TRANSLATION | Eugenia Yang
Death is never on break. This pandemic has touched lives from all over the world. From the charity meal donation project, gathering corporate forces to raise nearly 70 million lifesaving High Flow Nasal Cannulas (HFNC), to the Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) nowadays, this kindness is still spreading and the number of donations continues to rise. As the initiator of all the events, Janet Chia is using her own power to bring the love of all societal enterprises together.
Fighting the Pandemic War
“No one is in it for personal gain. Everyone is asking around, hoping to save the patients in critical condition. They are asking because it’s necessary. Even if it means there’s only one HFNC left.” One simple response, it expresses what Janet had gone through in the process of gathering HFNC donations.
Speaking of this experience, Janet said she is very grateful for her friends and the companies who were willing to step up and support them. Confused, I asked who’s the “them” she is referring to? It turns out she was referring to the professional and powerful team that includes the medical equipment manufacturers, colleagues at the company, her husband as the adviser, Chairman Daniel Tsai of Fubon Financial, Chairman Tsai’s secretary and executive assistant. After evaluating each hospital’s emergency room and ICU performance, the team then starts with specific hospitals in need. For instance, since Far Eastern Memorial Hospital is the biggest hospital in New Taipei City, they get a larger distribution of HFNCs. As for Taipei, the team focuses their donations on Taipei City Hospital because of its multiple branches, which calls for more HFNCs.
“I believe in your enthusiasm a hundred percent. As for you being an angel? That, I can prove with a hundred and twenty.” Speaking of President Tsai’s call, Janet says it is an honor to receive recognition from the president. Along the way, she had put in a lot of effort, while all kinds of voices started to appear. But she didn’t give them much thought and continued to hold on to her belief as she delivered the resources to the medical frontline. Janet is extremely grateful for President Tsai’s positive affirmation because it only reassures the fact that she is doing the right thing, which also leads to her future ordering of almost a hundred PAPRs.
The Best Education
When asked about why she started the whole project, Janet shares with us that her younger sister works in the restaurant industry. In the wake of the pandemic, many restaurant owners are struggling due to the no indoor dining restriction. So she contacted her sister and ordered 100 meals for the medical workers. On June 1st, Janet remembers specifically it was three in the afternoon when she was about to deliver all the bento boxes to Cheng Hsin General Hospital. She told her kids at lunch about her plan and to Janet’s surprise, her youngest daughter, Sandy, immediately asked, “Mom, how can I help?” Touched, she then asked her daughters to draft the thank you cards that they sent with the meals, hoping that they would help cheer up the medical staff.
Catching a glimpse of the A4 paper lying on the table with a rough schedule of the upcoming donations scribbled all over, her youngest daughter said to her, “Mom, your writing is so messy. There is this thing called Google Forms.” Janet thought to herself, “She’s right, this is how I should educate my kids. Everything needs to be clearly documented, including the finances, donations, sponsors and more.” As a result, Sandy became the one in charge of the task. She even came up to Janet with determination and told her mother that she is not just an assistant, but more like her partner who is able to step up and handle things too. In the end, overwhelmed by the busy schedule, Janet decided to let her kids be the contact person. Her older daughter Olivia is in charge of the restaurants while Sandy works with the hospitals. The only things she told her kids are to always be polite and never hesitate to ask questions.
Chasing the Lights
Anxiety, complaints, or questionings, none of these are helpful when it comes to fighting the pandemic. “Do not let our grievances take over our sensibility and positivity.” Perhaps what we can do is gather our strengths and join hands to bring real change. Speaking of herself, Janet said she is not someone who makes plans, but as long as she has the ability and opportunity, she still hopes to contribute to society in some way. Speaking from her own experience, Janet emphasizes the importance of not being afraid of the pandemic. Treat it with caution, but there is no need to be overly anxious. Moreover, she points out that it is also necessary to take good care of ourselves each day. Whether it’s cooking a good meal for yourself or tidying up the place, it helps if we try to establish a sense of ritual during lockdown. Even if you are vaccinated, still pay attention to the friends and family around you who might need help. Once we establish a goal in life, everything will become more meaningful. During one of her Instagram live sessions, Janet once said her grand wish after the pandemic is to sing on the stage of Taipei Arena. She teasingly said, “I’m a horrible singer, but now that everyone is my biggest fan, why not test it out?”
Reflecting on all the effort she had put in, Janet is an optimistic person. After going through the sudden loss of family members and friends, she realizes the insignificance and fragility of life in the face of death. Instead of spending time being engulfed in sadness, it is better to face it with positivity because life is all about moving forward. What we can do is to steady our grounds through all the ups and downs and to live with earnestness and sincerity. These two seemingly different existence together is a proof of Janet’s enthusiasm. Just like what she wrote in her Facebook profile: life is an adventure, so face all the challenges head on.