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Hawaii COVID-19 Joint Information Center News Release-Quarantine Chronicles, July 18, 2020

Posted on Jul 20, 2020 in Latest Department News

Two Travelers Detail Successful Mandatory Quarantine

(Honolulu) – The day after Gov. David Ige extended the mandatory 14-day travel quarantine until Sept. 1, 2020, two people who recently completed their quarantines describe their experiences in detail. Both Cari Pang Chen and Kevin Barnard are from California, and while it is not required yet, both and Barnard’s brother, got COVID-19 tests before flying from the mainland to Hawai‘i.

Pang Chen spent quarantine in a hotel with her 12-year-old middle-schooler. The family elected to have Cari’s husband and son stay home, to better accommodate their own work and school schedules. She said that was a difficult decision, but they’d hoped to have the entire family together in Hawai‘i after August 1st. That plan was scuttled by the delayed introduction of the pre-travel testing program until Sept. 1st.

A lot of mother-daughter bonding can happen when holed up inside a hotel for two solid weeks. Pang Chen said, “We tried to keep a bit of a schedule most days…we tried to exercise, read, or do other personal development activities each morning, while the afternoon was usually a time to check-in or connect virtually with friends and family in Hawai‘i or on the mainland. Evenings, we usually did something together like playing a game, watching TV, or more catching up with family and friends.” She says for people in quarantine it is important to stay in touch and to stay as mentally and physically active as possible. Cari took a lot of photographs to preserve the memories of their quarantine and even produced a short video, titled, Quarantine Adventure.

21-year-old Barnard and his 23-year-old brother Liam took up residence in a family home in Waimea on Hawai‘i Island. He is a recent college graduate and is spending the summer doing research work prior to entering a graduate program either in-person or virtually this fall. Barnard says the only real qualm they had was making sure they had enough resources, like food, on hand for their 14-day-long lockdown.

He describes a typical quarantine day as, “I wake up. I get on my laptop, start to work away, go to a couple of virtual meetings, video chat, make meals in between, and that was about it. It’s pretty boring.”

Both Pang Chen and Barnard have strong words for those who have violated the State’s quarantine rules or are contemplating doing so. Pang Chen commented, “It’s disappointing to see the people who are not following quarantine and end up getting arrested. Typically, these folks have generally been obvious in their efforts. The system greatly relies on honesty and appreciation for quarantine’s importance in keeping everyone safe and healthy.”

Barnard said, “They’re not helping the situation. Particularly on the Big Island, the rules are really important to ensure we’re minimizing coronavirus cases because the hospital bandwidth on the island is not big enough to handle cases…that’s when it really gets dangerous.” Barnard also encourages young people, in his age group, to listen to the science and to medical experts. He added, “I feel like people my age, generally, just want to enjoy themselves and selectively ignore things that allow them to enjoy themselves.  But even if you don’t see it firsthand, even if you don’t know someone who has coronavirus, it’s very real and very dangerous. So, it’s important to do preventative measures.” Since completing their mandatory quarantine, the Barnard brothers say out and about on Hawai‘i Island they’ve never seen anyone without a mask. Kevin believes that has a lot to do with the Big Island’s relatively low COVID-19 case count.

When asked what it felt like the day quarantine ended, Kevin said, “It was great. It was very bright outside.”

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(Images/video, courtesy: Hawaii COVID-19 Joint Information Center, unless otherwise noted)

HD Video – Kevin Barnard interview (July 17, 2020):

(transcription attached)

Video – Cari Pang Chen Quarantine Adventure (Courtesy Cari Pang Chen):

Photographs – Kevin Barnard and Waimea Home (July 17, 2020):

Photographs – Cari Pang Chen & daughter quarantine (Courtesy Cari Pang Chen):

Cari Pang Chen Q&A: attached

Dan Dennison
Lead Public Information Officer
[email protected]