. And then all the other kids in her class can become carriers and bring the virus to their tutus.

Quarantine after arrival is a nice idea but is largely an illusion. Fever checks at the airport help. Taking health histories help. But those tests are not definitive. It may take the development of a test that can be administered at every airport before any passengers (or crew) board a Hawaii-bound flight, that yields its result within an hour — before it becomes safe to allow visitors to Hawaii.

Dr. &Mrs. Barry and Gloria Blum

Kailua-Kona

Enforcement needed

What use is a quarantine if it is not enforced? Every time I drive through Kona town I see people taking snaps of the surf, riding rental bikes, wearing matching aloha attire, etc. I am sure these are tourists who are obviously not observing the quarantine. If the police would issue tickets with a huge fine, I’m sure this behavior would stop. As our infection rate keeps rising, and more tourists arriving, it is imperative that we do whatever it takes to keep us safe, including enforcing the quarantine policy.

Sharon Smock-Hoffmann

Kailua-Kona

None of the above

Finally, our fearless commander-in-chief is taking action about the Russian bounties being paid to kill our American soldiers. Never one to shirk his duties, he takes seriously his responsibility for the safety of our U.S. warriors. Though cautiously waiting to get started, Trump is now heroically going to speak out about these egregious acts against the military. Heads will roll! People will be punished! Justice will be done!

How, you might ask? Will he call Putin and put him on notice? Will he contact our Army commanders to be sure they know of the threat and can make plans to keep the troops safe? Will he, at the very least, launch an investigation to verify this information?

Nope. None of the above.

Trump’s first and most important response is to find the person who made this information available and then punish him or her. Will more soldiers die while the hunt goes on? No matter. First, find and fire the whistle-blower. Would alerting Putin that we know and will act help avert more deaths? Who cares? Dig out whoever told the truth and escort him from the building.

Once he gets rid of that pesky truth-teller, Trump can return to his critical business of ignoring the pandemic, chatting with his buddy, Vladimir, and pressuring states to get those schools open while disdaining CDC guidelines. Oh, and to playing more golf.

Phyllis Hanson

Captain, AF Reserves, Ret.

Keauhou

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