HONOLULU (KHON2) — “We used to go out to eat a lot. We miss going to the restaurants,” says Mark Ida.

Ida and his mother have adapted to the pandemic because he’s been through this before.

“I was actually in China during SARS when it happened a long time ago so I understand the impact a pandemic can have. As soon as I heard that Wuhan was having trouble, I went out to Costco. We are the ones who hoarded but we hoarded only for ourselves,” smiles Ida.
Ida also bought food and supplies for kupuna in his neighborhood.

“Our street here in Salt Lake, everyone takes care good care of each other. My neighbors are looking out after me. They send texts from Costco saying you need this or that. It’s really nice. We have a great street so we’re really fortunate,” says Ida.

Mom is very fortunate because her hair is always looking fabulous!

“It’s alright. He just likes to make it short and I don’t like it too short,” laughs Elma Saida.

When we first met Ida, he gave up the glamorous life in Hollywood as a top hair stylist to move back home to take care of mom who has endured several health conditions.

“Well, she inspires me because she continues to live with a lot of pain. The fact that she can power through it is definitely inspiring,” says Ida.

Ida cooks three meals a day and takes her to all of her appointments. And he admits, he enjoys watching Netflix and having a cigar or two to decompress.

“We’ve been hanging in there with the cigar stock that I have, but it’s dwindling. Only down to a thousand now,” laughs Ida.

While he loves a good cigar, there’s something else that tops the list

“I think if I could say one thing, it wouldn’t even be to caregivers, it would be to the friends of caregivers or anyone who knows an old person that’s maybe alone. It’s always been welcoming when someone calls or shoots a text. It’s very valuable. The Aloha Spirit is very well felt. This is a time when it’s probably most needed,” says Ida.