By Virginia Beck

Virginia Beck

A new year is a gift all on its own. The year 2020 was a flaming roller-coaster ride on Kaua‘i as well as the rest of the world.

It hit our community harder than most, because we have so many families living under a single roof. And because our favorite pastime is gathering in groups at the beach, in the mountains or in someone’s home, and we eat. Then eat some more, and encourage everyone to try everything, all the time exclaiming, “Here, you should try this!” as they pile more food on a plate.

Many refer to 2020 as the year we tried to build a plane while flying it. Tough for everyone, because we have never done this before. We all do the best we can. And it has been hard, especially because so much of our economy involves the visitor industry.

Our mayor and county council members have stood up and taken strong stands on protecting our tiny island, raft on an immense ocean, carrying more than 72,000 people, with new ones added every day. We have gathered as a community and shared to feed our community and taken care of the elderly.

Most of us have respected the rules, and made the smart decision to wear masks, and taken celebrations to the beaches and parks where we can be outside, and the kids can be active.

Everyone is tired, stressed from not knowing what the future holds, and struggling to be nice when we are out of our minds, frustrated and sick of the masks. We worry about kids and elders; we wonder about the schooling our kids are missing.

We wonder where we will be living, how we will pay our bills, and deal with the unemployment benefits that haven’t happened yet for many people. Thank God for the new rescue payments coming through.

A view of Tern Island, a tiny coral island in the French Frigate Shoals in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, with seabirds and rainbows. Photo courtesy of Justin Rivera/NOAA

The rainbow in this crazy storm-tossed year is the wonderful gifts that came at the end of the year. When we had nearly all given up hope of anything good. Our spirits have been raised in false hope and then lowered faster than a rock falling off a cliff. If we were flags, we would be ragged from zipping up and down.

And yet, people like Ron Wiley letting us know about all the family birthdays and anniversaries. Zonta still raising funds to make sure Christmas comes to those left out of the party. We had an election, or two, or three. We have some reliable leadership, and a great team of council members.

Some of us discovered just how useful Zoom can be. As well as how exhausting. Let us praise the teachers and of course the health-care workers.

Mackenzie Scott heard my prayers and showered buckets of cash on our state, including Kaua‘i, to help fill the calabash. Hawai‘i Community Foundation manages to find funds from amazing donors.

Brittany Lyte keeps the state’s eye on Kaua‘i through the articles at Civil Beat. And here is For Kaua‘i — a team of people on Kaua‘i for Kaua‘i, and for all our visitors.

Vaccinations are coming to set us free from the nightmare of the COVID-19 pandemic. What an amazing way to open the door to a safe future and a reopening of our economy! Imagine being able to fly back and forth to visit family, like before, no quarantine. Just prove, in a state registry, that you are vaccinated so you can fly.

And our closest neighbors on the West Coast can visit us again safely.

Virginia Beck

We can open our community, our resorts, restaurants and beaches to our friends. Our jobs can come back, our kids can go to school, we can visit our kupuna and not be afraid to bare our faces to the sun and the wind. Most importantly, we can hug our friends, and cuddle the kids again without fear. Maybe peace is just the absence of fear.

We can celebrate the moment with joy, and share aloha with all.

Wikipedia has great information on the history of vaccinations since the year 1000. I am proof that we survive. I have been vaccinated so many times, the holes should be visible. But I didn’t die from any of the terrible things I was exposed to in foreign counties.

  • Virginia Beck, NP and Certified Trager® Practitioner, offers Wellness Consultation, Trager Psychophysical Integration and teaches Malama Birth Training classes. She can be reached at 635-5618.

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