Like you, I am worried. I have a Doctorate in Public Health and believe that policy and personal action should be based on evidence. There is a lot of information out there. I listed useful information, and links to local and national help and services.
Why was it so important to "flatten the curve" of the epidemic in Hawaiʻi? Is it time to re-open Hawaiʻi?
The number of staffed hospital beds, the number of ICU beds and equipment like respirators is fixed in the short term. If health care providers get sick, capacity could actually decrease instead of increase. Having more cases than capacity means that life-saving care will have to be rationed.
We flattened the curve very effectively which kept hospital beds, ventilators and staff from being overwhelmed. It gave us time to source more personal protective equipment, learn better how to treat (and not to treat) the virus, and for the health care providers, Department of Health, and laboratories in Hawaii to set up systems and equip themselves.
Now that we are better prepared, we need to decrease the health, social, educational and economic costs caused by closure. It is time to open the local economy while maintaining a quarantine for travelers.
Thre are 2 types of tests:
1. A viral test tells you if you are infected right now and need to be quarantined. It is usually done with a swab in your nose/throat. Testing is free but rationed for those who are sick or have had contact with a confirmed case.
Local screening sites are HERE (click) and are drive through to protect others.
Adventist Health Care (Castle) has a drive through site. Call ahead to: 263-5500
2. An antibody test tells us whether our immune system has encountered COVID-19. Test are performed with a blood draw at Clinical Labs of Hawaii or Diagnostic Lab Services for $43 and you will receive results in 24 hours. You need a request from your health care provider. If someone is positive we don’t know whether it makes you immune from future infection or whether it makes you unable to transmit COVID-19 to others. Ongoing research should answer these questions in the future. We are hopeful that, like with other corona viruses, antibodies will protect people for a few years.
Which masks are best.
Masks, even cloth masks, keep people from touching their faces, and keep everyone from spreading droplets containing COVID-19 when they cough, sneeze or breathe. If you are high risk a medical-quality mask, even if it is not N-95 is much better than cloth masks. You can cover it with a washable mask and keep re-using it.
Home made masks protect you more if the cloth is a tighter weave, like good sheets. They also protect you more if they have an additional filter inside, like a cut coffee filter or vaccuum bag.
Wash your cloth masks after use. For other masks, put them in the sun between uses to sanitize them.
Can people with no symptoms infect you? Yes.
What is going on with vaccines?
There are multiple vaccine studies going on simultaneously with more public investment than has ever been made before. The trials look at both safety of the vaccine (side effects) as well as whether it protects people from the virus. Three very different strategies are being used by different companies to develop and test vaccines. Existing vaccines use live, killed, or subunit portions of a pathogen to generate antigens (an immune response) in the patient so they are ready to fight of the virus if exposed. Some of the strategies being researched have never been used commercially before. One uses the messenger RNA coded for COVID-19 antigen to stimulate production of the antigen within our cells. Another uses manipulated COVID-19 genes that canʻt replicate once in the human cell. Another strategy has been used for the Ebola vaccine. It is a viral vector, that used replication-competent versions of another harmless virus (not COVID-19) to shuttle antigen-producing genes to human cells.
How long does the virus live on surfaces?
Transmission from surfaces is not a major source of infections, but it is possible. The virus is found in droplets that generally fall to surfaces (unless someone coughs right on you). The concentration of the virus diminishes steadily over time, but small amounts were still detectable on Plastic and Stainless Steel up to 2 or 3 days and on Cardboard up to 24 hours after the virus was deposited.
What kills the virus?
Regular soap (20 second wash) kills the virus because it breaks down the fat that coats them. Regular laundry with a dryer also kills the virus on clothes.
Bleach and alcohol kill the virus. Any brand with bleach in it is fine to spray on and wipe down surfaces.
You can make your own hand sanitizer with alcohol (at least 60%) and aloe vera gel (optional drops of scented oil). Just put it in an old soap dispenser and shake it up.
Can I get the virus from food that someone else prepared?
The virus must connect with lung cells to infect you. Your digestive tract and stomach acids will be a barrier. The risk is touching the packaging, so remove it, throw it away and then wash your hands well.
LOCAL LINKS AND INFO (click for detailed info)
One stop information: call Aloha United Way 2-1-1.
Free food for hard-hit people
- Central Union Windward, 38 Kaneohe Bay Dr., Kailua, HI 96734. Wednesday, 10-11:30.
- St. Anthony's Church, 114 Makawao St., Kailua, HI 96734. Tuesdays & Thursdays, 9:00am - 12:00pm.
- Waimanalo District Park. Third Monday of the month, 2:00pm - 4:00pm.
- South Shore Christian Fellowship. 41-539 Makakalo St., Waimanalo, HI 96795. Sundays, 9:00am - 12:00pm.
- 7th Day Adventist Church, 41-592 Poalima St., Waimanalo, HI 96795. Sunday 9:00am - 11:00am.
- St. Matthew's Kokua Food Basket, 41-054 Ehukai St., Waimanalo, HI 96795. Wednesday 5:00pm.
Delivery of local farm produce. Click for website:
- Oahu Fresh: Call 476-7550
- Ma‘o Organic Farms: Call 696-5569 (click on CSA link).
- Farm to Car: The city’s partnership with the Hawaii Farm Bureau lets customers order produce online and pick it up at Blaisdell Center, 10 a.m. to noon Wednesdays.
- Farm Link Hawaii: Shop for produce from a network of farms. Call 205-5252
- Local Harvest: Find CSA farms near you, read reviews or sign up
online: Unemployment Benefits phone: 808-762-5751, 808-762-5752
KAHIAU - One time $2,000 assistance for people of Native Hawaiian descent. Applications closed.
YOUTH BREAKFAST / LUNCH PICK UP
Kailua Elementary, Keolu Elementary, Pope Elementary, or Waimanalo Elementary: Breakfast 7:30-8am and lunch 11:30-12pm for children under 18 from any school. Children must come, but parents not required. If you are working and the kids are home - send them.
GROCERY STORE HOURS
- Foodland: 6 AM – 9 PM (Kupuna Hours: 6 – 7 AM, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays)
- Times: 7 AM – 10 PM (Kupuna Hours: 6 – 7 AM, Daily)
- Whole Foods: 8 AM – 9 PM (Kupuna Hours: 7 - 8 AM, Daily)
- Safeway (Aikahi, Hamakua, & Enchanted Lakes): 6 AM – 10 PM (Golden Hours: 6 - 9 AM, Tuesdays and Thursdays)
- Down to Earth: 8 AM – 9 PM (Kupuna Hours: 7 - 8 AM, Daily)
- Target: 7 AM – 9 PM (Kupuna Hours: 7 - 8 AM, Tuesdays and Wednesdays)
DRUG STORE HOURSS
- Longs: 9 AM – 9 PM (Monday – Friday), 9 AM – 8 PM (Saturday – Sunday), Kupuna Hours: 9 AM – 10 PM Tuesdays and Thursdays
- Walgreens: 9 AM – 9 PM (Kupuna Hours: 8 - 9 AM, Tuesdays only)
- Bank of Hawai’i: 10 AM – 7 PM (Monday- Friday), 10 AM – 3 PM (Saturday – Sunday), First hour reserved for Kupuna
- First Hawaiian Bank: 8:30 AM – 4 PM (Monday – Thursday), 8:30 AM – 6 PM (Friday), 9 AM – 1 PM (Saturday), First hour reserved for Kupuna. Drive-Teller time: 8:30 AM – 4 PM (Monday – Thursday), 8:30 AM – 6 PM (Fri)
CHILD CARE FOR ESSENTIAL WORKERS
- Waimanalo - Franci Makaneole. Family child care: Min. age: 2 months, max. age: 6 years, hours: 7:00AM-5:00PM, availability for essential workers: Limited # of spaces (via PATCH) PHONE 808-292-4581
- Kailua - Kama'aina kids for pre-school and school aged children. PHONE 808-263-5554 Keolu and Aikahi locations. https://www.kamaainakids.com/essential-support-childcare-0
- Kailua -Cole Academy. Group child care: Min. age: 2 years, max. age: 7 years, hours: 6:45AM-6:00PM, availability for essential workers: Limited # of spaces (via PATCH) PHONE 808-261-3012
- Kailua -Windward YMCA. PHONE (808) 261-0808 ADDRESS 1200 Kailua Road, Kailua, HI, 96734
FEDERAL CARES ACT LINKS (Information and links to forms courtesy of Senator Schatz.)
Quarantine - what to do so it counts (sick or not)
- The quarantined person should have their own bedroom and bathroom that nobody else uses. Ideally they donʻt enter other parts of the house though they can have their own outside area.
- Donʻt share food, drink or utensils with the quarantined person.
- If space must be shared, the quarantined household member should wear clean disposable facemasks, wash hands frequently and wipe down surfaces.
What if I (or my child) is sick with something else?
Many doctors are moving services to telehealth. They can now legally provide and bill for services over a phone call or FaceTime. They do not want sick patients to come in, even if it is not COVID-19. Pediatricians still see well children for vaccinations, so they are protected from getting other diseases at the same time as COVID-19. People who are injured can also be seen by doctors. Women who are due for pap smears or mamograms may get these preventive health services. Call your doctor to find out.
What to expect in bad cases. A typical timeline.
Early stages are infectous BEFORE symptoms start and people with no symptoms or mild symptoms can still infect others and make them very sick. That is why healthy people with possible exposure need to be quarantined.
Source: Peter Zeihen. https://us11.campaign-archive.com/?u=de2bc41f8324e6955ef65e0c9&id=e9857a4b5a&fbclid=IwAR083hVOnfxU4VxGqOzKsP6PBc0t4_S53_NnOd3SIg-qY16ZfK2dB2Hj2SU
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
It is different than the common cold, as people are rarely congested. A commonly reported symptom is loss of senses of smell and taste.