Masks, vaccine are best defense
Richard Morse nicely summarized the data refuting the effectiveness of masks in preventing the spread of influenza. However, influenza and COVID-19 are entirely unrelated viruses. COVID-19 (SARS-CoV2) is easily transmitted by respiratory droplets, and even simple cotton masks worn properly block most droplets.
See the CDC on-line publication, “Use of Cloth Masks to Control the Spread of SARS-CoV2.”
The conclusion: “Experimental and epidemiologic data support community masking to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV2”.
The good news is that as vaccination rates rise, mask wearing will no longer be necessary. This is especially true on Kauai where the DOH has done an exceptional job controlling spread.
Mr. Morse is incorrect in saying that those who decline vaccination do not spread the virus. In the U.S. alone, half a million poor souls died in the first year of the pandemic. They were unvaccinated.
Sharon Tamura, M.D., M.P.H., Princeville and Chicago
Visitor vehicle use threatens enviroment
While tourists are back and once again casually foraying into limited access areas in search of recreational opportunities with little caution for their impact, I urge consideration of the following :
Rental car agencies here on Kaua‘i all have a contractual restriction against their vehicles being driven on unpaved roadways. This seems to be completely unenforced. Dirt roads in Koke’e, Mahaʻulupu, and Polihale seem to be choked with rental vehicles from visitors unfamiliar with the areas, parking haphazardly, blocking access, with little regard for safety issues or impacts to the environment and ecology.
Strict measures were employed against overuse in Haena and Keʻe during the past couple of years to limit use and protect the sensitive areas.
Yet, unrestricted off-road use by rental units at Mahaʻulepu, Koke’e, and Polihale continues to overwhelm these areas. It is a violation of their rental agreement and presents an ongoing hazard.
“Stepping up” reports to the rental companies of ongoing violations by private citizens, DLNR, and monitors MAY incentivize the rental agencies to mandate compliance. If visitors want to explore these areas, let them accompany a local with an appropriate vehicle.
Kalanikumai ‘O Na Ali’i Hanohano, Lawa’i
Source: The Garden Island