Hawaiʻi Life in the Time of COVID-19

David J. Lam

David James Lam, PhD, was born in 1949 in Hong Kong, which was a British Crown Colony at the time. He attended high school in Vancouver, Canada, graduated with a BA from Stanford University, then attended the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, where he earned his PhD in psychology in 1975. He worked in California and Hong Kong before coming back to Hawaiʻi in 1994. Retired from clinical practice, David continues to work part time as a consultant and has written several personal opinion pieces about mental health in the time of COVID-19. He and his wife reside in Mānoa.

Interview Details

  • Narrator: David J. Lam (DL)
  • Interviewer: Micah Mizukami (MM)
  • Recording Date: 6/26/2020
  • Format: Zoom video
  • Key Words: Hong Kong, clinical psychology, mental health, resilience, retirement,

Interview Transcript

MM: Okay. Hello again. Today is June 26, 2020. It is 3:00 p.m. and this is an interview with David. So I guess to start, can you please introduce yourself?

DL: Sure. I’m David James Lam, and allow me to also tell you my Chinese name. I actually have two Chinese names. One was given at birth, and that is LAM Kwei-fook. And I can send you the Romanized spelling later on. And then I was also given a Chinese name for school, and that is LAM Tak-fai. So that’s me.

MM: Thank you for sharing. And why did you have a separate name for school?

DL: I think it’s fairly common in traditional Chinese culture for someone to have more than one Chinese name. Some people have three. You know, one given at birth, one given for school, and also a nickname. So that’s part of Chinese tradition.

MM: Thank you. So I guess kind of speaking to your heritage, can you tell me where you were born and when?

DL: Oh, yes, sure. I was born in Hong Kong, which at the time was a British Crown Colony, June 2nd, 1949.

MM: Thank you. And then who are–who were–your parents?

DL: My parents have both passed away. My father. His name is Victor Lam and he was a lawyer under the British system. He was called a solicitor, and he then was appointed to be a magistrate, and was, in fact, one of the first Chinese in Hong Kong to be appointed a magistrate. My mother’s name is Jean Lam. Maiden name is Ma. She was an executive secretary for the former airline, Pan-Am [Pan American World Airways]

MM: Wow. What a great history. And then I think in our pre-interview, you also mentioned that your mother was Canadian.

DL: That’s right. My mother was born in Vancouver, along with her siblings. And when she was a teenager, her father and mother brought the whole family back to China and then Hong Kong, which is where she met my father. My father was born in Hong Kong.

MM: Wow. So your father’s side of the family, are they from Hong Kong?

DL: Yes. My father’s side of the family, his father and grandfather were originally from Guangdong Province in China. And my grandfather on my father’s side established a business in Hong Kong, basically constructing what then were called ice houses. And that really was refrigerated storage places. My grandfather on my mother’s side was also a businessman. And he was in business first in Vancouver and then later on in China.

MM: Wow. And how about your, I guess, more immediate family. Did you have any siblings.

DL: I do. I have an older sister, Belinda, and an older brother Christopher. And so I’m the third, and youngest.

MM: So what are some of the places you have lived growing up?

DL: Well, I grew up in Hong Kong and then I went to Vancouver, BC, for high school, stayed there for about three years. And then went down to California for college. And after that, I came to Hawaiʻi for graduate school. After that, my wife and I moved back to California. We’ve also moved to Hong Kong. And I’ve been back in Hawaiʻi since 1994. So we’ve moved around a bit.

MM: Wow. Back and forth across the Pacific.

DL: Yes.

MM: So can you tell me what year it was that you first moved to Vancouver?

DL: First moved to Vancouver in 1963. . .

MM: And what was. . .

DL: . . .graduated ’66 and then started college in 1966.

MM: What was, what was that like adjusting to life in Canada?

DL: It is an interesting question. It wasn’t very difficult, at least from a linguistic point of view. I’m what’s called a compound bilingual. I learned Cantonese and English at the same time, basically, as I was growing up. So language wise, it wasn’t an issue. My brother had gone to Vancouver the year before me. And so he and I were in the same boarding school. It’s a private school. He was there, and that made the adjustment much easier for me to have my brother there. I also had two cousins who were there at the same time. So that eased the transition.

I was very eager to follow in my brother’s footsteps and leave Hong Kong and go to school in Vancouver. So leaving Hong Kong was not a difficult thing for me until I actually left. And then I felt homesick. Of course, you know, I was only 14 at the time. And so it was a good learning experience, basically, getting to do what I wanted to do, leaving home, being on my own, and all that, and also learning that I still missed home and my parents a lot.

MM: Thanks for sharing. So you mentioned your wife. So where is, where is she from?

DL: My wife’s name is Kalei Inn. Surname is Inn, I-N-N. She was born in Shanghai and grew up for several years in Hong Kong. Then she and her sister immigrated to Honolulu when she was about 10 years old. And she completed high school here. Then she went to college on the mainland and graduate school also.

MM: And let’s see. . . . So what, what was it that your wife did, or does for work?

DL: Well, she has a doctorate from Stanford in Sociology of Education, and she’s actually engaged in different occupations. She has run a large home for the elderly when we were living in Hong Kong. She had taught at UC Berkeley and University of San Francisco. Currently, she is a leadership consultant. And so she does that and works with middle to senior level managers in various companies and nonprofits.

MM: Wow. And where was it that you met again?

DL: We met at Stanford, and we met just as I was leaving and she was just going there. So our lives intersected at that point rather fortuitously. We could very easily have missed each other, you know, her coming and my going. But we met at that time. And we got married in 1973.

MM: And so when did you graduate from Stanford?

DL: 1970.

MM: And what was your area of study?

DL: I majored in psychology. And I chose psychology because I always have been interested in the human mind and human behavior. To be honest, I also have many other interests because I considered going into law or medicine. I considered studying physics or engineering. I considered studying philosophy. And I suppose in some strange, interesting way, psychology seemed to offer a little bit of everything. There is a scientific and mathematical part to it. There is obviously an artistic and humanistic part of it. And so eventually I ended up majoring in psychology. But I also have to admit that it was not totally a completely thought out decision.. As many people in college, they sort of stumble into things and end up majoring in one thing or another. And that was somewhat true for me also. I mean, I did think about what would be an interesting field of study and psychology ended up being my major.

MM: And then what did you end up doing after you graduated from Stanford?

DL: I realized that in order to work as a psychologist, I needed to pursue graduate school. So I was attracted to the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa because it had a very strong cross-cultural program, probably, to my way of thinking, the strongest cross-cultural program almost anywhere. And it also had a very strong community psychology program. Bear in mind that, you know, I went to college in the 60s when there were a lot of social movements, a lot of upheaval, similar to now, in a way. And I wanted to be involved in what then was called action research. I wanted to be involved in social interventions and not just do research or teach. And Hawaiʻi really attracted me because of the strong emphasis on community psychology and also cross-cultural psychology. It also had a good clinical and social psychology program. So all of those factors, probably as well as the fact that my wife’s home was in Hawaiʻi–even though she herself was not there at the time–factored into the decision. And that’s how I ended up at UH Manoa.

MM: And then when did you graduate with your graduate degree?

DL: I got my Masters in 1972 and my PhD in 1975.

MM: Wow. And what was, what was it like moving to Hawaiʻi initially?

DL: You mean living and adjusting?

MM: Yeah, yeah.

DL: It was nice. Now, prior to coming for grad school, I had been to Hawaiʻi several times to visit. So I was somewhat familiar with the lay of the land and the people and the benign climate, and the harmony that people here seem to have. And I was attracted to that. So coming here for graduate school, again the adjustment was not difficult. You know, I think it was, apart from logistical things like finding a place to live and buying a used car, as far as the academic part and meeting new friends, getting immersed in the culture, also in my studies, as well as just living here, those aspects came quite naturally.

MM: And then so with your graduate degree from UH, what did you end up doing for work?

DL: I’ve had several jobs since I finished my PhD, but all of them were within the discipline of psychology. My first job was as a psychologist and also administrator for a program called the Chinatown Child Development Center. And that was in San Francisco Chinatown, a children’s mental health program that had preventive and treatment components. Quite creative, actually. That was started by people well before me. So I did that. And then from there, I moved to the California Department of Mental Health, where I was a consulting psychologist. That was mainly consulting and also doing administration because we had responsibility for the 58 different counties in California, in terms of providing technical assistance to them for wellness programs. Wellness was just a new concept at the time. And the office that I was with, I think, was probably the first government office to publish something with the term “wellness” in it. This was back in around 1980. And that also influenced me in terms of my own interests regarding the wellness and stress management that I’ve pretty much been doing ever since.

So in 1986, my family and I moved back to Hong Kong, where I became an academic, you know, doing research and teaching at the University of Hong Kong and also running the clinical psychology program. And we were going to go to Hong Kong for one year, sort of as an adventure, as an experiment. Our two sons then were ages seven and five–we were living in the San Francisco Bay Area at the time–but we thought it would be interesting for them to get in touch a little bit with their own heritage, as both my wife and I had lived in Hong Kong. So we were going to do it for one year, you know, kind of have fun, see what it would be like. And one year turned into eight years. (Chuckles) And we stayed there, and my daughter was born in Hong Kong. And we saw a lot of things that perhaps we could talk about later on, including the Tiananmen incident in Beijing in 1989 and how that galvanized the Hong Kong population.

Anyway, to get back to my work. I was an academic for eight years, and while I was in Hong Kong, a colleague of mine and I also established a management consulting firm called the Assessment and Development Centre. And the intent was to apply psychological principles to help businesses in Hong Kong, mainly in the human resources area, in management development, personnel selection, stress management and corporate wellness programs. So that was sort of my foray into the business world.

In 1994, we moved back to Hawaiʻi, and I’ve been here ever since in private practice, seeing patients–which I have now retired from–and also doing consulting work, which I’m still doing two days a week. So that’s sort of a quick thumbnail sketch of my career path.

MM: Wow. And then when is it that you retired?

DL: Retired from clinical. . .

MM: From. Yeah, from practice.

DL: That was back in 2006, so it’s been 14 years since I’ve seen patients.

MM: Wow. And then. I guess professionally or maybe even personally, are you involved in any organizations?

DL: Yes, several, actually. When I was in Hong Kong, I was a member of the Hong Kong Psychological Society, which is a professional association there. And I was president of that Society for a year, and also a member of the British Psychological Society and the American Psychological Association, which I am still a member of. Apart from the professional organizations, other groups that I’ve been involved with include the Stanford Alumni Association, the University of Hawaiʻi alumni groups. I’m not sure if I’m a formal member of the UH Alumni Association or not, but I get a lot of mailings and e-mails from them, so I assume that I’m on their mailing list at least. I’m a member of a couple of virtual golf clubs. Virtual in the sense that we don’t have a home base–it’s not a country club. You know, we meet once a week and we play at different courses. I’m a member of a group called the Chinese Culinary Club, which was established in Honolulu, get this, 100 years ago exactly. This was during a time when Chinese people couldn’t join a lot of the fancy dining clubs here in Honolulu. And so they formed their own. This is a club that meets once a month, and we go to various restaurants. Not exclusively Chinese restaurants, but just all around town. We socialize and then we enjoy dinner together. That group is right now sort of on a hiatus because of the pandemic. Let’s see. And I’m a member of the Honolulu Club, which is a health club, a gym. So my wife and I go there and we work out whenever we can just to try to stay fit. Also, the Stanford Hawaiʻi Club. And Stanford also has a group called SAPAAC, which stands for Stanford Asian Pacific American Alumni Club. It’s an offshoot of their alumni association that deals with Asian Pacific American issues.

MM: Wow, that’s a lot. That’s great. And you also mentioned your children briefly. So can you tell me where they are? Are they on Oahu or are they living elsewhere?

DL: I have three children. They are all grown and married and living on the U.S. mainland. My oldest is Geoffrey. He’s a cardiothoracic surgeon, and he and his family live in Grand Rapids, Michigan. My second, Nicholas, is a filmmaker, and he and his husband live in Los Angeles and are hoping to adopt a child soon. And my youngest, my daughter, who was born in Hong Kong–Alexandra is her name–is a stay-at-home mom also living in the Los Angeles area. Geoffrey has two girls, Sophie and Maddie, ages five and three. Alexandra has a son, Aiden, who is two years old. So we have three grandchildren.

MM: Wow.

DL: We miss all of them, and can’t wait to see them. You know, right now, of course, they can’t come and we can’t go there. We try to get together as a family once a year if we can.

MM: That’s nice. Hopefully you can see them soon.

DL: Yeah, we do FaceTime, text, email. We do our best to keep in touch with each other, which I think is really important, especially during this time. My wife and I are pretty much caught up on their lives and what’s happening. We are a pretty close knit family. I’m very grateful for that.

MM: Yeah. So speaking about your family, how has COVID-19 affected you, maybe your wife or even your children?

DL: Well, I’ll talk about my children first. My eldest son, Geoffrey, being a surgeon, he is of course providing essential services. So he has been going to work and observing all the safety precautions. My second, Nick, is a filmmaker, and obviously in Hollywood all filmmaking has come to a stop, because to shoot scenes you have to be close to people. So he has actually been working at home on a feature-length script along with some other people. He’s also producing a music video using animation based on anime characters.

And then my daughter, we call her Alee, is a stay-at-home mom. She’s busy with her two year old, just trying to provide caretaking, education and stimulation for him. She was thinking of enrolling him in daycare. But of course, right now in Los Angeles, things are on pause, so she’s doing that at home.

For my wife and myself, especially the first several weeks of the lockdown, we talked and we decided that we didn’t want to just kind of sit at home and let one day blend into the next–it’s easy for things to become a blur when you’re sheltering at home. So what we did was we crafted a daily schedule that each of us has based on my interest in wellness. We tried to build in or infuse the schedule with a lot of wellness activities. And when I say wellness, I’m including many different aspects. The physical aspect, where we turned our family room into a home gym so we can work out at home.

Wellness also involves keeping in touch with family and friends and colleagues. So that’s the social aspect to wellness. And we do that by email, by text, by FaceTime. Just keeping in touch with our family and friends. So while we are socially distancing, we are also trying to flip the script and do “distant socializing”, which is a term that a Stanford psychologist, Dr. Jamil Zaki, coined. So we’re doing that.

And of course, there’s a mental and emotional aspect to wellness. In addition to keeping in touch with family and friends, we do a lot of reading to keep our minds stimulated. We’ve been watching a few webinars on various topics that have become very popular. And also, just finding different ways–making plans for the future, writing a poem, some people are learning a new language, writing a song, creating art. I mean, there’s no shortage of ways to stimulate the mind. And we’ve been trying to do that.

So having a daily schedule that we try to follow, not in a rigid sense, but in a fairly disciplined way, I think has been helpful. So at the end of the day, we feel like, oh, we’ve done this, we’ve done that, and we feel that the day has been reasonably productive. And that’s what I’ve been encouraging my family, my friends, colleagues, clients to do, just to have that daily schedule and keep to it. It could be the same schedule from day to day, or it could be a different schedule from one day to the next. It really is up to each individual and limited only by one’s ingenuity. But I think it’s useful to have that structure and stability, especially when we are dealing with this lockdown and staying at home, not being able to go out very much, let alone travel. And so it really requires a bit of an adjustment for a lot of people. For everybody, actually.

MM: Yeah, definitely. And that’s great advice. Thank you.

So how—so you mention having this daily schedule, so how does, I guess, this look like, or how are you balancing like your consulting work with, I guess, your personal interests and others, like chores around the house and other daily activities?

DL: Right. As far as chores around the house, and again, during the first several weeks when both my wife and I were sheltering in place, I think she will tell you that I was more helpful than before in terms of doing chores, helping with cooking. I mean, I used to do some of that, but more now, because I have fewer excuses not to do that. Also, picking up books that I had meant to read that I had put aside, doing minor repairs, just taking care of the house as best we can.

And my wife has been cooking more and baking more. Baking, I gather, has become quite a popular pastime for people under lockdown, because first it was toilet paper that was running out, and now it’s flour. People are buying up flour to bake, which is a very creative activity. It smells good and you create something and then you consume it. And so that has been very popular.

MM: Yeah. So I guess besides reading, have you been doing anything else for recreation?

DL: For recreation, just taking walks, working out at home, watching old movies together, and having leisurely conversations between my wife and myself, which I think is something that hopefully more and more people are doing because, prior to COVID, our schedules were so packed, our lives are so pressed for time, we’re so rushed all the time that we don’t even have time to have a leisurely conversation. We’ve sort of lost the art of conversation, and being stuck at home–one of the silver linings–is having that time to sit down and talk to each other for an extended period of time–and in an unhurried way–which I think is useful.

Now at the office where I consult, starting in April, the staff there have begun to telework. They were able to bring their computer workstations home, and now they’re able to telework from home. I have actually gone back to work since early April, for two days a week. That takes me out of the house, and that’s been helpful, you know, just to get out and do some work and provide an essential service. I review disability cases for the federal program, which is administered by the State. So it’s considered an essential service. And a lot of people, as you know, are applying not only for unemployment, but also for disability. So I do my part in reviewing those cases.

And then as far as recreation, as you know, golf courses have opened up again starting in June. Golf is a hobby of mine that intrigues and fascinates me because it requires a lot of not only physical but also mental effort. So I’ve been playing golf again. And that has enabled me to, again, get outside, get some fresh air and exercise, and enjoy being with friends.

MM: So you mentioned people in your office teleworking, but did you telework at all.

DL: No, I did not. Because working just two days a week, it would have been logistically difficult for me to bring my workstation home, because there are a lot of hookups that need to happen. For the staff, because they work full time every day, it makes sense. The workstations we have are secure and linked to the headquarters in Baltimore. We have a security log on. So there are many things involved and I actually don’t mind going into the office two days a week and work from there.

But as you know, telework in general has really exploded not only in Hawaiʻi, but nationally. And I think it’s a trend that is going to outlast the pandemic, as more and more people are finding that they actually like it. The research suggests that people are just as productive teleworking at home compared to working at the office. And a lot of people like teleworking because it’s convenient and they save the wear and tear and the expense of having to commute. For organizations or government, that also could make sense because it results in fewer people at the office, and for businesses, they might pay less rent or utilities. So expense wise, it could also make sense. So that’s a trend that this particular pandemic has initiated. You know, just like we’re talking by Zoom, I think that’s another thing that is going to outlast COVID, and that is more and more people will be having teleconferences, or just connecting with family and friends using apps that provide video and audio technology. So it’s interesting the pandemic has created in Hawaiʻi and nationally trends that might continue for some time.

MM: And did social—how did social distancing guidelines affect your physical work in the office?

DL: Well, it’s a state office, so we are abiding by the guidelines that are given by Governor Ige as well as Mayor Caldwell. There are many fewer people at the office now. Before the staff started to telework, I think the office probably had a staff of 40 to 50 people, but now on any given day, there might be only ten or fifteen people there, mainly the consultants like myself and some of the support staff. So social distancing is not difficult at all. Basically, I put on my mask when I go out to the lunch room and get water or whatever, or when I say hi to people, then I have an office, a cubicle, where I work. There I take the mask off and work on my own. So we are observing the guidelines, and it has not been difficult to do.

MM: And I guess kind of shifting the conversation a little bit. Have you experienced any, I guess, natural disasters or public emergencies throughout your life or your work that you’ve had to address?

DL: Well, growing up, I think the main things that come to mind were typhoons or hurricanes that hit Hong Kong, which happened from time to time. And also for several periods, we had a drought where they had to ration water. So that was not really a serious kind of natural disaster, but it was something that we had to deal with that I remember.

Professionally I had mentioned earlier the Tiananmen incident in Beijing on June 4th, 1989, and that was something that really galvanized Hong Kong people to become politically active. I think that was the one incident probably that turned Hong Kong people from being previously fairly apathetic politically, you know, to being quite active politically, because a day or two after the Tiananmen incident, half a million people in Hong Kong came out to demonstrate. Half a million people! That’s a huge crowd. And my family and I also participated in that and witnessed it firsthand.

One thing that my colleagues and I did was to establish a hotline for people who were traumatized or just disturbed by what happened in China. And the hotline was staffed by graduate students whom we trained. We publicized it for, I believe, a period of two weeks, where people can call and receive informal counseling over the phone and also get referrals to a more formal provider if they needed it. And so we did that, and it turned out to be quite helpful. We got a lot of calls from people. Not only people who were disturbed by what happened in Beijing, but people who wanted to talk about their emotions quite apart from what happened in Tiananmen. So that sort of clued us into the idea that we should do a lot more public education, a lot more mental health education, which the psychology department at the university has since been doing. Just to let people know about the services that are available, about emotions that people might have, whether reacting to a specific incident like Tiananmen or just generally in their own lives. Having to deal with stress, with relationships, with work issues, money issues, health issues, because all of these things impact on people’s mental health, obviously.

Just as now, people’s mental health is severely affected by COVID, to the point where not long ago, The Washington Post had a headline that says COVID is causing a mental health crisis in America. They were talking about nationwide, but this is also happening in Hawaiʻi, because while we have the lowest rate of infection among all the states, we have one of the highest, if not the highest rate of unemployment in the country. I think Nevada might have a slightly higher unemployment rate than we do, because they rely so much on the tourism industry, just as we do. So we’ve been pretty good, the people here, in fact, are very good at observing the guidelines–the sheltering in place, washing hands, wearing masks, physical and social distancing. So we’ve kept the infection rate pretty low, although it seems to be spiking up a little bit lately. But there are people who are dealing not only with the fear of catching the virus and sheltering in place, locked down. But also having been told the schools are closed and children being at home and parents having to look after the children now as well as sometimes needing to file for unemployment.

So I guess what I’m trying to say in a roundabout way, is that there are many forces socially right now and health wise that are affecting people, which is causing a lot of mental health concerns. And this is something that is happening now and will continue for some time, even after the pandemic is past. The emotions that people are dealing with–and when I say emotions, I’m really referring to the so-called “big three” negative emotions that people have when they’re under stress. These are anxiety, anger, and depression. I know people are going through that.

Anxiety is usually a reaction to lack of control. When we don’t have control, then we feel anxious. We worry quite naturally. And right now, we lack control over so many different things. When is this going to end? Am I going to have enough money to make ends meet? People who have lost their jobs and are filing for unemployment, some of them are having a difficult time even getting through or getting benefits. Will I catch the virus? I mean, there are a lot of these questions that are coming up.

People are also angry. And anger is usually a reaction to unfairness or injustice when something happens that is no fault of our own. We feel frustrated or angry, and that’s happening with a lot of people also. Sometimes, being cooped up, especially in a small household with many members, it just makes all these things even worse. And there is some concern about whether there’s an increase in domestic violence now that people have been cooped up and dealing with all these other things. But anger is something that is a very prominent emotion that happens under stress.

And then finally, depression. Depression is usually a reaction to loss. And with COVID, we have lost many things. We have–many of us–have lost our jobs. We have lost a sense of normalcy. We’ve lost just being able to do the things that we normally can do, and we’re having to deal with something that is quite abnormal. So naturally, people start to feel depressed. And the point that I’m trying to make is that these are very common and normal reactions to an abnormal situation. Hopefully people can understand that.

And when these particular emotions are affecting their quality of life and their relationships, then people are encouraged to seek professional help. And there is professional help available. In the mental health arena, people talk about severity and duration. So you get to the question of when do I know if I should seek professional help? Well, it depends on how severe the symptoms—those negative emotions–are. As I said, if they start to affect people’s quality of life, so that they are not able to concentrate, not able to work, or their relationships are suffering, then that would qualify as being severe enough to seek counseling. As for duration, how long do these symptoms last? You know, if it’s a day or two, then maybe they will pass. But if the symptoms last for a week, two weeks, or longer, then that would be a sign that it would be time to seek professional help.

And professional help in the form of counseling or mental health intervention is readily available. All the health plans in Hawaiʻi are required to provide what’s called behavioral health or mental health counseling. So all health plans provide them. Just as they provide services for physical illnesses, they also provide services for mental or psychological issues. And I would encourage people, where they think it would be helpful or necessary, to contact their own health plan if they haven’t done so. Find out what is covered and what isn’t covered. Find out who the providers are. There are many different qualified providers who can provide counseling in a situation like this. There are, of course, psychiatrists, psychologists, licensed clinical social workers. There are advanced practice registered nurses, licensed mental health counselors. There are pastoral counselors, clergy. Family doctors, of course, see a lot of these issues. So many different providers can provide counseling.

And the other thing that this pandemic has seemed to create is a trend of providing virtual visits. Instead of going to the doctor’s office for face to face counseling–and that is still possible–you can also see your doctor, whether for physical or psychological issues, through a virtual visit, such as what we are doing here, using some combination of video and audio technology. And that makes it very convenient that people can be at home and see a counselor from home. It’s convenient. You don’t have to commute. You don’t have to worry about running into a lot of people at the clinic or the hospital and possibly catch the virus. So it’s something that, again, is going to outlast this pandemic, in that more and more people in Hawaiʻi and nationwide are getting used to the idea of so-called telemedicine or telehealth and just doing it by a remote means.

MM: Yeah, that’s great advice for people. Thank you for sharing all of that, I guess backing up a little bit to Tiananmen Square. What was it like participating in that and what were the reactions around you?

DL: Participating in the. . .

MM: In the march after that Tiananmen Square incident.

DL: The Tiananmen march. Yeah. That was a very emotional experience because it was a march. The streets were just packed. You could barely move. It was just so full of people, half a million people congregating and not only marching, but also chanting, just like the marches we see today. They were chanting, calling for the leaders in Beijing at the time to step down, calling for justice because a lot of people were killed in Tiananmen Square. To this day, nobody knows exactly how many. It’s something China does not like to talk about. And I think most people from that time, you know, remember tanks moving in and they are the People’s Liberation Army, to clear the square, basically. There was a lot of bloodshed. Again, nobody knows exactly how much. So it was a very emotional kind of reaction to what happened with the march and people chanting. My daughter then was only one year old, but we brought her along. And she was sitting on my shoulders, along with my wife and two sons. And it was a very memorable experience, the kind of experience that one doesn’t forget. Just being with so many people, all of one mind, calling for justice.

As far as the hotline is concerned that we started, dealing with any kind of trauma when we do disaster response, whether it’s a natural disaster or something that’s produced by humans, you try to allow people to have a forum to ventilate in a safe way, so that they feel safe expressing their emotions. And then you try to normalize those emotions, reassuring people that their feelings are really very natural under the circumstances. And you provide leads and referrals for people who might need to do more than just ventilate, because sometimes an incident like this, just like with COVID, it triggers things that people might have had buried in their minds for some time. So it’s not only COVID, but they might have had some trauma when they were growing up that they had buried and not talked about. Or they might have had some health issue that they’re dealing with, or any number of things, or some relationship conflict, you know, because we just go about our daily lives and not deal with some of these buried things. But an incident like this can trigger emotions related to other things that may not have anything directly to do with COVID. But now they all come out, and so being able to ventilate, to be reassured and also to be referred to professional help, where that is needed, can be very useful.

MM: Thank you. And then in the pre-interview, you also mentioned another, I guess, emergency that you had to respond to in Hong Kong. Can you talk a little bit about that?

DL: Yeah, that was a specific disaster response consultation that I did. This was around 1993, and there was a power plant in Hong Kong that had an explosion and two people were killed. Many of their fellow workers saw the bloodshed and were traumatized. And so my colleagues and I were asked to come in to consult. And what we did was set up a number of stress management seminars. We also had large group sessions where we talked to all of the employees. At the smaller stress management seminars, we went into the issues in more depth to talk about common reactions to disasters. Not just the emotions, but also ways to cope. And so one of the main emphases in these seminars was to teach people stress management and coping techniques, such as through guided relaxation and meditation techniques. That helped people to increase their coping abilities, for both dealing with that particular incident as well as moving forward in the future, having useful coping skills to deal with similar situations that could come up.

MM: And I guess from these two experiences responding to these big events in Hong Kong. Is there anything you can draw on or like advice for how people can respond to, I guess, the stresses of COVID and parallels there?

DL: Well, I guess a couple of things come to mind. One is that–something you and I had talked about previously–which is to look for the silver lining. And as bad as COVID is–and I’m not in any way downplaying how much impact, and how much negative impact it’s having on people—there are still things that we can look for in terms of a silver lining, where we look at the situation and see how it could create some good. Simple examples would be like, well, with more and more people working remotely, there are fewer cars on the road, the traffic is much less than it used to be on the streets and especially on the highways. The air is cleaner. Things like that. A lot of businesses that I’ve talked to are now also dealing with difficult times with no revenue coming in. But it’s also giving them a chance to plan for the future and reposition themselves for when the pandemic has passed and how to strategize. It’s like restaurants that have closed are now offering curbside pickup and delivery. They turned around very quickly and tried to reposition themselves in ways that I wouldn’t necessarily say are taking advantage of the situation, but making the best of it.

So part of the silver lining is in terms of spending time at home for most people. Again, that can be very stressful, but that can also provide some opportunities to do things that one has set aside and not done for a while. I guess the main idea, you know, is to see the glass half full, to count our blessings, to be grateful for what we have. And COVID certainly has caused me, and I think a lot of people, to reorder our priorities or at least think about what our priorities are. What is really important and what is not? Prior to COVID, we were living such busy lives that we didn’t really have much chance to stop and not only smell the roses, but also think about whether our daily routine, our habits, are necessary or productive. And being forced to stop and reflect can sometimes help us to see things that we otherwise might not. So looking for the silver lining is one thing that’s useful to keep in mind.

And the other thing–just going back to what we have talked about just now in terms of building coping skills–is building resilience. And resilience is really having a storehouse or a repertoire of coping skills. The more coping skills we have, the more resilient we can become. Resilience to most people means being able to bounce back. No matter how many times you fall down and how hard you fall, you can bounce back up and dust yourself off and move on. And that’s partly resilience.

Also developing coping skills, whether it’s by seeing a professional counselor, or setting a daily routine, or learning new things–whether it’s a new language or a musical instrument or whatever. All of those things help us to reaffirm our ability to cope, to learn, and to adapt. And adaptation is one of the things that supposedly distinguishes humans from other animals because we’re able to use our brains to adapt to different circumstances. Prior to COVID, it was easy to carry out business as usual and go on autopilot, and not really challenge our ability to adapt very much. Whereas COVID has challenged us to adapt. And people who are resilient are those who are not afraid of change and who actually relish the challenge of dealing with adversity.

It’s easy to say and difficult to do, I realize, but the more we’re able to adapt, the more we’re able to deal with adverse circumstances that come up in the future. And there are bound to be negative events to happen in the future, whether it’s a hurricane that hits us, or food shortages, or another pandemic, or the second wave of COVID, or any number of things. So building a storehouse of coping skills can only serve us well. We don’t need to use all of the skills. But when a situation happens where it challenges us to adapt, then having those skills, having done it before, so to speak, can be very useful.

MM: Thank you. And then I guess going back to this idea of silver lining. Do you mind sharing some of the silver linings that you’ve discovered in this time?

DL: Well, for me personally, I think it’s reminding myself to be grateful for what I have. And I don’t necessarily mean material things, but just remembering the importance of having a loving family, of having a wide circle of friends, including close friends, of the fact that my wife and I are able to spend a lot of time together without getting on each other’s nerves too much (laughs). At least most of the time!

MM: (Laughs).

DL: It’s probably me getting on her nerves rather than the other way around. And, you know, having children who are coping and generally doing well, and just living in Hawaiʻi. And I need to add that, because we tend to take it for granted. Hawaiʻi has so much beauty, so much goodness surrounding us. The climate is wonderful and benign. The Aloha spirit is here, and I hear of neighbors, friends, and others who are doing things to help others during this time, like shopping for elderly neighbors or making masks and distributing those. Contributing to the food bank, serving meals at the IHS for the homeless. I know someone who owns a construction company. He has rounded up a number of people and donations, basically gathering meals to distribute to the elderly. Just, you know, acts of aloha that people are stimulated to do–which is not to say we didn’t do these things before COVID. But COVID, because it’s such an unusual event, has helped a lot of people to rethink what is important, how they can contribute and be a contributing member of our community here, caring for the ʻāina.

And even the whole tourism issue that people are hurting because tourism is just way, way down. Lots of people are out of work in the hospitality industry and also the retail industries. Again, I don’t make light of that. But in some sense, being able to go to Waikīkī and go and walk on the beach, with very few people, that’s something most of us don’t remember. And hopefully when tourism picks up again and there seem to be measures being taken now to restart that, at least in August, that hopefully we don’t go back to just the way it was–business as usual–that hopefully the visitors can respect our culture and respect our ʻāina. Maybe have more of ecotourism rather than just masses of people just congregating at the beach and causing traffic jams, things of that sort. There are people who are much more equipped than I am to talk about tourism and how we can attain a sustainable tourism. That’s another thing that this pandemic has caused us to rethink.

So it’s really rethinking a lot of things. And when we rethink for ourselves or for our community or for our state or country as a whole, sometimes we are able to come up with new ideas, better ideas, rather than just going back to the old normal. It is my fervent hope that we can go back to a new normal that’s a better normal. And I think COVID is challenging or forcing us to do that kind of reflection and thinking.

MM: So that kind of goes back to this idea of the silver lining, right? This is an opportunity to kind of reflect and reimagine what I guess Hawaiʻi and the world can be in this post-COVID world. But going back to this idea of silver lining, I know a lot of people, especially here in Hawaiʻi, are struggling, like they’ve lost jobs, especially like in the hospitality industry. And so for people who are having difficulty finding the positive in the current situation, I guess, what kind of recommendations do you have on how they can find that silver lining?

DL: I think for each person it’s different. But there are probably activities that one can do that is part of the psychotherapy folklore, such as in terms of “homework”, so to speak, that clients are asked to do. Whether one is actually a mental health client or not, these are things we can consider doing. Journaling is one such thing. People can write, whether it’s in the form of a diary or in the form of poetry or any form of creative writing, really. Because when we write, we tend to be in an environment where we have some quiet to ourselves. And that’s important to quiet the mind, and ideas can come up that we can write down. As you said, reimagining how things can be. So instead of just looking at the negative, see if we can find some positive, either in terms of what COVID is bringing, or in terms of just positives that we have in our lives generally. Writing can be a useful way of doing that.

Some people find solace in prayer or meditation, which is a useful thing to do. Again, it’s having a quiet mind or having a quiet environment where one can think about things without necessarily having to pass judgment on one’s thoughts. Part of meditation is just letting ideas come in and out of our minds without passing judgment. And that’s part of mindfulness meditation, which is actually a very useful and popular procedure that’s being used sometimes in psychotherapy as well.

I tend to think of things that are in the artistic domain, like listening to music. Drawing, painting or creating art, writing poetry. Those activities tend to use the creative side of our brain. And sometimes that helps people to be able to come up with ideas that otherwise may not be apparent.

And of course talking to people, family and friends, reaching out to people during this lockdown. I’ve reached out to some long lost friends. Not really lost, but people whom I haven’t been in touch with in a while. So I’ve used this opportunity to do it. And what a wonderful thing, in reaching out to them, to have them respond and say, “How are you doing?”, “It’s been a long time.” And just catch up with each other a little bit. And we can do that, whether with people we are familiar with or people we haven’t talked to or seen for a long time. And again, through conversation and interacting, we can bounce ideas off of people, or they may provide ideas to us that we might not think about.

I would also mention exercise because physical exercise, which can involve many different things, doesn’t have to be something that one goes to the gym for. Some people like to do yoga or Tai Chi, especially older folks (sneezes) excuse me, or just do stretching, flexibility and stability exercises. Those also help to create endorphins in the brain that help to clear the mind, making us not only more fit in a physical sense, but also have more mental clarity. So that would help also.

MM: Yeah. Thank you. What about in terms of building resilience in Hawaiʻi? I guess more for a local perspective, like what, what can we do to build resilience in our communities here?

DL: Yeah, I think resilience is something we can build on an individual basis and also on a community-wide basis. Now the individual basis would involve some of the things we had already talked about in terms of learning coping skills, and relishing the challenge of dealing with adversity, not fearing change. Remembering that effort often is more important than ability, that the more effort we put into something, the more it tends to pay off. There is actually quite a lot of research that shows that. And as we build up our coping ability, to have the confidence in ourselves to know that even though we may be dealing with new situations in one way or another, we are equipped to deal with it, that we can make it up as we go along, so to speak, because we can never experience everything there is to experience. There are always going to be new experiences, new challenges, new kinds of adversities that we have to deal with. But if we have a large storehouse of coping skills, we have that resilience. We’re not so afraid of falling down because we know we can get up. And we might not even fall down if we are able to deal with it in a way that can be successful. So on an individual basis, those are some of the things that would be important to keep in mind. Of course, for some people it helps to talk to others to find ways of building one’s coping skills, whether it’s a friend, an acquaintance, a family member or a professional counselor.

And then on a community level, I think it’s really doing what we all do on an individual level, but just doing it collectively. And it really is very heartwarming to see people come together during this time. We see people come together on a worldwide basis, in terms of sharing information about COVID, about genetic sequence, so we can try to find a vaccine, or at least some treatment that works. There are a couple of candidates that seem to work fairly well from what the research shows. A vaccine is really something that we’re looking forward to. And people around the world are sharing data and evidence, infection rates, mortality rates, recovery rates, so that the more we can share, the better.

And the same thing for Hawaiʻi. The more we can share with others what we are doing individually, how we can reimagine tourism when it reopens up, how we can improve the systems in government that serve people. I know there is a lot of dissatisfaction, for example, with the whole unemployment system that is not necessarily anybody’s fault. It happened that the mainframe computer in the unemployment department was antiquated, and it was just not equipped to deal with the rush of people to apply for unemployment. And so this is a chance for that department and people there to improve the systems, to upgrade the computer — it’s not only a computer issue, it’s also a process and a logistical issue of how to help people get through. There’s been some progress being made with new websites, with people volunteering at the [Hawaiʻi] Convention Center to process claims, things like that. So these are things that COVID is forcing us to do, stimulating us to to try to make systems that serve people work better, so we could come together as a community to build more resilience. Again, we can look at resilience as being able to cope. And just as individuals cope, communities and governments also need to cope. In the past, sometimes the coping has not been adequate. So this would be a chance to find ways to improve the coping so that people are served better and our state can function better.

MM: Yeah. So I guess speaking about the State of Hawaiʻi, what kinds of patterns have you been not— or like observing, noticing in mental health issues here related to COVID?

DL: Well, I’m not in clinical practice right now, so I can’t speak to that, but just in talking to my colleagues and what I have been observing, again, it’s the three negative emotions I mentioned that seem to be quite prevalent–anxiety, anger and depression. And they’re not mutually exclusive. Some people have one of them. Some have two. Some have all three or even more than that. You know, I think an important point to mention in that connection is that some of these emotions might last for quite a while, and they might again outlast the pandemic. So even after COVID is gone or even after we have a vaccine, people may continue to have these emotions for some time. And those are the people that I would highly recommend to seek professional help, because once again, it’s not just COVID, but what COVID has triggered. And COVID has traumatized many people and has also triggered emotional issues that might have been buried that are now coming up. So there may be a lot to deal with beyond just learning ways not to catch the virus or finding a job again. There are other issues within a person’s psyche that might have been stirred up and brought to the surface. And these are issues that could continue for a while.

The important thing to remember for our community members is that, first of all, these emotions are very normal. They’re normal reactions to something that’s abnormal. And the other thing to remember is that it’s nothing to be ashamed of. And that seeking professional help is perfectly okay. In fact, it’s something that’s advisable. Because many of us, particularly those of us in Asian communities, tend to have a bit of a sense of shame or stigma about mental health issues as if it reflects some kind of moral weakness. But that’s not the case at all. And it’s useful to remember that just as we wouldn’t hesitate to seek help for physical ailments–if we have a chronic condition, a heart condition, or we fall down and break a leg, or we have a headache or any kind of physical condition–we don’t feel shame going to see the doctor for that. Similarly, we should not feel ashamed by going to see a counselor for psychological issues, whether it’s depression or anxiety or anger or any number of other issues: relationship problems, money problems, whatever. I mean, people are just very stressed, and stress is something that can stay with us for a while.

So it would be helpful to remember that it’s normal to seek help for these things, that help is available, and that by seeking help, we can get better. That people need to have the belief, which is backed up by research, that seeking professional help can help to resolve these issues. If the person puts his or her mind to it and finds a provider that they match up well with, then the effectiveness of psychotherapy is very well documented. So that’s something that hopefully will motivate people to seek help, and give them hope that not only is help available, but it could create a lot of benefits.

MM: Yeah. Thank you. So I guess what are some of the maybe positive aspects and some of the negative aspects of living on islands during this pandemic?

DL: Well, for me, it’s really much more positive than negative, because I love Hawaiʻi so much. We are landlocked so we can’t just hop in a car and just drive a thousand miles somewhere. So there is that restriction. And of course, being on an island, for food and other supplies, we rely a lot more on outside entities to ship things in. So there is always a risk of not having enough supplies. If there is a breakdown in the supply chain, that could affect us. Whereas if we were living on the mainland, then that would be less of an issue. But on the other hand, because we live on an island, we’re able, at least so far, to restrict the number of people coming in, and to have visitors go through a 14 day quarantine. That has helped to keep the rate of infection down, and with the reopening of tourism, that will pose a bit of a challenge. There are measures now being considered to try to keep it reasonable, such as by testing people before they board the plane to come here, which would help. But it’s not going to result in zero infections. I mean, there are bound to be infections that are either community spread or spread by visitors coming in. But again, living on the island and seeing the good deeds that are being carried out by people is very encouraging and very heartwarming. And I’m sure that’s happening in different parts of the country also. Not to say that we’re the only ones where that is going on, but that has been very encouraging.

MM: And how about changes to the ʻāina, like land or ocean or other resources that’s due to, I guess, these restrictions on travel and social distancing, what have your observations been in that sense?

DL: Well, there’s certainly a lot fewer people. (MM laughs) In the ocean, on the beaches, and the ʻāina, you know, on the roads even. But once again, if we’re going to be reimagining sustainable tourism, that necessarily involves thinking of ways that we can take better care of the ʻāina. We don’t want more and more of our natural resources, our parks or beaches turned into parking lots. We want to preserve what we can, even expand natural resources where that is possible. We might need to have certain measures or guidelines for people visiting who, maybe not through any malice, but somehow damage the ʻāina or damage our capability here to serve the public. You hear of visitors who get on a jet ski, and then they have an accident that requires lifeguards and others to rescue them. You hear of hikers who go on trails and they get lost or they fall and then they need helicopters and extensive rescue operations. So those are things that don’t pertain specifically to the ʻāina, but I think it is respecting nature. You know, whether it’s the ocean, the mountains, the land, not doing things that we’re not capable of that puts ourselves at risk, which then involves a lot of other people having to rescue us. So it’s a sense of respect that I think people need to have when they come here. And by all means, enjoy the beauty that is Hawaiʻi, but not abuse it in some fashion, either by neglect or people who come here breaking quarantine on the first day because they had no intention of following the quarantine, even though they knew they were supposed to. Behaviors like that show a lack of respect for the rules that we have here, and in some general sense, for the land.

MM: Yeah. Mhm. And so I guess, how has this experience transformed how you think about your family, your friends, your community? And in what ways?

DL: I think for me, the main thing is — and that’s something I’ve been talking to my family, my close friends and my colleagues about — what each of us can do to create a better new normal. I am trying to find ways of convincing people — find ways for myself, also — of figuring out, each in our own way, what we can do to not just return to the way things were, but to have a better new normal going forward. And there are things that each of us can do that can help, either spread the word or specific actions that we can take.

Your question made me think of what’s going on in the country right now, not only with COVID and certain states reopening too quickly and unwisely, but also the economic downturn and how a lot of people are suffering. And, of course, more recently, the calls for racial justice. All of these things are coming together at this time, and one of the things that this has demonstrated, you know, is to highlight the inequities and the inequality that exist in our country right now for people of color, in the areas of not only criminal justice — that’s certainly an area — but also in employment, in education, in access to health and mental health resources. In each of these instances, you see that people who are from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and people of color have a much harder time. We already know that COVID is disproportionately affecting people of color, especially Black Americans, much more than others. Why is that? The whole economic downturn, people struggling–again, that is affecting people of color disproportionately also.

So there are a lot of things going on that are very sobering. And very challenging. They could get us depressed very easily. But I would say it could get us excited and exhilarated at the same time, not because people are suffering, but because of the opportunity that these developments present for each of us to do what we can to make things better. To make our society more equal, for example. To have opportunities be more equally distributed, whether in employment, in education, in health and mental health for all people, which is the way it’s supposed to be, and which is what the U.S. Constitution calls for. But which right now is not happening. And I think the fact that these things are coming to light, as unfortunate as they are, is inspiring some people, from those I’ve talked to and what I have read and heard nationally, as well as in Hawaiʻi, to mobilize and advocate and do what they can to make things better.

So this is a dark period for many reasons. But it can also be a bright period. And, you know, I was actually looking at something, a book that I had put down that I want to read you a brief passage from. I’m quoting Charles Dickens, from “A Tale of Two Cities” in the opening section. He’s talking about the period just before the French Revolution. But as I read it, I think we can also see that in many ways it applies to now, here, in this country. And Dickens says, “It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. It was the age of wisdom. It was the age of foolishness. It was the epoch of belief. It was the epoch of incredulity. It was the season of light. It was the season of darkness. It was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” And my fervent wish is that we can turn this “winter of despair” into a season of hope. I think we can do that. I am optimistic and confident that we’re able to do that individually and collectively. By doing what each of us can do, by whatever action, by writing, by talking to people, by marching, by donating, by whatever it takes to make the new normal, a better normal.

MM: Yeah. Thank you. And I guess knowing all of this, knowing what you know now, especially about COVID and trying to imagine that this new, better normal, what do you think that we as individuals, as a community, as a state, maybe even as a nation, need to keep in mind for the future?

DL: Well, several things. I think it would help to keep in mind that we need to look at the science. We should base policies based on science and good evidence. And that applies to COVID, certainly. But it also applies to other areas that we had just talked about, such as employment and the disparities there, the income inequality. What the evidence shows and what can be done. In education–why are some schools so great and some others not so good? What can we do there? There’s a correlation between quality of education and poverty in neighborhoods. You know, to look at the evidence and to have policies or laws be based as much as possible on the evidence. And when I say science, I’m really referring to all areas, whether it’s health, mental health, employment, education, climate change, all of these — rather than be based on political instinct or just the need to win. Someone once said that for politicians, really all they care about is winning, and that might be a bit of an oversimplification, but I think there is a lot of truth to that. So instead of thinking about winning or getting re-elected, think about what the evidence shows. And this applies to Hawaiʻi, to our country, to the world. Base those decisions on evidence. Of course, the underlying part is that we want to make policies and laws that benefit people. That human welfare, to my way of thinking, should be the guiding principle. Everything comes back to that common denominator. That’s something that needs to be kept in mind. One of our country’s mottos is equal justice for all. That all humans are created equal. Are we really? Yes, we are, but are we all treated equally? Unfortunately, not at this time. Some people seem to be more equal than others, so to speak. The goal is to achieve equality in all respects, in all different domains, for all the citizens of this country.

One other thing that comes to mind is the need to to work together and to share sacrifices together, because not everything is going to be nice or beneficial to everybody. Sometimes we need to make sacrifices. And it’s easier if we make sacrifices that are shared with other people. Especially if these sacrifices lead to a greater good, to more equality, to a fairer and more equitable society. Many people seem to have difficulty with making sacrifices. And that’s one thing we’re seeing right now with COVID. On the one hand, a lot of people have been trying their best under the lockdown, which is a big sacrifice because they can’t go out. They can’t do the things they normally do. Can’t go to restaurants. Can’t travel. And so on. There are a lot of restrictions. But on the other hand, it’s one thing to make sacrifices, it’s another to keep it up. And one of the things we’re seeing, unfortunately, at least in many states that are reopening too quickly — too quickly from the standpoint that cases are spiking again — is that many people, once they see an opportunity to go out, are shedding all their inhibitions. It shouldn’t be like that. You can go out, but you can still wear a mask. You can still social distance. You can still avoid going out if you’re not feeling well. You can still wash your hands. So it’s not an all-or-nothing sort of thing. So I think a lesson for all of us here is that we need to make sacrifices, and some of these may take a long time. And some of them may be partial sacrifices where we can start to go out, go to restaurants, even go to gyms again, and so on. But you still need to observe all those safety precautions. And if our country, our state is going to move in the direction of greater equality, then sacrifices will need to be made by everyone. A lot of people, especially people of color, indigenous peoples, are already making sacrifices every single day. And there are many who are in a more privileged position who are not. That needs to be recognized.

MM: Yeah. Thank you for that very thoughtful answer. That’s all of the questions I have. But do you have any final thoughts, or anything else to add?

DL: I’m afraid I’ve been very long winded. . .


DL: . . . but thank you for having me and for stimulating me with the questions that you’ve provided. I really don’t have anything more to add beyond, again, just emphasizing a couple of points: One, with respect to mental health, to encourage people to seek professional help where they think it would be beneficial and not to feel ashamed about doing so. To be aware that some of the negative emotions that COVID has generated can last for a while, which is quite normal and not anything to be ashamed about.

And then the other point is that each of us really can play our part in terms of creating a new normal that is better than what used to be. And if we do that and have the confidence that we can, then that also gives us motivation. That is also a silver lining. That we could feel like we’re working towards a brighter future than the past that we have known. That we’re not just going back to the same old ways, but trying to reimagine and create a better future for all the people in this country and for all the people in Hawaiʻi.

MM: Thank you. That’s a great, great answer. Great conversation.

Other Reflections on COVID-19