Letters: With COVID-19 Cases Rising on Maui, Differing Opinions About What to Do
Maui County Should Close Island With Surging Cases of COVID-19
Mayor Victorino, the time to act is now. Maui is definitely in the middle of the worst COVID surge the island has seen during the pandemic. Thursday’s case count of 22 was a record for Maui (not including the days of the Lanai outbreak) and our weekly average is now at 14 cases per day and has been progressively creeping upwards since the beginning of November.
Maui’s case count relative to its population is now the worst of all the islands, even surpassing Oahu. And the cases are clearly being driven by community spread and not from people who are visiting. All of this data is public knowledge and can be readily viewed on the government’s website: https://health.hawaii.gov/coronavirusdisease2019/what-you-should-know/current-situation-in-hawaii/
Mayor Victorino should hold true to his original promise of closing the island down once we reach double-digit case numbers, otherwise the onslaught of holiday travelers will definitely overrun the island’s limited healthcare system (which currently only has 15 ICU beds available). If Maui wants to avoid the situation that is happening all across America, the time to act is now! — Brooke Feinstein, Kihei
‘Mask Patrol’ Should Enforce Crowded Business Centers and not Beaches and Parks
Much to my dismay, I was in Paia on Wednesday night to go to dinner. While there it was painfully obvious that fewer than 40 percent of the people on those skinny sidewalks were wearing masks. Approximately 50 percent were locals who seem to think they don’t need to because they live here and 50 percent were tourists who don’t care. Perhaps it would be prudent of Mayor Victorino to tell his citation officers to stop harassing people sitting 40 feet from the next person at a well ventilated beach or park without wearing a mask and maybe concentrate more on the crowded business centers?
What is also painfully obvious is that our Mayor and Governor have no idea what they’re doing. Wouldn’t it make much more sense to make sure people are wearing masks in extremely close proximity – like on the tight sidewalks of Paia where there is a much greater chance to transmit the virus?
On the beach and at the parks there are almost constant breezes, yet the Mask Patrol seems to just concentrate on these less crowded and safer areas and cite people not wearing masks who are nowhere near the next person, but if you go to Paia on a crowded Wednesday evening the Mask Patrol is not to be found.
This level of incompetence will get us closed down again. Businesses in Maui and across the state and country can not survive another lockdown. We will see 70 percent or greater business failure if we do. I’m already at the point where I think it’s time for both of them to step down and let the younger, more capable Lt. Gov. Green and just about anyone else who has a shred of common sense step up and fill the void of leadership for Victorino. Ige pau now. Victorino pau now. — Naia Kelly, Makawao
A Few Thoughts About A Variety of Maui Issues
l. Kudos to the state/county administration on holding down the number of infections. At the same time the emphasis on planning to maximize income along with health has been reassuring.
2. Kudos for keeping Waiehu Golf Course going, also reassuring. Mr. Kanivan who wrote about this in March, made sense. Also, in the long run, rising water may at some point mean a change such as conversion to eight holes; healthy tennis (a distanced sport) rightly continues unabated.
3. Public safety, while dealing creatively with the homeless, gets welcome emphasis. The road to Kanaha looks like a junkyard. Yet unlike other places, attention has gone to minimizing seriously junky areas while maximizing housing.
4. Mana’o Radio; groceries/open air and take out locales with the tops in fresh, often organic stuff; ocean recreation; good, available healthcare; some reduced pricing; improved even friendlier service, balance nicely with steady real estate prices.
5. A question remains on why in two instances county work is going to other locations while the pandemic has gained steam. Continuing the Wailuku Town Center Project continues slowly but surely, an upbeat development in an exciting time.
6. With appreciation, peace reigns for the holidays in this very special place.
— J. Eagle, Wailuku