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Letters for Monday, November 30, 2020

COVID not exaggeration, it’s a calamity

I’ve seen too many letters and opinion pieces in The Garden Island suggesting that COVID-19 is not a big deal. Writers suggest that it’s mostly just sick old people who are dying, and that the death count is exaggerated. I’m not sure where they get their information, but neither is accurate.

Many formerly-healthy younger people are hit hard by the novel virus. My own nephew, who is 42 and had no pre-existing conditions, now has pneumonia, kidney failure, a stroke and pancreatic failure. He’s been struggling for his life for three weeks, and it seems like a big deal to his family.

As to the death count, it’s actually quite a bit higher than the official numbers, not lower. Those numbers track the people who died with (and arguably from) the virus. But many people have died without being tested, and many others have died because the pandemic made it hard for them to access medical care (or they were afraid to). The number of people who have died in the U.S. since February is more than 400,000 above the number who died during the same period last year. That’s not an exaggeration, that’s a calamity.

The bottom line is that it’s a good thing to respect the people who live around us, and work together to protect each other.

David Lemon, Lihu‘e

Kawakami policies draconian

My wife operates a tourist shop on Kalapaki Beach, next to the Marriott hotel.

We were hopeful that the worst of the COVID-19 epidemic was behind us. We’ve suffered hugely negative economical damage since the quarantine was established this past spring. Sales were showing a positive uptick the last two weeks since pre-testing exemptions were allowed. However, now that you have chosen to re-establish a COVID-19, 14-day quarantine on Kaua‘i, we will likely be forced into bankruptcy.

This epidemic has caused tremendous hardship, and your willingness to keep your draconian policies in effect are rendering us insolvent.

It apparently is of no consequence to you that this is so for so many of us operating private businesses here on Kaua‘i. I only wish that people in your position in government could feel the pain like the private sector has.

I might suggest having an initiative to reduce your salary and paid benefits by fifty percent on the next ballot as a way of leveling the system.

Douglas Sorge, Lihu‘e

Vaccines are an evidence-based practice

I just finished reading a letter printed on Thanksgiving, titled “Health tips to improve immunity,” which advocated for unscientific methods to stay healthy, such as copper tools and ozone therapy.

The most outlandish and irresponsible claim was “vaccinations disturb the energetic integrity of the body.”

I respect the diversity of cultures and their alternative practices to medicine, but when you recommend to the public to avoid getting vaccinated, that is disappointing. Vaccinations eliminated life-threatening diseases such as polio, tetanus and measles.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated in 2018-2019, the flu vaccine prevented over 4 million cases.

As a family nurse practitioner, I am driven by evidence-based practice, and it’s simple: Wash your hands. Wear your mask correctly. Exercise. Eat a well-balanced diet. Get vaccinated.

Shantal Guirao Postiglione, DNP, ARNP, Kekaha

Pregnant women have options

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rise in the United States, we find ourselves living with many uncertainties. A few weeks ago, a dear friend of mine announced that she was having a baby. While everyone gathered around her with great surprise and joy, she stood there with a blank expression on her face. As her family members left the room, she told me that she felt selfish for not being happy about her situation.

There is a stigma attached to pregnancies. Women should be ecstatic, glowing with this new life they’ve created and looking forward to the arrival of their newborn. This isn’t always the case, and society needs to recognize that women are allowed to feel however they need/want to feel.

With the stress of not having a job due to the pandemic, and her partner being furloughed, the thought of bringing a child into the world at this time has caused her stress and anxiety. To make a difficult situation even more upsetting, when she arrived at her doctors for a confirmation of the pregnancy she was met with disbelief.

She asked her primary physician what her options may be in the event that she was not able to have the baby. Her doctor simply stated that “not having your baby is not an option,” and not to worry because “women always feel better knowing that they’ve kept their baby.”

Depriving women from being allowed to have options and making them feel guilty for a choice that should be theirs is unacceptable. Women need access to vital health care, and everyone deserves comprehensive sex education. It is a basic human right.

In solidarity,

Jessica Conner, Kailua-Kona
Source: The Garden Island

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