Hawaii Proactive Fight Against Coronavirus Epidemic--
The State of Hawaii started out a bit too slow in the beginning of this epidemic, and is now paying the price with persistent coronavirus cases in certain parts of the state. But public uproar and demands via email and social media pressured the State and counties to take stronger steps. Yes, the public demanded protective action. Parks were closed, tourist attractions closed, beaches closed, all non essential businesses closed, schools closed. Social gathering is banned except under certain conditions, and in those situations social distancing is enforced. Violation of the social distancing order results in citation, often arrest, and a $5000 fine. People entering the State are subject to a mandatory 14 day quarantine, enforced with arrest and a $5000 fine if violated. Travelers without hotel reservations are offered a choice at the airport : arrest or turn around and go back where they came from. All B&Bs, time shares, airbnbs, and any other type of short term rentals are banned from operating. Travel between the islands is restricted to essential travel only. Most of those travelers are required to self quarantine for 14 days. The only exceptions to the travel regulations are essential workers, such as nurses, doctors, military, etc. The military personnel quarantine on their bases. All cruise ship dockings/passengers are banned. Plus the entire State is on lockdown. Violations result in citations, fines, and sometimes arrests.
Today the State tightened up the rules in an effort to knock down the epidemic. The majority of the public appears to be embracing the new regulations with approval in hopes that their particular island will rid itself of the scourge. (Lana'i & Ni'ihau have zero cases and have entry to the island locked out, Molokai'i has had two cases and aggressively contained the virus site thus resulting in no new cases to date, Kaua'i new cases momentarily have stalled, Hawai'i island cases have slowed though recently there has been a cluster event at McDonald's among the employees and their families.) Coronavirus is still not contained on Mau'i and Oahu. So new mandates have gone into effect. Social distancing is now required to be enforced, where before people were asked to do it but it wasn't mandated. Facial masks are now required not only inside businesses but also while outside waiting to enter a business. Group outdoor hiking is banned. Even boat fishing is now limited to two persons unless they live together as a household. At the same time the Governor provided protection against eviction.
Hawai'i has been the hardest hit State when it comes to financial. The entire tourist industry is shutdown, which has killed all supporting industries. All non essential businesses are shuttered. The State has a large number of self employed day work type people who now have no income. A significant portion of business employees have no income since unemployment applications are dragging in getting approved. Cargo transport to and from Hawai'i has been affected.
And yet, the public patiently waits, watching the daily numbers carefully. They are demanding more testing. More efforts to contain the epidemic. They cannot understand the mainland demonstrations to lift restrictions. They see it as insanity and suicide.
Some of the Hawaiian islands are in a very good position when it comes to this epidemic. What they are doing is called preventative measures. Two of the islands need to catch up and the other islands are cheering them on, willing to sacrifice in hopes that they too will contain this monster well enough until a vaccine is available.
Here in Hawai'i we are working hard on preventing the spread of coronavirus.