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LETTERS for the Jan. 14 issue

By Staff | Jan 15, 2021

Mahalo Mayor, Dr. Pang for an easy vaccine experience

Well over 70 years old, my wife and I are eligible as “elders” (we thought we were seniors) to get the COVID-19 vaccine early.

Nearly 1,000 first responders on Maui have already received their first dose, and so have we.

We received our Moderna vaccine painlessly the first week it was available. Both the shot in the arm and the entire process were painless. We regarded the vaccination as one of the greatest Christmas gifts we have ever received.

We want to thank Mayor Michael Victorino; Dr. Lorrin Pang, director of the Maui Health Department; and physician groups like Doctors On Call for the efficient set-up and the way the vaccine was administered.

Friendly National Guard people and volunteers did an excellent job directing our car through short “lines” at the University of Hawaii Maui College parking lot and to a parking space where nurses administered the shot while we stayed in our car.

Then we were told to wait 15 minutes to make sure all was well.

Before we left, we volunteered to add a QR code to our phones that keeps track of our next appointment for the second shot in several weeks and also allows us to report any adverse symptoms.

When we had everything being offered, we were guided out of the parking lot and were off to shopping down the street.

The process was as easy as checking out in the grocery store.

A final point: wear your mask inside when people are not of your immediate family and outside at all times, according to doctors.

Low infection rates on Maui reflect good mask wearing.

And, once again, a salute to everyone involved, especially our hero nurses, Mayor Victorino and Dr. Pang.

NORM BEZANE, Kaanapali

The rich get richer

Our public schools have been closed since March, but private schools are in full swing. The parents that have enough money to send their kids to private school right now are putting their children in a position to be socially, mentally and academically way ahead of our youth in public schools.

Tourists can fill beaches and restaurants while our youth are being neglected with limited social interaction, no sports, no clubs, no extracurricular activities. What a shame for our youth.

Unemployment has been at an all-time high. Who are the people unemployed? The lower middle class and poor. How many wealthy individuals do you know that were laid off?

The wealthy continue to work from the comfort of their home, getting richer, while the poor patiently wait and wonder when they will get their much-needed unemployment from an outdated system to make rent.

Our state is continually going after small businesses that are hanging on by a thread to stay open. If a business makes a choice to not wear a mask, simply do not support them. This is America — a free country the last time I checked. Do not arrest and publicly shame the small businesses as if you were heroic in saving lives.

Mr. Victorino, I doubt you kept your rule of “four people limit” at your Christmas party.

Also, why has our state not used some of the millions from the last stimulus to expand ICU beds? Instead, our government focused on arresting locals for not wearing a mask while sitting alone on the beach and making sure there is a multi-million dollar facial recognition put in at the airport.

Have you seen the beaches over the holidays? Hard enough to get a parking spot, let alone stay six feet away from a burnt tourist with no mask on.

Limiting restaurants to 30 percent occupancy? Who is that going to help? The single mother who gets put back on unemployment and has to wait three months to get paid? No, it will continue to fuel big business (Costco, Wal-mart, Target, Starbucks), which does little for our local economy.

Think for yourself people, because Instagram news feeds and subpar government leadership should not form your opinion. At what point do we put the “safety” of our community from a 99.8 percent survival rate over our communities’ sanity and overall well-being? ANDREW MANTZ, Lahaina

My Aloha Wish for 2021

I hope that we (as Americans) can all love one another. At least respect and join as one nation undivided. America is not a football game… “United we stand, divided we fall.”

What happened? Did fear and separation take over? Is this the lesson of COVID… to think of others and respect the health of the whole?

Were we conned? Tricked into thinking selfishly? Believing lies and hateful messages? Did love for one’s neighbor fly out the window because of suspicions and fearful illusions?

Can we regain our sense of oneness and fair play? Can we drop the fight and join each other to repair our Democracy and move forward?

Lucky we live Hawaii, where we are steeped in aloha for all.

My second wish is to show Aloha ‘Aina (Love for the Land).

Let’s agree to be more harmless and trust in the goodness of life, nature and in each other.

May aloha RULE in 2021.


Eat healthier this year

With the “year of COVID” barely behind us, we look forward to the New Year and the customary resolutions: reduce personal weight, reduce time on social media and reduce consumption of animal foods.

Yes, that. Nearly 40 percent of Americans are already eating more plant-based foods. Hundreds of school, college and corporate cafeterias have embraced “Meatless Monday.” Even fast-food chains offer plant-based options.

The reasons for the skyrocketing popularity of plant-based meat and milk products are compelling: they are more convenient, healthier, more eco-friendly and more compassionate than their animal-based counterparts.

The resolution to explore plant-based foods requires no sweat or deprivation — just some fun visits to our favorite supermarket and food websites.