A large number of the overseas Vietnamese community in the US have been striving to contribute to the fight against COVID-19 by sewing face masks for use in hospitals due to a scarcity of protective equipment for medical workers.
In Seattle, Washington DC, a tailor shop owned by Kati Nguyen has become a hub for Vietnamese nationals to come and sew face masks.
The novel coronavirus epidemic is wreaking its havoc on the US, with the number of infections keeping rising considerably across the country. As face masks are among items much sought after, medical workers are most vulnerable to virus infection as they directly treat infected patients.
Many Vietnamese nationals living there called on the OV community to join hands in sewing face masks to be distributed to hospitals. Kati Nguyen, who lives in Seattle, Washington DC, is one of the community leaders in these efforts.
“As far as I know, many nurses have cried in despair that they do not have enough face masks to wear at work, posing a great infection threat,” said Kati Nguyen. “A Vietnamese expat like me wants to do something significant for the society.”
After being sewn, the face masks are given to doctors.
By using Facebook, Kati Nguyen has rallied members of the OV community to join her in the fight against the COVID-19. Since the inception of her idea, she has received enthusiastic responses, with some heading to her home to sew the masks, others taking cloth to produce them in their own home, while others provided their own cloth in order to create more masks.
“All Vietnamese people have been enthusiastic in responding to the appeal as they think about assisting the hospital. The hospital is safe, so medical workers can save patients,” said Trang, one of Kati Nguyen’s friends in the group.
Members of the OV community present face masks to medical workers.
However, Kati Nguyen said her group is faced with a scarcity of materials to make masks.
“The biggest difficulty is that materials are in short supply because shops have closed while supply sources by friends are limited. So we are trying to get materials from other sources.”
At present the group have sewn hundreds of face masks which have been sent to various doctors and nurses working throughout the US.
It is hoped that if movement becomes popularised among the Vietnamese community in the US then the efforts will ultimately turn into a successful endeavor for Kati Nguyen.
Hundreds of face masks are due to be sent to hospitals.
“When I posted on the Facebook page for Vietnamese people living in Seattle, I received huge responses with many people asking me how to sew masks. OVs not only living in Washington, but also in California, Texas, Oregon and Atlanta are ready to learn from my experience and sew masks themselves before distributing them to hospitals,” Kati Nguyen said. VOV