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Sunday, December 26, 2021
Can We Beat COVID Without Lockdowns?
By Andrew Walden @ 2:11 AM :: 3461 Views :: Honolulu County, COVID-19

by Andrew Walden

Can we beat COVID without State or County mandated lockdowns?

We are about to find out.

Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi, December 23, 2021, says he will not return Honolulu to lock downs in spite of record-setting COVID rates: “We’re all in this, you need to make prudent decisions and do what’s best for you and all of your loved ones and anybody else that you’re responsible for.”

Will it work?

Public opinion thinks not. 

The Star-Advertiser Big Q, December 24, 2021, asks: “Should certain restrictions on public gatherings that were recently lifted on Oahu be re-imposed because of the surge in COVID-19 cases?”  -- The result: 64% ‘Yes’.

Past lockdowns have correlated with subsequent declines in COVID rates.

But correlation is not causation.

The South African Omicron outbreak began November 14, 2021 and appears to have sharply declined after peaking December 12, 2021.  This pattern is in line with previous waves of COVID.

South Africa did not order additional lockdowns in response to Omicron.

DoH reports Hawaii’s first Omicron case was identified from a sample taken Monday, November 29, 2021.

If Hawaii follows the same pattern as South Africa, we should experience increasing COVID cases until around New Year’s, followed by a sharp decline.  

Meanwhile, long lines at COVID testing sites show individuals are acting to protect themselves and their families.

Mass testing and quick turnarounds allow private sector venues to respond quickly and precisely without a broad-brush shutdown order.

Two of four COVID cluster venues identified by DoH--Scarlet and The Republik--are closed Christmas weekend.

UH pulled out of the Christmas Eve Hawaii Bowl after 30 UH players and staff tested positive for COVID.  Likewise, the Christmas Day Diamond Head Classic was cancelled with Stanford citing COVID concerns.

Can we beat COVID without State or County mandated lockdowns?

We will find out soon.

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