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Collected Item: “Pandemic in Paradise”

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Pandemic in Paradise

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Photographs and Screen Shots of our normally tourist filled beaches and the new normal of wearing masks. I found some of these screen shots on newspaper articles online and some I took myself. KHON News was the newspaper that provided many of the beach shots since it was closed to the public.

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During this pandemic the state of Hawai'i has suffered a hit to our economy of tourism and many families and business have suffered many losses. Loss of income, jobs with benefits, housing and livelihood have taken a catastrophic drop through out the island chain. The new normal of wearing masks have not just become a requirement amongst the population but many have taken to making masks as both a way to make money and pass the time while on lock down. We have never seen our beaches not filled to capacity with people during the day time no matter what time of the year it is and for the first time we see nature both calm, serene and untouched for the first time in decades. Communities have come together to ensure the rules and policies are followed in certain areas of the islands to keep their families safe from many visiting tourists who have not quarantined during their stay here in Hawai'i. The government has issued a 14 day quarantine to any visitors from outside of the Hawaiian islands to keep the disease under control and from spreading into many of the local communities. The state of Hawai'i's numbers aren't as severe as the mainland United States but continue to grow in numbers. Numbers that continue to keep our famous beaches closed to not just the visitors but for the locals as well, the economy is at the lowest it has ever been and even worst than after 9-11. My job at Starbucks provides a great way to distract people from the chaos going on in their lives and around the world, I've learned that this one on one contact with someone may be the only contact some people ever get in their day to day lives. People look forward to any human interaction these days especially when our lives start off with work and end with home, no in-betweens. What I miss the most is hugging those around you who are closest with you, it's a social norm to hug someone here and is as formal as a handshake when you first meet them. I even find myself being unable to recognize someone with their mask on even if I have known them for years, that saying "I never forget a face" has definitely been put to the test. But what can I say? Until this pandemic is under control and we find a cure this will continue to be the new normal of today.

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Boyson K Brown Jr

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