Written by: Yu Feng Wang
Translated by: H.B. Qin
Edited by: Andrea Barkley
To prevent the spread of the Omicron BA.5 variant virus in the Northwest, the Seattle Branch of Tzu Chi Northwest Region again partnered with International Community Health Services (ICHS) this fall. On October 18, 2022, they provided the most recent COVID-19 vaccine to people in the Bellevue neighborhood to prevent another disease surge in the Seattle community in the coming months.
The event was a collaborative effort between volunteer Lu Zhi Lia, ICHS, and Tzu Chi USA volunteers. The volunteers assisted with reception, registration, and online form completion. At the same time, ICHS nurses fluent in English, Chinese, and Cantonese focused on administering vaccinations to the public. The comprehensive services provided by the two organizations made visitors feel the human spirit of respect, inclusion, and love of Tzu Chi USA.
Before administering the vaccine, ICHS nurses kindly explained to the volunteers the vaccination process. Then, Tzu Chi USA volunteers made certain patients had completed their forms before the nurses administered the vaccines. In three hours, more than 30 people came to get vaccinated.
As a veteran volunteer, beloved Meihui Liao came to the site for the vaccination, and everyone greeted her cordially. She was glad; she said that the nurse was good and it didn’t hurt after the injection. She also sang a song called “Su San Qi Jie,” which she used to sing when she visited the elderly homes, and her voice was still beautiful.
In an interview, Lu Zhi Liao, head of Tzu Chi TIMA, shared, “Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tzu Chi Seattle has been providing PPE and vaccines to those in need. This event is the seventh time we have partnered with ICHS to reach out to the community and provide Pfizer’s Omicron New Generation vaccine.”
Lu Zhi Liao was also happy to see many good friends whom he had not seen for a long time. It was a fantastic opportunity to catch up as the pandemic slowed down. It’s believed that with the new vaccine booster and the increase in vaccination rate in the community, the level of communal transmission will continue to decrease.
Facing the threat of the unseen and untouchable virus, Tzu Chi USA volunteers took action as winter approached. They continue to help the community take precautions, promote the spirit of compassion to help the world, and make efforts to heal the damaged Earth and harmonize with nature.