Coronavirus in Hawaii turned deadly questioning the reopening of tourism

Coronavirus in Hawaii turned deadly questioning the reopening of tourism

Earlier this week Governor David Ige announced the reopening of the State for everyone for tourism On Friday he had to send his condolences to the family and friends of an elderly Honolulu man, who became the 18th death in Hawai‘i due to the coronavirus. The last reported death was on May 3.

Hawaii House Representative Rida Cabanilla Arakawa told Hawaii News Online, she is concerned about reopening tourism in the Aloha State and urged to put health over tourism. She said : “We can survive an economic downturn, but we cannot survive death.”  

The national trend seems to turn from saving lives to saving the economy, and Hawaii so far was able to remain a model how a State can put health over economic gain.

This is the worst way to emphasize the need for all of us to continue safe practices such as physical distancing, wearing of masks, and handwashing,” said Governor Ige. “We must protect our kupuna and others who are at high risk, by practicing personal responsibility, especially around others outside our own immediate family or household.”

While Hawai‘i has one of the best statistical records for COVID-19 management in the country, a survey released by the Dept. of Health (DOH) today suggests that many residents are becoming lax in their practices and attitudes about the infection. The number of people who considered the virus as a very serious health concern fell from 73% to 54% in less than two months.*

More alarming, according to the DOH, is changing attitudes on preventive behaviors. 42% of survey respondents said they are social distancing all of the time and that’s steady compared to a previous survey. However, fewer residents are following recommendations “most of the time” or “part of the time.”

Health Director Dr. Bruce Anderson said in an earlier news release, “We cannot interpret the reopening of businesses, restaurants, parks and other places, as a license to let our guards down. It is more important than ever to adhere to prevention measures we know work.”