The shaka hand sign, sometimes known as “hang loose,” is a gesture of friendly intent often associated with Hawaii and surf culture. When it comes to Mayor Caldwell of Honolulu, the shaka will replace the handshake in the Aloha State for some time to come. Island-style and outspoken, Mayor Caldwell has been emerging not only as a leader in Hawaii but he has been setting a positive example as a national leader.
Hawaii together with Wyoming are the safest states when it comes to keeping the spread of the Coronavirus under control.
A relaxed lifestyle, a leader who gets it, and a culture with the Aloha spirit embedded in it may be the reason America’s island stateo of Hawaii has been able to keep the coronavirus under control. Social distancing, stay home orders, and discipline is what may be the reasons the Aloha state could be able to escape the worst when it comes to COVID-19. The only obstacle is passenger arrivals, which could easily be better controlled and even avoided given the isolation of an island environment. Not putting a stop on importing the virus is the biggest danger Hawaii is facing. “No one wants to stop families from coming home, but visitors should no longer arrive here,” said Mayor Caldwell.
In a press conference today, Caldwell demanded from Honolulu Airport authorities, from the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association, and from the Hawaii Tourism Authority to do more, so there is more clear information available on visitors still arriving to the state.
Despite all the restrictions in place, 764 air passengers arrived in Hawaii yesterday, including 105 visitors. Caldwell appealed to those still planning to travel to Hawaii to cancel and stay home. “It’s not the time to visit Hawaii now, when we are fightomg the coronavirus,” he said.
The Mayor said visitors should be required to not only include hotel or apartment building names and addresses but also apartment or room numbers, so that authorities can monitor them more easily.
“We should send anyone back before he or she leaves the airport if an arriving passenger is unable to provide exact information on their confirmed whereabouts.” the Mayor said.
The Mayor demanded from vacation rental operators, including Airbnb, to stop advertising Hawaii and observe the mandatory quarantine order. He added that less than 800 vacation rentals are legal at this time, but they are not allowed to welcome guests during the epidemic. Vacation rentals are not categorized as essential businesses – hotels are.
The Mayor said it would be stupid to stop all air traffic to the state. Supply lines need to be kept open. He has asked Governor Ige along with the 3 other Hawaii Mayors to stop nonessential travel to Hawaii. Tourists, of course, are not essential – not during a pandemic. The Governor so far did not act on this request, and he seems to be unable to make quick and necessary decisions. It appears the real government leader in Hawaii and perhaps in the United States when it comes to fighting the deadly Coronavirus epidemic on a local level is Mayor Kirk Caldwell.
Today, 11 more cases and no additional deaths were reported from Hawaii. Currently, Hawaii has 541 cases of which only 157 are active.
This is good news since the number of infected is significantly less compared to the number of recovered cases. Based on the number of deaths per million, only Wyoming has a lower number than Hawaii. Hawaii has 6 per million, Wyoming has 3. New York has the highest number with 821 deaths per million.
On the number of reported cases per million, only Minnesota has a lower number. Hawaii has 380 cases per million, Minnesota has 346. The highest numbers are again in New York with 11,530 cases per million.
On the number of tests per million, North Dakota, Utah, New Mexico, Washington state, New Jersey, Washington DC, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Louisiana, and New York have a higher number of tests per million. Hawaii has 15,460, New York has 28,064, but the lowest tests per million are in the US territory of Puerto Rico with only 2,902.