Chris Butcher Photography

Corona virus update from Hawaii

Today, according to the date on my phone it is April 10 2020. It is my first day feeling total frustration with the Stay at home order and it took several hours to move my thoughts back to a more positive outlook.

We are blessed in many ways, personally my family and I are in good health and we have large properties enough to find space for fresh air and stretching our legs. Hawaii Island virus numbers remain low, mostly due to the fact that we have few densely populated areas. Maui and Oahu have larger numbers of infection. I cannot, for the life of me, imagine being so constrained if I were living in a much smaller space especially in a larger family grouping with children.

There are many people still visiting the islands, I am sure they wish to escape the higher risks of their usual places of residence and the cheap flights make that choice easy, we cannot stop someone coming but, it appears, that a lot of those visitors have no plan to respect the restrictions in place on all Hawaii islands. Restrictions includes, essential travel only and a 14 day quarantine for all arrivals, even in State arrivals. Just today I read that a visiting couple had to be rescued from a hike just a few miles from my home here on the Big Island. Hiking is not an essential activity allowed to residents. I can stand on the beach or cliff top and fish for my dinner but I cannot stand on the same beach or cliff top to take a photo. Go figure, but it is what it is. Of concern, is our limited medical care. On the Big Island Hawaii we have three hospitals, the largest having a little over 240 beds. If we continue to receive visitors from other states with a high density of corona virus infection we are automatically increasing the risk of wider community spread, numbers of infected cannot be allowed to climb and stretch available resources. Sacrifices are being made by all of us. I have had no contact with my new great grandson who is now three weeks old,  my friend has delayed chemotherapy,  other friends have lost jobs,small businesses are closing up with no intention to ever open doors again. These small personal experiences make it very hard to see tourists running around like nothing is happening, blatantly disregarding restrictions.

It is my hope that by sharing this concern, you, in turn will share it with your friends and family. One day, I hope soon, Hawaii will once again open it's arms with Aloha but today is not that day.

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