Tuesday April 28, 2020: A Call to Action and Resources on Coronavirus Response
Since SARS-CoV2 surfaced in Wuhan, China late last year, the pandemic has accelerated at an alarming pace and has now claimed more than 50,000 lives in the United States alone. Amid increasing reports of racist confrontations and widespread shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators, hospital beds, testing kits, and healthcare workers, APAMSA is committed to supporting its members and assisting in nationwide efforts. Below, we provide resources for member students to stay informed and recommendations on how to get involved with your local community efforts.
The situation continues to evolve at a rapid pace, with scientific data and policy guidelines being updated on a daily basis. In addition to conventional news sources, the following are great summative and digestible resources to stay up to date:
Donating Medical Supplies:
Nationwide shortages of protective equipment have placed frontline healthcare workers at risk for contraction of COVID-19. Students who are able can contribute to supply efforts in the following ways:
1) Donate PPE to hospitals in your area
2) Make masks that local healthcare providers can use in situations where using an N95 respirator is not required (see instructional videos below). APAMSA will provide $50 grants to 5 chapters that organize mask-making drives! Please contact our Community Outreach Director Anthony Nguyen at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in this grant or if you would like National Board's support in organizing a drive!
Medical students are in a unique position during this pandemic. While several schools have offered early graduation to allow fourth year students to assist on the frontlines, junior students can also assist with community efforts in meaningful ways.
1) Those who are not volunteering on the front lines must stay at home to flatten the curve and minimize the burden on hospitals.
2) Volunteer and donate:
Masterlist Sheet of Medical student volunteer opportunities - What is your school or chapter doing to combat COVID-19? Add it to this list!
3) Disseminate multilingual resources to help patients who face language barriers to care, such as this AA and NHPI In-Language Resources for Coronavirus (COVID-19) compiled by the Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF)
Responding to Acts of Hatred:
With the virus initially breaking out in China and several high-profile figures referring to COVID-19 as “the Chinese virus”, there has been an increase in news reports of hate crimes against Asian & Pacific Islander Americans (APIA). APAMSA explicitly condemns these unconscionable acts and calls on members and peer organizations to help combat this hatred.
Your safety and the safety of others takes top priority. In response to active situations in which you or someone else is being harassed or attacked, some nonviolent approaches have involved de-escalation and/or intervening by offering support to the person being targeted.
Hollaback! and Asian Americans Advancing Justice are hosting one-hour Bystander Intervention Training where you can learn more strategies to support those facing anti-APIA discrimination. There are six remaining training sessions next month. (We do not officially endorse any specific resource, as many organizations are addressing this issue)
Report hate crimes law enforcement or through online forms:
Call 1-800-771-7755 (Hotline for those in New York)
Be mindful of the language you use to talk about COVID-19
This includes encouraging others to avoid language that equates Asian Americans with the virus or with the Chinese government, and discouraging jokes/memes that scapegoat APIA communities.
4) Demand your elected officials, campus leaders, and hospital administrators publicly denounce racism against APIA’s and enact policies that ensure protection and safety from racist violence.
5) Support APIA businesses that are struggling to attract customers due to stigma surrounding the virus.
6) Check in with APIA friends/colleagues and offer support.