Updated: September 28, 2022
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Two people who recently completed their mandatory 14-day quarantines for out-of-state arrivals to Hawaiʻi described their experiences.
Both Cari Pang Chen and Kevin Barnard are from California, and while it is not required yet, both individuals as well as Barnard’s brother, got COVID-19 tests before flying from the mainland to Hawai‘i.
Earlier this week, Governor David Ige extended the mandatory 14-day travel quarantine until Sept. 1, 2020, and delayed the launch of the state’s pre-travel testing program by a month to Sept. 1, 2020.
Pang Chen spent quarantine in a hotel with her 12-year-old middle-schooler. The family elected to have Cari’s husband and son stay home, to better accommodate their own work and school schedules. She said that was a difficult decision, but they’d hoped to have the entire family together in Hawai‘i after Aug. 1. That plan was changed by the delayed introduction of the pre-travel testing program until Sept. 1st.
A lot of mother-daughter bonding can happen when restricted to the inside a hotel for two solid weeks. Pang Chen said, “We tried to keep a bit of a schedule most days…we tried to exercise, read, or do other personal development activities each morning, while the afternoon was usually a time to check-in or connect virtually with friends and family in Hawai‘i or on the mainland. Evenings, we usually did something together like playing a game, watching TV, or more catching up with family and friends.” She says for people in quarantine it is important to stay in touch and to stay as mentally and physically active as possible. Cari took a lot of photographs to preserve the memories of their quarantine and even produced a short video, titled, Quarantine Adventure.
21-year-old Barnard and his 23-year-old brother Liam took up residence in a family home in Waimea on Hawai‘i Island. He is a recent college graduate and is spending the summer doing research work prior to entering a graduate program either in-person or virtually this fall. Barnard says the only real qualm they had was making sure they had enough resources, like food, on hand for their 14-day-long lockdown.
He described a typical quarantine day as, “I wake up. I get on my laptop, start to work away, go to a couple of virtual meetings, video chat, make meals in between, and that was about it. It’s pretty boring.”
Both Pang Chen and Barnard expressed disappointment and concern relating to those who have violated the State’s quarantine rules or are contemplating doing so.
Pang Chen said, “It’s disappointing to see the people who are not following quarantine and end up getting arrested. Typically, these folks have generally been obvious in their efforts. The system greatly relies on honesty and appreciation for quarantine’s importance in keeping everyone safe and healthy.”
Barnard said, “They’re not helping the situation. Particularly on the Big Island, the rules are really important to ensure we’re minimizing coronavirus cases because the hospital bandwidth on the island is not big enough to handle cases…that’s when it really gets dangerous.”
Barnard also provided advice to those in his age group, saying, “I feel like people my age, generally, just want to enjoy themselves and selectively ignore things that allow them to enjoy themselves. But even if you don’t see it firsthand, even if you don’t know someone who has coronavirus,” he said, “it’s very real… so, it’s important to do preventative measures.”