Perfect weather and gorgeous outdoors can be both a blessing and a curse. 

Photo: Catherine Toth Fox

10 Thoughts Hawaiʻi Locals Have While Self-Quarantining

Do I have enough rice? Why is the weather so perfect? I miss getting plate lunch so bad!

We understand that COVID-19 is nothing to joke about. It’s a serious viral infection that has essentially shut down our world, has killed thousands and has left a significant portion of our population unemployed. However, as Hawaiʻi locals have chosen to self-quarantine, it's hard not to laugh—just a little bit—at some of the very local problems and thoughts that cross our mind. Here are a few we thought would lighten the mood.

1. Do we have enough rice?

A loco moco is nothing without rice.
Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino

One thing local families are always running out of, even before COVID-19 plagued us, is rice. And now, with our local grocery chains being out of stock on many non-perishable items, we have to really think. Do we have enough rice? If I make shoyu chicken, how many scoops of white rice should I eat it with? Will my loco moco just be a hamburger patty, egg and gravy? Please no. 

2. I should really pick up the ʻukulele again.

Having more time at home means those self-quarantining have the option to pursue hobbies and arts that might have been left behind in our pre-COVID-19 daily grind. For me, personally, I look at my ʻukulele and think, “Man, I should really pick that thing up again, maybe strum out a few chords.” And then I leave it untouched in the corner of my studio, letting it continue to gather dust as I start the next episode of whatever Netflix show I’m watching to kill time. 

3. Ugh, the weather is perfect again today. 

Complaining about having perfectly sunny weather is truly a strange thing to do, but when you’re trapped in your apartment or home, trying to avoid leaving your self-isolation as much as possible, it’s brutal. Fifteen-minute walks around the neighborhood can only do so much. 

4. Was my commute always this fast?

Seriously, driving is so fast now.
Photo: Getty Images

Since so few locals, and visitors, are on the roads, commute times have dropped drastically. It’s a small blessing, but a blessing nonetheless. 

5. I want a plate lunch from Zippy’s so bad it hurts. 

Like physically, it hurts how much I want to inhale a Zip Pac. As of the publication of this article, there are still Zippy’s locations offering to-go plates; however, as the fear of COVID-19 only continues to grow, it’s becoming harder and harder for locals to think about leaving the house—even for takeout. When this all blows over, we’re going to eat as much Zippy's chili our bodies can handle.

6. The need to hug is real.

Sorry, but you’re going to have to throw that lei on me. 
Photo: Getty Images

In Hawaiʻi, greetings aren’t just handshakes and subtle nods. It’s hugs. Kisses on the cheeks. That thing guys do where they grab hands and kind of shoulder bump one another (it’s hard to explain). But now, to avoid communal contamination, all we’re left with are shakas from 6 feet away and the odd elbow tap. It sucks, and as it turns out, hug withdrawal is a very real thing.

7. Please don’t let there be surf.

For many local residents, specifically those who surf, one of the only things that may coax them out of their self-isolation are good waves. And although surfing has been given the OK by government and state officials, paddling out to a crowded spot with 20 other people should probably be avoided—unless the waves are really good. 

8. How am I supposed to talk story?

Hawaiʻi locals love talking story, sitting in garages or parking lots just chatting about “whatevas” with friends, maybe over a few beers. This is no longer an option, and we now must rely on video chat services like FaceTime and Discord to spill the tea, or in our current situation, talk about how bored we are at home. 

9. So is everybody a jogger now?

Just getting ready to jog away from everything
Photo: Getty Images

Seriously. Everybody jogs now. I personally have seen more joggers on sidewalks, in neighborhoods, and around beach parks than I have ever seen in my entire life. But good on them, maybe they’re just imagining they’re running away from all of, well, this

10. So ... can I hike? Or not? Maybe? 

With the current lockdown restrictions in place, it’s difficult to surmise what you can and can not do, and hiking one of Hawaiʻi’s many gorgeous trails is among the most confusing. Fortunately, our editor Catherine Toth Fox did a little digging and found that most state-run hiking trails are still open, for now.