On March 11th, 2020, the World Health Organization announced that COVID-19 was officially a global pandemic, and the world has not been the same ever since. Sadly, many lives have been lost, businesses continue to crumble, and our ability to work, play, and interact with each other has been radically hindered. As a result, we are facing one of the most devastating economic crises in history.
In Hawaii, those that are most vulnerable to COVID-19 are Native Hawaiians, as they have the highest low income rates and pre-existing metabolic conditions like diabetes and heart disease. With only an estimate of 371,000 Native Hawaiians left in Hawaii (according to the 2010 U.S. Census), the widespread of COVID-19 in highly Native Hawaiian populated areas could be devastating for this entire race.
Unfortunately, until we have a vaccine or anti-CoV-2 antibody therapeutics, this pandemic isn’t going away. However, something needs to be done to help protect Native Hawaiians and all indigenous people from the disastrous effects of COVID-19.
Sustain Hawaii aims to do just that by providing the Waimanalo community, which is the most densely populated Native Hawaiian community in the world, free access to the PERSEUS APP (formerly called SAFE TRAVELS), which is an ancronym for Planned Emergency Response System Engaging Unified Support. This app is a real-time monitoring tool designed to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 through its suite of solutions that focus on testing, tracing, and treatment.
The Gift We Want to Give
We often don’t know we may be contagious. None of us want to accidentally get our friends or family sick, especially those who are most vulnerable (i.e., Native Hawaiians, indigenous peoples, individuals with pre-existing conditions, and the elderly). The United States CDC estimates that 50% of transmission occurs before someone even displays any symptoms. Thus, testing early and periodically will undoubtedly slow down the spread of this virus.
The culture of Native Hawaiians and most indigenous people are collectivistic in nature, where their connection to family, nature, and community is paramount. Large households and family/community gatherings are commonplace, making the spread of COVID-19 even more problematic for them. With the PERSEUS APP we will be able to help Native Hawaiians and the Waimanalo community protect themselves and reduce the transmission of COVID-19.
The Features of the PERSEUS APP
Using CDC algorithms, PERSEUS monitors the user’s state of health through a symptoms tracker. If necessary, it suggests what actions to take (i.e., getting tested, quarantine/isolate, etc.) based on selected symptom choices.
PERSEUS directs the user to nearby testing locations and provides information about test types, turnaround time, and cost in each area.
When the user’s doctor (or an accredited medical facility) uploads test results to the individual’s electronic medical record, PERSEUS will immediately send a colored report indicating whether the test results are negative, positive, or inconclusive. Getting results this way is significantly faster than waiting for a call from a doctor or medical office.
PERSEUS is HIPAA compliant, adheres to all SOC-2 security protocol, and provides the highest level of privacy with each user’s medical data. This information is never accessed without permission and will only be used to help curb the transmission of COVID-19.
If the app user is COVID-19 positive, others (using PERSEUS) who have crossed paths them over the past 30 days will be notified that they have been exposed to someone COVID-19 positive.
PERSEUS respects each app user’s privacy, so names and location data remain anonymous. Each user also has the power to manually delete private locations (like their home address) if they do not want to share this information with the public.
PERSEUS is less invasive than many popular and commonly used applications most already use like Google Maps, Uber, Yelp, Weather Reports, or other location services.
PERSEUS provides quarantine tracking through re-verification technology, whereby asking individuals in quarantine to upload a selfie to ensure they are following state or county COVID-19 response requirements.
The cost of the PERSEUS APP is only $25 per year per person. This is affordable, and worth the cost to protect Native Hawaiians, the people of Hawaii, and our economy. According to the latest U.S. Census report, there are approximately 6,000 residents in Waimanalo.
If we ALL participate in using the PERSEUS APP, we will reduce the transmission of this deadly virus. Sustain Hawaii’s goal is to raise money to cover these costs for the entire Waimanalo community. Upon reaching this goal, we aim to raise more funds to provide free access to PERSEUS for other Native Hawaiian populated communities like Waianae, Nanakuli, and Papakolea.
If you are interested in obtaining the PERSEUS APP for yourself, or sponsoring someone in need, a family, halau, group, school, or community please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
With more people using this progressive app we believe we can effectively curb the spread of COVID-19. By providing the Waimanalo community free access to PERSEUS we know it will make a significant difference in protecting this vulnerable population from ruin.
Others who can benefit from using PERSEUS:
All Essential Workers
basically, our entire WORLD!
TOGETHER WE CAN CURB THE SPREAD OF COVID-19 and make a positive difference! Thank you for helping us to protect the Native Hawaiian community from this devastating virus!
For more information about SAFE TRAVELS go to: safe-travels.org
Sustain Hawaii’s Mission
Since 2003, our non-profit has been committed to helping create an enduring, healthy economy that ensures a better quality of life for all in a just and equitable manner within the limits of supporting ecosystems. Our board is over 80% Native Hawaiian, and we have worked closely with large and small organizations including the USDA, Hawaii Department of Agriculture, Department of Education, City & County of Honolulu, the County of Hawaii, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Kamehameha Schools, Group 70, PBR, and Ulupono Initiative. Some of our most recent accomplishments include the development of the Ha'ehuola Wellness Program, the development of the Food System Metrics Platform for HDOA, the creation of the sustainability-oriented children's program Waltah the Worm which aired on OC16 for 3 years, and a 175-page secondary"Literature Review of Hawaii's Food System."