Preparing to Go to Molokai

It’s 3:30 am and myself and 2 children ( Andrew 26 and Julia 22) are awake and preparing to go to Molokai. In 5 hours or so they will don a full tyvek suit, an N95 mask and be wearing a face shield along with approximately 18 other staff from my group. Words cannot express the gratitude and honor I feel daily watching my family and all of these selfless individuals risk everything to serve the people of Hawaii. The word “hero” has been used throughout history and I feel I am watching in real time what the word means in the context of time.

This cataclysmic event the world is currently facing is now touching every corner of the world. It is not to early to say that when we finally awake and a new dawn is firmly in sight, the world as we know it will be profoundly different.
But what will be crystal clear are those who stood up to face the challenge for the sake of their family, neighbor and faceless citizen of their state, providence or country.

On the dipolar opposite side this new day a glaring light will harshly shine on the leaders and individuals who failed to act or made decision in their own best interest. This is a time when leadership is either present or not since the survival of the people who put you in power demands on action that is swift, comprehensive and touches everyone whether rich or poor, black or white, housed or unhoused.

It is time this light glares and shine in Hawaii before it is too late. We still have time to save the lives of our loved ones. And the only way this can be done is aggressively testing for this ravaging disease, identify those infected, isolate them and track and test their contacts, then repeat again and again and again. For the current leadership to question the need to identify anyone who has contracted the virus is gross negligence. To make excuses that are baseless and actually false cannot continue. The next 30 days in Hawaii will determine whether we follow the desperate path of New York or the well defined successful road map of South Korea, Germany or Taiwan.

In a few hours,I will stand on the front line with our brave and selfless physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants and look into the face of the people wanting to be screened and tested for COVID. As I and my team have looked into the faces of nearly 20,000 citizens of Hawaii, you primarily see fear, confusion and disbelief. But at the end of the screening and testing process you see reassurance and hope that we can come together as one people of this great state.

It is in this spirit, strengthened by the growing number of incredible volunteers embracing this moment in history, I feel optimistic the new dawn will shine sooner in Hawaii than nearly every other corner of the world. But please do your part Hawaii. Wear your mask. Please stay at home. Please use social distancing. Become the hero in your home or in your family. Lead by example. Lead with love and aloha.

Scott J Miscovich MD