After a year of travel restrictions, empty middle seats, and deserted terminals, air travel is back. Airport officials at Sea-Tac International Airport (SEA) are reporting the busiest weekends since the pandemic began as millions of Americans follow through on long-delayed vacations and trips.
The typical air traveler may be concerned about long security lines or crowded flights. But there is another more sinister danger that airport employees and travelers alike must be alerted to — human trafficking.
A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!
COVID-19 Vaccination Locations/Info & Pop-Ups
Appointments No Longer Required at Lumen Field, Rainier Beach, and West Seattle Vaccination Sites — Those who live or work in King County can now walk up or drive to three City of Seattle COVID-19 vaccination sites without an appointment. People who have not yet received a dose can now receive their first or second dose at three locations: Lumen Field, Rainier Beach, and West Seattle. At the time of vaccination, if required, patients will be signed up for an appointment for their second dose.
According to the Mayor’s Office the locations and times of the centers are:
Lumen Field Event Center: 330 S Royal Brougham Way, Seattle, WA 98134; Wednesdays and Saturdays, 11:15 a.m. – 5:45 p.m.
Rainier Beach Vaccination Hub: 8702 Seward Park Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118; Monday–Saturday, 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
West Seattle Vaccination Hub: 2801 SW Thistle St., Seattle, WA 98126; Monday–Saturday, 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. On Wednesday, May 5, this hub will be open until 7:30 p.m.
Twelve years ago, I was under control of my trafficker and had no hope for my future. It began while I was living in Thailand with my son; I had a dream to come to the United States, get a good job, and eventually bring my son with me. Traffickers get you to believe they care for you. They are nice to you and make you believe they are providing for you. It seems very sincere.
I found people who said they would help me and care for me like a family, but I never knew what these people really had in mind. I never once thought I would be trafficked; I didn’t even know what trafficking was. I was promised a way into the United States and a job when I arrived. They were so nice to me, and I was excited. However, after arriving in the U.S., they told me I owed a lot of money to their organization, and in order to pay the money back, I would have to work in the sex industry within a massage parlor. The job never seemed to get smaller. The hours only seemed to get longer. I thought this would never end. When would I see my son again?
On Thursday, the Port of Seattle hosted a virtual media briefing to update the community about their efforts in support of a regional public awareness campaign around human trafficking prevention. The event was timely as Human Trafficking Prevention Month is in January, and the campaign has led to higher call volumes to the National Trafficking Hotline from Washington State.