Apology and commendation

Posted on Aug 06 2020

I want to commend the COVID-19 Task Force and all of the personnel associated with the testing of travelers who are arriving daily and at airport as well as those operating the quarantine facilitiy at Kanoa Resort.

I recently returned from off-island and unexpectantly and reluctantly was required to spend five days under quarantine at the Kanoa. I had anticipated being required to spend 14 days in home quarantine and was thus upset when told that I had to be quarantined for five days at the Kanoa Resort. I had read the comments about unsanitary conditions and poor food and was not at all pleased with this requirement. Surprisingly, I found these claims were incorrect as far as the current conditions.

The room that I was assigned was clean, adequate, and recently updated to accommodate quarantined parties. I was provided with sufficient, clean, and adequate towels and linens for my five-day stay, as well as shampoo and soap. The room equaled a typical three-star facility and was adequate in all aspects with television, wireless internet, refrigerator, and an ocean view. The stay was made much more favorable by a policy that allowed family members to supplement accommodations with “care packages” that I used to bring in a Keurig coffeemaker and other small amenities.

I was particularly concerned about the food, having heard the stories about its inadequacy, but it was fine, with each meal presenting a balance of protein, vegetables, carbohydrates, and a dessert. I assumed that a professional dietician was involved in menu planning as it appeared that significant planning had been used in menu selection. The food was very good and included varieties of seafood and meats with vegetables, salads and fruit at each serving. Someone took the time to carefully consider this menu and all items were well prepared.

I want to take this opportunity to apologize to the coronavirus staff for my initial reaction to learning that I was to be quarantined. I strongly objected to this decision as I was expecting a 14-day at-home quarantine. My gruffness could be attributed to the fact that I had just completed a one-hour flight from Detroit to Newark, NJ, a 13-hour flight to Tokyo, a three-hour flight to Guam, a seven-hour wait in a chair at the Guam airport in order to avoid their quarantine and finally a three-hour flight to Saipan. This grueling trip would provide a bad disposition to anyone other than Mother Teresa. It did not help that I am a grumpy old attorney even on a good day. I just wanted to go home, take a shower and collapse.

In retrospect, I want to commend all of the people involved in the testing and processing of airport arrivals as you are doing an excellent job protecting our community. It was done professionally, smoothly, and quickly considering the complexities and legal issues involved. I was surprised that, at 11 o’clock at night, senior management of the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. were present at the airport, including Esther Muña and John Tagabuel who were both helping in all aspects of operations, including filling out forms, assisting in testing, and answering questions. The people manning this process undoubtedly take a lot of abuse for their decisions to quarantine individuals and yet they maintain their professional demeanor.

Thank you to all of the personnel involved in the testing and protection process. You are doing a great job and better than I have seen in my recent travels to Guam, New Jersey, Detroit, or Tokyo. Again, I apologize for any unappreciation of your efforts that I may have exhibited.

Jim Stump
Papago, Saipan

Jim Stump

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