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"United Chinese Americans" group launches COVID-19 prevention lessons online

MAY . 22 2020
Peking University, May 22, 2020: United Chinese Americans (UCA), a U.S.-based nationwide non-profit and non-partisan federation and a community civic movement, has launched an informative family-friendly guide "COVID-19: Tracy's Guide for Families" at its website to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
 
"Most people don't have enough information about COVID-19 to know how to protect themselves, their families and neighbors," Jingyi Xi, who originated the concept for the "Ms. Tracy" COVID-19 series, told Xinhua on Friday. "This project can help everyone."
 
Since more than 80 percent of Americans are under stay-at-home orders, learning how to protect oneself and each other is a crucial part of the national effort to control the pandemic.
 
"Because people are dying from this virus and it's had a terrible impact on everyone in the world, it's very important for everyone to learn to protect themselves and their loved ones. The virus is everyone's enemy, and I don't want to see any more people dying."
 
"Ms Tracy's Guide for Families" is an illustrated online series for families and individuals chock full of useful knowledge and tips for protecting loved ones, homes and communities.
 
The online program answers urgent questions from the simple to the complex: "what do I do if I get the coronavirus? what are the leading symptoms? how do I protect my family so they don't get it too? how do I keep my home disinfected? is it safe to take my kids to the park? is there a way to safely use a public restroom? or a hotel? how do I stay safe at the supermarket? how do I disinfect deliveries?"
 
The program is well-organized, written in a clear and concise way with straightforward language that is easily digestible, even for children, and uses colorful and engaging illustrations to share a lot of useful information about the coronavirus and how to protect against it in many different situations.
 
Jingyi Xi, a Peking University graduate with a PhD in Physics, had pivoted to writing novels, sci-fi scripts and children's books until she teamed up with a friend, Linqian Peng, who works with the disabled, to create COVID-19 materials in sign language for the hearing-impaired in China who couldn't always understand public advisory videos.
 
That sparked the idea of making easy-to-understand, well-researched and medically-vetted COVID-19 materials for other people, so she brought the idea to UCA, where she was a member.
 
UCA describes itself as a nationwide group inspired and dedicated to enriching and empowering Chinese American communities through civic engagement, political participation, heritage sharing, youth development and a greater understanding between the United States and China for the well-being of all Americans and the world.
 
UCA's founding board director, Gene Chang, also managing director and COO of Himalaya Capital, wholeheartedly supported the Ms. Tracy project, but suggested that it be expanded and shared with the general public at large.
 
"Many people have stepped up to provide valuable assistance with money, food, and volunteer efforts. I wanted to do something different," Chang told Xinhua.
 
"I realized that public health education was essential too. People with no or mild symptoms don't even know they have the virus and are spreading it to their friends and families," he noted with concern.
 
Everyone involved in the project feels it is critical that people learn how to take care of them themselves, their families and their local communities during this crisis, so they can control the outbreak on the local level and reduce the burden on the overwhelmed public healthcare systems.
 
"Accurate medical information and guidelines in a crisis like this are like precious jewels of knowledge," UCA President Haipei Shue told Xinhua. "We take the valuable lessons learned on the frontlines and share them with everyone in a fun way."
 
So UCA's Helen Shih and others helped assemble an exceptional team of medical experts from leading universities such as Cornell University, University of Texas, and University of Minnesota in the United States, as well as educational institutions in China.
 
These health and medical experts ensure that all health and medical information in the Ms Tracy series has been thoroughly vetted and cross-checked and in line with recommendations from the CDC and other leading experts.
 
The project was a challenging task to do well in such a short period of time. They had to set up different functional groups to work on the various components of the project from topic selection, content production, illustrators, online web-design and publishing, medical informatics, quality control, proofreaders and others.
 
Even with anti-Chinese sentiment in the United States on the rise, UCA President Shue, who came to the United States 33 years ago fresh out of grad school, is amazed by the unprecedented outpouring of civic-minded generosity of the Chinese American community to help relief efforts in the United States in general and on Ms. Tracy in particular.
 
"I have never seen the Chinese American community so energized and engaged," he told Xinhua.
 
"Everyone is scrambling to find PPE for frontline workers, dozens of thousands of masks have been donated, and cash donations have also been pouring in. It's amazing!" he said. "And our Ms Tracy COVID-19 educational project is done predominantly by volunteers who work day and night."

Source: Xinhua Net