6 Solutions Hawaii Should Do to Lower Covid Cases


Gavin Bedoya

An unoccupied shoreline at Maunalua Bay during state shutdown last year

Since the beginning of August, the Hawaii State Department of Health has reported over 500 daily cases of Covid-19 throughout Hawaii. Hospitals like Queens Medical Center and Straub are overwhelmed. Gov. David Ige is searching for possible measures he could issue to residents and travelers within the coming days to stop the further spread of the virus. Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi has recently confirmed that vaccine passports will take effect on Sept. 13 for 60 days on Oahu. But, here are some of my suggestions Hawaii could do to to keep us from reaching yet another statewide shutdown.

Decrease the number of visitors coming into the State of Hawaii

Right now, the State of Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism has reported from January through August that nearly 1.1 million people have visited the state. Unlike the span of 2020, where we only saw roughly 150,000 tourists visiting Hawaii due to the severe travel restrictions being nailed down to stop further contamination of Covid-19. What Gov. Ige could do to address this issue is only to accept travelers who need to visit Hawaii. Reasons for traveling to Hawaii include important business meetings, sporting events, and needed healthcare workers. Another solution he could also apply is to return the policy of having visitors quarantine for 14 days after landing in Hawaii. If visitors don’t comply, they would need to pay a heavy fine in order for others to obey the 14-day quarantine firmly. The 14-day quarantine rule could potentially slow down tourists from invading our state. In addition, this protects the people of Hawaii from possibly being exposed to Covid-19 from a vast majority of tourists visiting our islands. Ige has made national headline news by warning people not to come to Hawaii as the state is experiencing an immense rise in cases within the past few weeks.

Promote the facts about personal hygiene

People forget to practice personal hygiene, whether to wear your mask while in public or wash your hands before eating or after going to the bathroom. Properly washing your hands with soap and water after using the facilities and eating meals or wearing masks covering your nose and mouth instead of using it as a chin guard are some of the many ways we can slow down the spread of this lethal virus. Simple decisions like improving our hygiene could potentially slow down the spread of Covid-19 within our local communities.

Do not trust social media, and ask your doctor about the Covid-19 vaccine

People have turned to social media as their way of figuring out how Covid-19 spreads within our communities. However, social media has a way to skew its viewers between fact and fiction. The majority of these people posting on social media aren’t professional doctors, nor do they have any verification of the developments of prior vaccines created against other illnesses. The best way to get the information you need for the vaccine is through your doctor or any other medical health advisor you are with. The chances are that the doctors, or advisors who know about your medical background, can give you the proper advice on the benefits of taking this vaccine. In addition, they  can direct you through the process to prevent those around you from catching Covid-19.

Testing, Testing, Testing

The only way to properly inform the public or other work environments of Covid-19 surges is if we test. When testing frequently, this can also make the adjustment process for work institutions, medical centers, and schools around the state much easier in order to create protocols to protect ourselves from further spread of Covid-19. This also eases people’s minds knowing that if someone around you, or yourself, has tested positive for the virus, you can acknowledge the necessary steps to socially distance yourself from people to protect others from being infected.

Love for the community and others around you

As Covid-19 grows across the state, we have seen some stories arise that other patients dealing with other life-threatening illnesses are also being affected by the pandemic. From patients dealing with heart diseases who must set back appointments due to an increase in Covid-19 patients hospitalized, or not enough appointments open for essential services needed to treat cancer patients, there are still hundreds of Hawaii residents here that seem to think these stories are to put fear in the public. Nevertheless, the longer we wait, the more people will suffer from being unable to receive the treatment they need to fight off other serious illnesses. If our communities pay attention to our given guidelines by the CDC and World Health Organization, the better our chances we can give these people the treatment they need instead of clogging all the ICU beds with Covid-19.

Stop large gatherings

On August 29, Hawaii News Now reported a party on Kaiwi Shoreline that brought hundreds of University of Hawaii students together. This comes even after Gov. Ige announced that no gatherings above 10 should occur. Since only 4 people were cited and charged for hosting the event, it almost feels like our local authorities don’t pay attention to the others who were a part of the party and weren’t properly held responsible for their actions. Our government could make heavier restrictions against gatherings like this to prevent our daily cases from rising, and our local hospitals from being more overwhelmed.