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The coronavirus is not a joking matter

There are many jokes out there on social media about the coronavirus featuring the popular beer of the same name. I once shared them and thought them funny. However, at this point, this virus must be taken seriously, and there is nothing funny about it.

Hawai‘i is a major tourist destination for Chinese and Japanese visitors and has been on high alert. Last week it was discovered that a Japanese national couple was visiting O‘ahu and Maui and upon returning to Japan both eventually contacted the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19 and the Wuhan virus. They may have contacted it before leaving on their trip, since the virus has a 14-day incubation period.

This means the airplane, hotels, tourist destinations, restaurants, everywhere they went on vacation is susceptible to the virus. (Those poor housekeepers that made their beds.) Some people may be carriers, others not. With all the visitors from around the world traveling to Hawai‘i in the winter months, this is catastrophic.

Checking temperatures at the airport for arriving passengers does no good, since anybody can be carrying the virus with no symptoms for up to 14 days.

I’ve been a germaphobe for many years. I quit shaking hands with people, and prefer fist pumps or the Japanese custom of bowing. Be vigilant, wash your hands frequently, cover your mouth when coughing, don’t touch your eyes or mouth and use a surgical mask if you’re not feeling well and must go out.

I travel on the bus and move my seat every time somebody next to me or behind me coughs or sneezes. I have noticed many employees in the supermarkets, big-box stores, and local restaurants coughing and clearing their throats. This makes me paranoid, and makes me wonder if we are heading towards a plague?

I believe our governor needs to be vigilant and ground all flights from Asian countries coming to and going from Hawai‘i until such time that there is a vaccine or cure for the coronavirus or the virus dissipates itself.

Some 66,000 people have been diagnosed with the virus, and 1,500 have died as of this writing so far from the COVID-19 virus. The internet is filled with jokes about the virus. Although not a joking matter, it helps many get through these trying times.

Then again, with all the natural disasters we have seen almost daily on the news, it would not surprise me to see a plague — since many believe we are living at the end of times, and biblical prophecy is finally coming to fruition.


James “Kimo” Rosen is a resident of Kapa‘a.
Source: The Garden Island

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