That Wisconsin Supreme Court striking down the virus lockdown has that state’s citizens going nuts about socializing and many of its bars packed with standing room only. The state has had about 470 deaths from COVID-19 and I’d expect the number of people infected and dying to rise with this end of social distancing and masks and closed places of high people-traffic.

But for us, the issue becomes how we prevent Wisconsinites from mixing with our people because of our very loosely enforced 14-day quarantine rule.

That would seem to demand an organized quarantine at one of our closed hotels near the Honolulu airport, with arriving visitors bussed there directly from the arrivals area, a guard assigned to monitor the “internees”, and those quarantined to be charged a daily fee for their room and board.

If that does not make good sense, please tell me where I’ve erred.

We have a low number of infections and deaths. We should not allow those who may be ignoring good containment (like Wisconsinites) to do self-quarantine at a place of their choosing.

A Wisconsin bar, Wednesday night

Americans have a “don’t tread on me” attitude from the get-go and that makes it difficult for government to impose restrictions in time of an emergency. So we in Hawaii have used restrictions with a light touch so far.

I do not want to be health-threatened by any Wisconsinites who may be among the 200+ visitors who still arrive by air on any given day.

That’s treading on me! I hope you’ll make this new threat clear to the governor and the county mayors and demand strict controls on outsiders coming in.

Published by Bob Jones

Journalist since age 19. St. Petersburg Times, Noticias y Viajes in Madrid, Overseas Weekly in Frankfurt and Paris, the Louisville Courier- Journal, the Honolulu Advertiser, KGMB-TV, NBC News foreign correspondent in Africa and Southeast Asia, and MidWeek columnist. LL.B LaSalle University Law. 3 years in the U.S. Air Force. Covered: Vietnam War, Iraq #1 in 1991. George Foster Peabody Award for distinguished journalism for reporting in China. Married to Denby Fawcett, one daughter. Brett Jones.

5 replies on “We Must Have Better Quarantining”

  1. It makes perfect sense, Bob, in fact it’s common sense, a simple solution. Thanks! Let’s do it now!

  2. As I have advocated for before, if the State was serious about quarantine, it would literally make tourism illegal to Hawaii. That means that if your on a plane, not a resident and coming to visit, your arrival would be illegal. Immedate test, arrest and sent to the airport hotel where you would stay until your flight leaves.

    Do this enough and no one will fly to Hawaii that is not a resident. Anything less I feel gives too much leeway.

    1. Not a snowball’s chance making tourism “illegal” survives any kind of court challenge. Even if the state could provide a legally acceptable definition of “tourism”, how do you prove anyone arriving is engaging in it and not in legitimate business ? That fight would piss away a few million $ in legal fees which we do not have. And then there’s that pesky Constitutional issue of free association. Sorry..guns, bayonets, hotels with barbed wire ain’t going to cut it. . Perhaps a better solution might be for all of our well-paid State and Local officials, along with HVB and the other organizations and lots of just plain folks to start a well-organized campaign to shame the airlines and all those travel websites into 1. informing EVERY passenger BEFORE they get on the plane that there is a quarantine and 2. making sure every airline knows there will be a future price to pay for not working to make Hawai’i safer by carefully screening anyone who wants to buy a ticket to Hawai’i. And push this big on every kind of social media and traditional media. But that’s pie-in-the-sky as well. NO ONE with the stones to take on the airlines or websites. Like mainland, money talks, life is cheap.

  3. It is simply what must be done. And the empty hotels in the airport area can be used. Good suggestion

  4. I agree with you.

    As the LG says, let’s open the Kama’aina economy first. Let’s get to where the hair salons and dental offices can open, and schools will be able to open as scheduled in July, before we even consider relaxing the quarantine requirements.

    Perhaps at some point we could offer exemptions or shorter quarantine requirements for people arriving from places like New Zealand that have the virus largely under control.

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