Beautiful Silence in Paradise

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Beautiful Silence in Paradise

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Hawaii is a very unique place in terms of its beauty and overall welcoming atmosphere. I grew up knowing how popular of a destination spot my state is and how in many ways we are extremely dependent on outside sources to fuel our small island economies and businesses. I had thought that aspects I had become used to seeing, such as the extremely busy downtown shopping and tourism part of Hilo, would never change. The many common things you'd have smelled seen and heard were the many cars out on the road, the overfilled wastebaskets by every park and beach, the tents of entire families at many of the beaches, and the constant rush of modern living in Hawaii. Then in March through April of 2020, the university in which I was attending at the time made the big decision to cancel in person meetings for the foreseeable future.
The days of constant business and crowded areas in a matter of weeks ceased to be. In late April continuing until recently, the most common things you would see empty streets, closed signs, empty parking lots, and most importantly of all, you would actually get to smell the salt of the water from the ocean, the chirping of birds by the dozens in commercial areas, and even the return of sea turtles to what were known to be crowded beaches. It’s as if the lack of tourism and industry during Covid-19 gave us local residents a new perspective of our home. One where it felt like we could finally breathe and stretch out our legs for a bit while we dealt with the pandemic effects.

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This item was submitted on October 15, 2021 by Preston Long using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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