Is it a matter of how to say it, or is there really a good time in this pandemic to worry about political correctness? Or is said stigma really unavoidable? There was a story on HNN basically asking the question.
The truth is, this COVID-19 outbreak, as it affects Hawaii, is coming from out of state. We are surrounded by thousands of miles of ocean, and the virus doesn’t float across the seas to get here. It’s coming to the islnads from inbound visitors, returning residents, whoever the hell else, on cruise ships and airline flights. The coming community spread cases are not from locally bred virus that just self-created on the islands, but was originally from passengers by boat or plane. The classification of it as community spread just means there is no evidence linking the infected person to recent travel or contact with anyone who recently arrived or traveled thru. It doesn’t make that truth of it coming by travel any less true.
That said, the common sense approach to stopping, or now slowing down since it’s already here, the spread is to shut down all inbound passenger travel. Then we can at least contain and treat what is here and not battle what’s still making its way in. Like protecting from PC/computer malware and viruses, the only way to prevent infection 100% is to disconnect the PC/router/modem from the wall jack/network port.
So with that chant, now, of visitors stay home, yes it does stigmatize tourists and visitors, intentional or not. That’s the nature of the beast. After this is over, if potential visitors don’t want to come to Hawaii because their feelings were hurt by the “no visitors campaign”, so be it. Better than to apologize to our dying kupuna and other for letting the disease into the islands because we didn’t want to hurt people’s feelings. People, mind you, who have no concern for the local population beyond what we can do to help make their vacations more pleasurable.