Danger Alert: C19 Safety Failure at Iwilei Costco Honolulu

UPDATE 8.7.2020: Hawai’i officials did it again: punished the many for the failures of the few. Oahu parks and beaches, which reopened in May, will be closed again, starting 12:01am Saturday. All 303 city-run parks and 18 state-operated sites on island will be closed. Honolulu mayor, Kirk Caldwell, said: ““We need to clamp down as hard as possible on large, uncontrolled gatherings.”

What does our Covidiot mayor do? “Running, jogging, walking and biking through the parks won’t be allowed.” Is this a large, uncontrolled gathering?

oahu

Kaua’i mayor, Derek Kawakami, wrote on social media: “The reckless actions of a few individuals will have detrimental effects. Gatherings of people who do not wear masks or practice physical distancing are the core reason for our current outbreak.”

This is like being in Grade School with a bad substitute teacher. A couple knuckleheads in back won’t stop talking, so the sub punishes all the class. Good teachers, like good leaders, focus on the PROBLEM CHILDREN, rather than punish all the good students.

Honolulu Police Department Chief Susan Ballard reminded the public the state hopes to open to out-of-state visitors starting Sept. 1. “I’m just begging you, please, we’ve got 28 days,” Ballard said. “Let’s show them we can do this and when we reopen, let’s follow the rules.”

Seriously? Our chief is smoking meth. Lock us down to prevent a quiet walk on a beach or stroll through a park so hotels can open to millions of outsiders in 28 days. Covidiots! Can’t make this up!

Hawai’i officials have again failed us!!!


Around the first of April, the state of Hawai’i went into full lockdown mode, as daily C19 infections hit a peak around 20 individuals in a day. Had urged both Governor Dave FrankenIGE and my good friend, Lt. Governor Dr. Jekyll Josh Green, to #MaskUp our local population March 19th (story). They ignored my repeated pleas for urgent action.

Hawai’i fell to the First Wave of SARS-CoV-2. This was painful and financially crippling for many in the islands — 23% unemployment and some $2.5 billion in public debt. Of course, not bad for politicians and top business officials. They shelter at home, ZOOM meetings, and have poor people provide their basic goods and services.

cases_8.7.2020

Today, August 7th (updated), the state set another record of daily infections at 201 (above). Last weekend, there were actually more, but this appears related to confusion in reporting due to Hurricane Douglas.

There’s no question Hawai’i is on an Elon Musk rocket ship to a massive C19 wildfire. Residents and officials seem to have given up. The state locked down when a couple dozen people were infected. They remain open when the number increases ten fold — because the state is broke. Elected officials have mismanaged our public finances and residents now pay the deadly price.

I’m Over This

Speaking the other day with my friend, Captain Rio, as I’ve nicknamed him, he told me how frustrated he and friends are. He normally pilots a 40′ catamaran that tours locals and visitors into some tremendously beautiful places. Most of his crew is currently furloughed. He’s been reassigned to construction work.

Rio is former military, a member of a helicopter attack squad, and thus, no stranger to danger, stress and sacrifice. Yet he was clear: “I’m over this,” he remarked in exasperation repeatedly. He showed me cuts on his hands. He’s meant to sail the ocean, not rap his knuckles on steel and rusty iron. Many here are “over this” it appears.

Yesterday, at my health club, it was clear many are “over this” as well. Males in particular were guilty of not properly wearing face coverings — pulling their masks below their noses or simply taking off the mask. Although the club has high ceilings and patrons do a decent job of distancing, AC and ventilation can easily spread viral infectious particles from one asymptomatic exerciser to other areas.

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Males Not Wearing Face Masks Planet Fitness Honolulu

As many people are wearing simple masks to make breathing easier during high-intensity workout, they aren’t as protected as they could be. To be safe, everyone needs to cooperate and work as a team. This appears extremely difficult for Americans.

Discipline and Teamwork

My wife’s grandfather, Ray Larribas, is a heroic member of The Greatest Generation. He passed a couple years ago after serving Americans and the nation all his life (story). He was a POW in WWII, who saved many and eventually escaped the Nazis. If someone fell behind in their march, the Germans shot them on the spot. Few of us know such danger.

ray
Sgt. Ray Larribas, POW and American Hero

We are used to others doing the hard work and heavy lifting for us. We’re undisciplined, selfish, and frankly, quite weak. We’re overweight, out-of-shape, privileged and spoiled.

At Costco Wholesale today in Iwilei, Honolulu, I watched in sadness and frustration the lack of discipline and teamwork. Costco had been an inspiration during the April and May lockdown. They were fully prepared with sanitizers, instructions and clear safety protocols. Today was a Charlie Foxtrot, a CF, or more to the point, a Cluster Fuck.

costco
Costco Organized in May. Charlie Foxtrot August 6th

Couldn’t find hand sanitizers entering or exiting the facility. This is upside down compared to how the company managed the initial breakout. We entered orderly in small groups, carts were disinfected, staff handed us wipes for our hands before we came in. Not today. Chaos.

While men were the Covidiots on the fitness floor yesterday, women were the culprits today. Had to follow a young Pacific Island female through the fresh fruit section. She kept her mask below her nose the entire trip. Notably, Pacific Islanders suffer the most C19 infections by percent in Hawai’i (see below). This is one reason: this woman simply refuses to participate and be a team player.

population
Pacific Islanders Suffer Highest Percent of C19 Infections

A second woman, appeared to be Japanese, was standing in front of the egg display in the newly-remodeled Dairy section. She had her mask off and was taking on the phone. As I needed eggs, I politely asked her to #MaskUp. “Can’t you see I’m on the phone! Why are you so rude,” she replied.

I reminded her she can talk on the phone while wearing a mask, “Your phone call is not more important that my life or the lives of others.”

And Costco was flooded with shoppers. People were on top of each other reaching for items, trying to get large carts (wagons) by one an other. When it came time for checkout, there looked to be Five Bazillion people in line. They were extended from checkout counter almost to the rear of the store — double file. There was no physical distancing. People had jammed up next to each other. They’re “over this,” it appears as well.

As I’m known to do, sought the path less traveled. Found a way to weave around the long lines into another area of the store where checkout lines weren’t as crowded. This wasn’t easy, due to the congestion in the center.

Checkout was normal, but the cashier didn’t wipe the touch pad members must use to enter their pin and payment information. Didn’t clean it before I used it; didn’t clean afterward. The entire situation from entry to exit was rushed, unorganized and overly-crowded. Maybe Dr. Jekyll Green’s hint we might be headed for a second lockdown panicked people. Felt like it in Costco today. Better get your toilet paper!

On exit, the situation was even worse. People were on top of each other returning carts, preparing to load vehicles, and simply hanging around. Although the area is outdoors, there’s an overhang that traps air and pillars block breezes. It’s not a good place to spend a lot of time. Best to move on quickly. That was difficult.

The Great Compression

As I watched people today, I wondered how we have become to believe we are so entitled and privileged. Those of The Greatest Generation suffered WWII and a Great Depression. This was a double whammy. We’re in the Third World War against a virus, suffering a depressed economy, and being forced behind masks, plexiglass and isolation. I call this The Great Compression.

Lockdown, lack of work, closed schools, most spectator sports and entertainment shut down is pressurizing an extremely difficult situation. The #BlackLivesMatter and Antifa protests continue in our collective caldron, social media is filled with hatred, anger and self-righteous indignation, and we appear to be a nation on the verge of collapse.

We can do better. Life isn’t easy. My father endlessly told us as kids, “The world doesn’t owe you a living. Get up and get going!” Most Americans have lived a charmed life of luxury. We’ve been extremely blessed and fortunate. It’s time to prove our mettle now.

We need to act with discipline and work together as a team. This also requires us to “grow up.” We’re behaving as spoiled teenagers throwing a tantrum for not getting our way. Since WWII, Americans and our nation have been a beacon of hope for the world. We’re embarrassing ourselves now. We can and must do better.

Let’s be AmeriCANS … not AmeriCANTS.


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Ko’olau of Kaua’i. I am the Defiant One
“I Believe We Can”

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