Coronavirus in Hawaii

coronavirus in Hawaii

Since our last update on June 30th, the world’s COVID-19 cases have gone from 10.5 million to almost 17 million and deaths increased by around 150,000.  Click below for answers to your questions about Coronavirus in Hawaii. (updated July 28th, 2020)

 

UPDATE VIDEO FROM LAHAINA 5/27/20:

The Ghost Town of Lahaina

It's a pretty wild experience being on Maui right now. Here's a quick video from Darren McDaniel Photography cruising Front Street in the ghost town of Lahaina. https://lahainatown.com

Posted by Maui Hawaii on Thursday, May 28, 2020

 

Before reading on, please practice social distancing.

 

Is coronavirus in Hawaii?

There have been 1,757 reported COVID-19 cases in Hawaii as of this publishing (154 in Maui County with 6 deaths and 26 requiring hospitalization). We’ll keep this updated as Hawaii Coronavirus News comes in.  How likely is it that Hawaii will have more cases soon?  Likely.  I’d bet that once testing is done more thoroughly and visitors begin coming back, Hawaii will have an influx of cases (much like the rest of the world).  Currently, every US state has reported cases, along with the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands.


 

How deadly is the coronavirus?

Thus far, the percentage of those that die from this deadly virus sits at 3.93% and dropping, which is low when compared to the many other devastating viruses we’ve seen in the last 53 years.  From what we’re hearing, most of the deaths have been within the elderly, those with compromised immune systems, and those with other health problems making them weaker targets. Keep in mind, this is an emerging disease, so these numbers will be changing as time progresses.

fatality covid 728

How does the Coronavirus compare to the flu? According to the New York Times, the flu has a fatality rate of 0.1% in the US (average over 20 years).  That’s far fewer people dying from the flu than are dying from COVID-19.  That being said, the CDC says that between 9.3 and 45 million people get the flu in the US each year, and 12,000-61,000 people die from it.  So far, this virus has claimed a fraction of the lives that the flu has in the same period.  Though, if you run purely on the math, if the US suffered an outbreak that rivaled one of the worst flu seasons we’ve had over the last 20 years, we’d have almost 1.54 million deaths.


 

How does the Coronavirus COVID-19 compare to other major global viruses?

So far, the outbreak is the 2nd most serious in terms of how quickly and how many people have been infected (see video below).  Due to a much lower fatality rate than these other deadly viruses, the Coronavirus has claimed a smaller percentage of lives.

cases covid 728

Here are some global virus statistics to help compare COVID-19 with other major virus outbreaks over the past 53 years.

global covid 720

This video shares how quickly the Coronavirus COVID-19 is spreading exponentially.  It’s a little old (March 8th, 2020), but it shows just how fast it’s spreading up until the publishing date.  The math is pretty solid:  x10 every 16 days (on average).  WATCH THIS VIDEO TO THE END!  AMAZING!


 

Coronavirus Prevention and Symptoms

Some prevention tips:  Stay at home and social distance.  Don’t travel to China or any heavily affected country, clean surfaces thoroughly with disinfectant, wash hands, keep your hands away from your face, use a face mask (but don’t hoard them), stay away from sick people, and stay healthy (eat well, get rest, exercise and take any supplements for what you might be missing in your diet.)  Social Distancing is only smart.  This will get worse before it gets better, so let’s sacrifice work and fun for a bit and cut off the spread of this infection!

Some common Coronavirus symptoms: Within the first 2 weeks, you may have a fever, cough, and shortness of breath, or some difficulty breathing.  This is pretty similar to any common flu. In the worst cases, congestion becomes heavy enough that you feel like you’re drowning.  It’s pneumonia that seems to be the biggest danger.


 

Do I have coronavirus Covid-19?

If you feel sick with symptoms, and you’ve been around someone that might be infected, call your doctor.  They’ll direct you to a safe place to be tested.  If you’re sick and it’s worse than usual, call your doctor.  It can cause respiratory illness, and many infected patients get pneumonia in both lungs.  You’ll be tested, and depending on the results, you’ll either be quarantined or made to self-monitor.  There is no vaccine as of this publication date.


 

What’s new with Coronavirus in Hawaii?

  • 1,757 cases in Hawaii have been confirmed, with 154 on Maui.
  • August 1st was slated for visitors being allowed to visit Hawaii again if they prove a negative result for a COVID-19 test taken within 3 days of flying.  That was pushed back to around September 1st.  
  • Inter-island flights are open again.  Locals have begun visiting the other islands to see family and to enjoy staycations.
  • Haleakala National Park‘s Summit District is open daily from 9am to 5pm.  The park will increase access to areas in phases.  Visitor centers, Kīpahulu District, Crater trails and backcountry areas are still closed to the public.  All Haleakala sunrise entries between 3am and 7am require reservations made in advance.
  • The United States leads the world in cases, quickly approaching 5 million.
  • The State of Hawaii has extended the 14-day travel quarantine for the foreseeable future for visitors without negative test results.
  • Beaches are back open!  Some non-essential businesses are opening up again.  Many parks are back open again too.
  • Hawaiian Airlines is giving complimentary inter-island flights to medical personal for April.  GOOD ON YUH!
  • All concerts and large events have been canceled.
  • More businesses are suffering.  Maui Tropical Plantation (the Mill House Restaurant, all the shops in the village, and all the grounds are closed indefinitely.)


 

What are your predictions for the future of Coronavirus on Hawaii as far as exposure, tourism, economy, treatment and more?

As of July 28th, 2020DISCLAIMER:  I’m not a fortune teller.  These are just informed guesses, so take them as you’d like.

July 28th predictions:

  • In the next few days, Gov. Ige will push back opening up…again. Every month, the 14-day quarantine is extended for another month. There are a few reasons:  US residents are by far the biggest group of visitors to Hawaii, and the mainland US is not handling the spread well.  As soon as we’re officially open, we’ll be hit with a wave of cases in Hawaii like we haven’t seen.  Another reason why we haven’t opened up yet is due to the 72-hour COVID-19 testing it would require.  Getting test results back within 72 hours isn’t all that realistic at this point, in most States.  We know a Maui resident that was in Florida helping his mother.  He tried to get tested before coming back, and the State of Florida wouldn’t allow it due to his not being a resident.
  • Tourism will comeback.  But when?  That’s the question we get asked hundreds of times each day.  Until test results can be reliably received within 72 hours from every location in the US, and until there’s a drop in the steady growth of US cases, I don’t see it coming till early 2021.  Travelers seem to be less worried about money than they are about safety. And with school starting again, and having not had in-house class for so long, it’s doubtful families will take the risk until the next break.
  • Many Hawaii businesses will close forever.  We’re seeing it and hearing about it every day.  Businesses that professed not being tourism-reliant are realizing that they depended on it more than they thought.  Plus, locals aren’t spending like they used to because there is no money.  We’re seeing people move off-island, which will continue.

 

July 1st predictions:

  • My May 19th predictions below still stand. Inter-island flights have opened up, tourism will begin again August 1st, a second wave will hit (and already is happening on the mainland of the US), and we’re seeing Hawaii businesses close forever.
  • Hawaii Tourism Marketing Backfire.  In an attempt to jumpstart tourism across the islands, Gov. Ige’s administration wants to rebrand Hawaii as the “safest place on Earth.”  This will work initially, then backfire with a new wave of illness in our State.
  • Tourism will comeback.  We’ll see places filled with visitors beginning August 1st.  My worry is that we’ll get the wrong kind of visitors.  Hopefully, visitors will understand that respecting residents’ space and health is paramount.  I don’t think we’ll see the kind of numbers we’re used to seeing in August, but it’ll be a good start.
  • Many Businesses will remain closed.  With future visitor numbers in question, many businesses will remain closed, opting to keep their employees on unemployment until they know that hiring them back can be sustained.

 

May 19th predictions:

  • With pressure, inter-island flights will open up without quarantine. It’s insane that we’re not able to travel between islands without quarantine.  It’s one thing if a passenger is from out of State, but we’re doing pretty well here.
  • End of July, Tourism begins again without quarantine.  We’ll have strict checks in place before and after anyone gets off a plane, but we’ll start seeing visitors coming back.  We won’t see the volume we’re used to in Summer, but it’ll still be strong, as so many have been cooped up and are over it.
  • Cases will come back with a second wave.  Once things approach “normal” again, we’ll see a second d wave of cases, and shutdowns will happen again.  I don’t think it’ll be as aggressive as this first time, but it’ll cut down on spread as much as possible without destroying economies.
  • Many Hawaii businesses will not survive.  Almost all businesses are tourism-reliant here in Hawaii, whether directly or indirectly.  We even heard that Mana Foods is hurting.  Really?  I was sure they survived off of the local community, but they made a lot of money from tourists too.  Many businesses planned for a recession, though many hadn’t.  Even for those that planned for a recession, they didn’t anticipate a complete shut down of business.  Quite a few businesses survived and grew using money from future bookings.  If they’re not already out of business, they will be.  We’ll see a future of much more conservative operations and growth for surviving Hawaii businesses.

MAUI HOSPITAL UPDATE (early May): Our friend is an ER doctor and just said, “Overall Maui is doing better than I’d expected.  But as a whole, our State is doing much better than I’d anticipated.  For the most part, people are behaving like we’re all in this together and it’s having the desired effect.  The community support for our healthcare workers has been really moving.  Free coffee at Starbucks.  Free “Thank you meal at McD’s.  Humbowl Wagon came by our clinic to give us free acai bowls. Such an amazing thing!  Honestly, it makes most of us get choked up on the gratitude and support the community is showing us.”

Humbowl Wagon Maui Hawaii

There’s also a major shortage or masks, gloves, and Clorox wipes.  If you have these items, and you don’t need them all, please drop them off at the hospital.  You may save lives!

 

April 28th predictions:

  • Many US States will open up with loose restrictions. We’ll begin to see a return to normalcy, to a degree.   Then we’ll begin seeing hot spots emerge again.
  • More Testing – Increased testing will bring us more confirmed cases.  We’ll begin to realize that a massive percentage of us have been infected and don’t know it.  Antibodies will have formed and we’ll have a collective sigh of relief.
  • Hawaii Lock Down –  Our current stay-at-home policy and 14-day quarantine will loosen June 1st due to economic and social pressures.  We’ll begin taking non-quarantine visitors from States with low-infection rates.
  • Partial Collapse of Real Estate Market – We’re hearing a lot of AirBnB owner/managers grumbling that they’ve over-extended themselves.  This is pretty common across the country, especially in Hawaii.  Large corporations, as well as ambitious homeowners, have bought multiple properties for the purpose of renting them out at vacation rental rates while paying normal mortgage rates.  This will bite them in the @$$!  We’ll begin to see many home owners default on their loans for this exact reason.  Much like in 2008, we’ll see real estate take a big dip with a large inventory and few buyers.

 

April 14th predictions:

  • The US will hit 1 million cases by the end of the month. I was off on my previous estimate.  I expected more testing than have been implemented.  We’re seeing a lot more, so more accurate numbers will come soon.
  • Beaches closed – The County and State have threatened complete closure of beaches if residents didn’t keep their distance and continue to loiter in groups.  I wouldn’t be surprised if this happened.
  • Increased shaming and hostility – Even though we’re legally allowed to get out into nature for exercise, hard-core quarantiners are shaming people on social media.  This will get worse.  If the ocean is closed off to swimming and board sports, people are going to legitimately freak out.
  • Vaccine – A vaccine will be mandated, whether it works or not.
  • Quarantine Exit – The quarantine rules across the world will begin loosening up by mid-June, and we’ll see a resurgence of the virus.

 

April 1st predictions:

  • I’ll bet the official fatality rate will be closer to 9% when all is done. Keep in mind, many asymptomatic infected will never be tested.  So in reality, it’s most likely far less.
  • No more flights – There will be a point where you won’t be able to fly to and from the Hawaiian Islands unless it’s essential.  Once we get a vaccine or the numbers start leveling off, this will change.
  • Recovery – We’ll start seeing signs of recovery (less new daily cases in the US) by mid-June.
  • Vaccine – A vaccine will come on the market in the next month.  Whether it works on the majority vaccinated will remain to be seen, but hope and the economy will go up.
  • The US will hit 1 million cases in the next 2 weeks.  With increased testing, we’ll see a major jump.  This virus will ultimately infect more people than H1N1 did (1.63million.)  The fatality rate will go up with time, then go down with more testing.
  • Travel and Renaissance – Later in the year, once things are under control for this first wave, we’ll see a flourish of travelers.  Also, with how cooped up everyone is, we’ll see something akin to a renaissance across the world. Appreciation for social interaction will be higher than ever before.  We’ll get another baby boom.  We’ll also see innovation and the arts explode with productivity.  I don’t know about you, but everyone I know is feeling pretty down and unmotivated.  After the hospital surges, after recovery, we’ll see a surge of growth and life on this planet.  My 2 cents.

 

March 23rd predictions:

  • All flights to and from Hawaii will be stopped. It’s absolute madness that this hasn’t already occurred.
  • Our hospitals will be full – The spread will move quickly.
  • National Guard called in – I believe it’s only a matter of time before the National Guard is called to curb the movement of non-essential people in the State of Hawaii.  They’ve already been called in for California, Washington, and New York.
  • Hawaii Tourism and ALL business will be hit hard – We’ll need at least a few months after then final quarantine to start seeing business returning.  This all depends on how the rest of the world handles this too.  Once we control this, visitors will be craving a Hawaii trip more than ever.  Many will have less money to do so, but we’ll see bookings jump from those that had reserved in the first place.

 

March 16th predictions:

  • I believe it’s going to take over 100,000 cases in the US before the general public begins taking this seriously (currently at 4,314 cases in the US).  If China’s numbers are accurate, their social engineering and ability to quarantine and shut down major cities are doing the job.  Even though they’re reported to have less than 10,000 active cases (of their original 80,880 cases), all it takes is one reckless infected person to reinfect everyone in China.  That being said, I believe they’ll have to keep things shut down for a while longer (maybe a few more months.)  That effects the many products we get from them, including the majority of our generic pharmaceuticals.
  • Why Hawaii is poised to handle this better than many areas? – I believe because of our outdoor, healthy lifestyle and strong sun, many of us will handle this virus far better than most.  Tourism is down, with unprecedented cancellations happening every day.  With fewer people on the islands, we’ll have less exposure and more resources.
  • Why Hawaii is in trouble if this lasts a long time? – We still get the majority of our food and goods from off-island.  Though we’ll have fewer people on the islands consuming, if we get fewer shipments due to less supply, we’re gonna have to dig deep and find ways to live on our own for the first time since the Hawaiians lived here with their successful ahupua’a system.  We were told recently that our Costco is out of toilet paper and they were expecting the next shipment from the Costco on Oahu (shipments hit Oahu first.) I haven’t had confirmation yet, but I heard that the Oahu Costco kept the shipment that was meant for Maui.  If this kind of behavior becomes the norm, the outer islands will be in a lot of trouble.

An update from a doctor here on Maui (3/16/20):

“There is no confirmation of community spread just yet based on our available testing which is ramping up.  We are not overwhelmed right now but are bracing for whatever comes our way.  The ED has been very busy since the confirmed Maui case, so we’re just trying to emphasize the need for healthier people to stay home and social distance while we ride this out.”

“Younger healthier patients without health conditions are also having very severe cases.  My colleagues in NYC just intubated 3 patients under the age of 50 yesterday, all previously healthy.”

 

March 9th predictions:

  • We now have 2 confirmed cases of coronavirus COVID-19 in Hawaii.  Once testing is more vigorous, I think we’ll have a lot more positives.  That being said, I also think this is why the fatality rate is so high.  How many people have COVID-19 and think it’s just the flu?  If you’re a healthy person with the flu, are you going to be admitted to the hospital and be tested for COVID-19?  Not likely.  I’d bet that the fatality rate is much lower than we think and a lot more people have it.
  • Stock markets continue to hit highs and lows.  I see this continuing.  Travel/tourism will be hit pretty badly.  It’ll get worse, then once we start getting more accurate numbers for fatality rates and cases, things will ease up.

 

My original predictions from March 5th.

  • I’d be surprised if COVID-19 didn’t hit every state in our Country.  Hawaii will likely have a case, at which time, a lot of people are going to lose it.  We’ll need extra shipments of essential supplies.
  • The airlines are already showing less demand and expecting fewer visitors.  It’ll probably get worse.  Though many mainland vacationers will choose Hawaii over a long trip to Asia or Europe, we’ll still see weaker visitor numbers coming soon.
  • The entire US economy will continue to have some wild ups and downs.  With any more permanent downs, Hawaii will fair better than most other states.  After 2008, everyone was hurting, but Hawaii didn’t get hit as bad a lot of the rest of the US.

 

Here are some helpful sources:

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16 Comments

  • Please wear Masks, Everyone. Please stay in your Home. Don’t fly. Everyone has to do things to help Everyone in all 50 states to conquer this evil horrible virus. We were in Kihei, Maui Jan. 30 – Feb. 7 and it was a wonderful beautiful island.

  • March 30 – We’ve been on Maui for 4 months and would like to go home next week. Is your state going to deny us exodus? You want us gone? How about a shuttle service to airport (at regular price), since it looks like they are all temporarily out of business.

    • Tom, If you’ve been here for 4 months, I assume you have a home here. I would stay and ride it out. Otherwise, why didn’t you leave some time ago? You kind of sound antagonistic about OUR STATE potentially not giving you leave. Do we want you gone? No. But we certainly don’t want people traveling to and from Hawaii. If you’re here, stay here. With all this going on, you didn’t think getting home a priority earlier on? Maybe you should be more worried about YOUR STATE giving you entry?

      No, we don’t want visitors gone. What we want is no more traveling. Currently, the majority of our cases from travel were from Hawaii residents coming home. If you came to Hawaii for a quick vacation and are still here, you’re either ignorant or selfish or both. If you’ve been here for 4 months, stay and deal with it. How different will it be isolated back home?

      And Tom, if you’re able to stay on Maui for 4 months, you really ought not balk at an overpriced UBER.

      Tensions are high everywhere. My intention is not to make visitors feel unwanted here on the Hawaiian Islands. We love and thrive on sharing our islands with visitors from across the globe. What we want is for people to stop traveling long enough that we can get a handle on this so that normalcy can be achieved sooner than later. The longer we keep this going, the harder the recovery for everyone. ALOHA!

  • My concerns are what are our governor and mayor of our state and county doing to contain the spread of the corona virus. Are they going to nip at bud per say or are they going to wait till we get more cases in our communities. I understand that there’s a need to educate the state and communities on the virus which is a good thing, but what about the people that are traveling to Hawaii???

    • Agree. We should cut off visitors to the islands for 30 days and see where we’re at. Hardest thing ever to say, especially since I personally survive off of tourist dollars. There’s no point in closing most businesses in the State while allowing visitors to fly here in a enclosed airplane for at least 5 hours with recirculated air. Let’s stomp this out first, then rebuild.

  • With regards to how it will affect our economy … come to the Economic Summit 2020 on March 19th at Four Seasons Maui and here what two reputable Economists has to say about it. Go to eventbrite – You can go to Eventbrite or at http://www.wailearealty.com for registration details. Just sharing this here since the topic is discussed in the blog 🙂 – Liza

    • Really? This can cause a respiratory illness, so there’s quite a bit of coughing. Coughing/sneezing in close proximity of someone healthy can get them sick. I would think if it couldn’t be transmitted this way, and we advised using a mask (when traveling very close to others), the worst thing that would happen is nothing. So how does that constitute “really bad advice?”

      • There are two sides to this “mask” thing. There are many various articles I have read – some experts says no need, says we need but it has to be the right kind of mask. I wouldn’t say it’s a really bad advice but I would also encourage readers to research more about it – when to use, what to use, how to use masks with regards cor coronavirus.

      • Honestly, it’s not, Coronavirus can easily spread through the medical masks doctors wear, there are different types of masks, some will work, some wont, but its not a good idea to take masks from doctors who actually need them. You should only get a mask if you are already infected, to prevent the spread. The most important thing to remember is that the Coronavirus only can spread if it gets on your face, so try to avoid touching your face and avoid people who are coughing a lot. Also, remember that the fatality rate is still changing, China is a communist government with a lot of issues with air pollution and sanitation in their country, the fatality rate is most likely a lot lower than it actually is, seeing that most of the male population smokes. Just remember to be careful but not overly cautious, that is the best way to help.

        • Good points. I recently read the stats for fatalities in China, where females were dying FAR less than men (men smoke cigarettes far more than women in China.) If smoking is a major cause of fatality for those infected, it would be safe to assume environmental factors like smog and other unhealthy daily factors could cause a higher rate of fatality. Let’s all stay healthy, practice social distancing for as long as possible, and not go to crazy.

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