Help Kauai maintain 14-day quarantine until systematic opening plan is reached

Help Kauai maintain 14-day quarantine until systematic opening plan is reached

October 7, 2020
Petition to and
Signatures: 58Next Goal: 100
Support now

Why this petition matters

Started by Rachel Nelson

To the people, families, women, and children of Kauai, 

As you may be aware, Governor Ige denied Mayor Kawakami’s request for a two-test COVID-19 program, or what would have been another layer of protection from the disease for our island. On Monday, October 5th, Gov. Ige gave all counties the option to opt out of the program that will require only a single COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours before departing on the final leg of the journey to Hawaii. The Big Island chose to opt out and continue with the 14-day quarantine. Mayor Kim remarked, “I made a decision that the risk factor in regards to doing this at this time is not an acceptable risk as far as endangering Hawaii’s people.” 

On October 15th, if Kauai opts in, it could open to visitors who only take a single pre-flight COVID-19 test; however, a single test has proven ineffective at catching the disease, and 30-40% of those who may become infectious could go undetected (Dr. Lee Evslin in The Garden Island, “Why a single test is not good enough,” October 1st).

We do not want to become like Tahiti, which declared itself “COVID-free,” and on July 15th opened with a single-test program similar to the governor’s plan, only to report 1,300 new COVID-19 cases last month.

Please sign this petition if you believe it is right for our island to maintain the 14-day quarantine until we have a systematic plan that can effectively follow a safe, responsible approach to opening. 

Yes, our economy and businesses are suffering. However, if we do not continue to protect our “COVID-free” community now, the most likely result will be a spike in COVID-19 cases; our medical infrastructure will not be able to support the increase, and our businesses will suffer even more. Our medical teams will be unable to meet the demand for care, and our children and young people who desperately need to return to school after fall break may not be able to if we’re forced under another stay-in order. 

In this pivotal, sensitive, and ever changing time, and when our leaders cannot reach a consensus, let’s show our support of Mayor Derek Kawakami’s service to keeping the people of Kauai safe. 

Rather than take several steps backward, let’s take a giant leap forward so we can strengthen our resolve as we move toward a coherent planned opening. Let’s work together to meet the short-term financial burdens with creative, innovative, and bold ideas. Let’s also focus on the long-term goal of reshaping and diversifying our local and state economy, and becoming more resilient to future economic downturns and world changes. 

The people coming here right now–buying homes and signing long-term leases–want to feel safe, breathe clean air, and stay here for longer than a typical stay. Although we do not have the number of visitors we normally do, we do have an influx of healthy people who can help our economy.  

As proposed by the Hawaiʻi State Commission on the Status of Women in “A Feminist Economic Recovery Plan for COVID-19,” we should shift from the “precarious tourism industry which offers Hawaiʻi residents, especially women, predominately low wage earning employment while the social and ecological costs of tourism go unaddressed,” with a shift to sustainable, high-end, community-led tourism—a type of tourism that fundamentally provides economic, environmental, social, and community benefit directly to locals (such as the Kuna people of Panama, the Yolngu people of Australia and Kangaroo Island, and also many examples here in our islands). 

Let us continue to support through stimulus funds, CARES Act money, grants, private philanthropy, and other resources: retraining programs for displaced workers, sustenance living programs, investments in “green jobs” and sustainability efforts, perpetuation of land and sea-based practices such as agriculture, ranching, and fishing, as well as support our non-profit organizations, and engage social entrepreneurship approaches such as Rise to Work, Kauai Food Hub, and Hanalei Initiative, among others.

The women of Hawaiʻi’s recovery plan put it best when they said, “A successful recovery plan will go beyond policy...will require us to recognize and value all members of our communities beyond their value to economic production in capitalism. This is essential to our survival. In our view, we therefore need to be speaking not only about response and recovery, but also of repair and revival: repair of historic harms and intergenerational trauma, revival of place-based practices and knowledge and self-determination. Only in this way can we hope to renew our connections...with one another and with the wider world of which we are a part. In our view, we are not seeking "to return to normal" but to build bridges to a feminist future for Hawai‘i.”

Again, please support our mayor in keeping Kauai safe by supporting the continuance of a 14-day quarantine until a coherent, scientific, and phased plan is available. 

If you not only want to keep our island safe, healthy, and COVID-free, but also value a more sustainable, equitable, and harmonious future for our “island of strong prayers,” please sign this petition. 

We can do this together and build an empowered future for our island, our children, and our world, but not if we’re sick. 

Mahalo Nui Loa. 


Support now
Signatures: 58Next Goal: 100
Support now