Help Educate Citizens About COVID-19, US Nurse Wins “Covid Hero” Award

When the coronavirus pandemic broke out in the United States, ICU nurse Lee Harper-Chen dedicated her time to helping her community in Arlington, Virginia, even after going through long and tiring work hours.

“I was afraid. And I thought, I will fight my fear with facts. I want to share good information. That way, I can not only conquer my fear, but also can help educate others,” said Lee Harper- Chen to FLY.

He then became an active member of a local Facebook group in the Arlington area, where he shared the latest news and developments regarding the coronavirus, as well as fighting disinformation.

A health worker is seen managing a car that goes into a COVID-19 test site in Arlington, Virginia, on December 1, 2020. (Photo: AFP/Olivier Douliery)

A health worker is seen managing a car that goes into a COVID-19 test site in Arlington, Virginia, on December 1, 2020. (Photo: AFP/Olivier Douliery)

His efforts caught the attention of local residents, who nominated him for the Arlington County’s Community COVID-19 Hero Award, an award ceremony for COVID-19 heroes in the Arlington area.

Through a Zoom interview with FLY, communications spokeswoman for Arlington County Public Safety, Heather Geldart said: “The community in Arlington has made a tremendous effort to stick together, unite and look out for one another.

“Of the 122 nominations that were submitted, there were at least 3 or 4 people who received dozens of nominations, including Lee Harper-Chen,” he added,

Lee Harper-Chen, who has been treating patients for months at work and his own family at home, said he had been exposed to the coronavirus at work, not from patients, but from fellow nurses.

“It was a terrible time. I had to isolate myself from my two young children for 22 days. After getting better, I often sat outside watching the children play,” said Lee Harper-Chen.

A health worker waits for a patient who arrives for a COVID-19 test at a test site in Arlington, Virginia, May 12, 2020. (Photo: AFP)

A health worker waits for a patient who arrives for a COVID-19 test at a test site in Arlington, Virginia, May 12, 2020. (Photo: AFP)

Sam, Lee Harper-Chen’s son still remembers when his mother was seriously ill and just stayed in her room all the time.

“I never even saw mom when she was sick,” said Sam.

Lee’s family was worried when he returned to work. Even after almost a year recovering from COVID-19.

Like many other heroes battling the COVID-19 pandemic, Lee has a stethoscope that looks like a wand and a nurse’s uniform as his robe.

Arlington residents say Lee’s main weapon is his love and dedication to his family, his community and to each of his patients. [di/jm]

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