This Week’s CoronaCast (February 10, 2021): Integrating Two of the Buddhist Paramitas in Getting Scheduled for a Vaccination

Reminder: You Can Always Check the Online Calendar

To avoid redundancy in the weekly Sangha emails, we may not always announce the upcoming weekend schedule (Finding Your Seat this Saturday and Teisho on Sunday, by the way). If there are any doubts about what’s coming your way, you can always refer to the Center’s online calendar.

Merit Opportunity for Local Sangha Members

If you’ve already completed the Sangha Renewal Survey, thank you! If you haven’t, we’ve got good news – there’s still time to submit it. This anonymous survey presents an opportunity to contribute to our efforts in revitalizing Sangha life at the Center. What does Sangha life look like to you? How can we make it better? As we look forward to reaching the other side of the pandemic, these are timely questions for us to ask, and your input will go a long way in shaping our direction.

The survey was emailed to active local Sangha members on January 27 and will remain open until Saturday, February 20. If you have any questions, contact Donna Kowal at

What Changes after You Get Your Coronavirus Vaccination?

(From Sangha member and physician Jonathan Sheldon, M.D.):

What changes? In the short run, nothing. We estimate the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines’ effectiveness at around 95% in those under 65 and around 85% in those over 65.

What we don’t know is:

  • How these numbers will hold up over time
  • How strong and how long-lasting any one person’s immunity will be
  • Whether an immunized person can pick up and transmit the virus while feeling perfectly fine.

So is the vaccine useful and should I get it? Yes, and yes!

Being immunized diminishes your risk of becoming infected. It also decreases the chances of that infection turning serious. You will have less chance of transmitting the virus to loved ones. And finally, it’s an investment in the health and economic well-being of our community and our country, as each vaccination moves us closer to “herd immunity.” That’s when enough of us will have immunity to the coronavirus to make it difficult for the virus to spread as rapidly as it’s doing now.

In summary: Please get vaccinated when it’s available to you. But continue to mask, distance, and hand-wash until our state and national numbers tell us we no longer need to do so.

Police Accountability Board Alliance

The Zen Center is a member of Rochester’s Police Accountability Board Alliance. The purpose of the Alliance is to ensure community input into the City of Rochester Police Accountability Board’s oversight activities. The Alliance nominates candidates for four of the nine Board seats. In addition, the Alliance ensures that community views are fully considered in all of the Board’s deliberations and provides input into all policy decisions made by the Board.

James Thompson and Notch Miyake are the Zen Center’s representatives to the Alliance. Part of their role is to communicate the views of the Sangha to the Police Accountability Board on issues the Board is considering. If any Sangha member wishes to make a statement to the Board about the recent Harris Street incident, in which a 9-year-old girl was pepper-sprayed by the Rochester police, or any other police matter, please send it to Notch at, and he will ensure it gets to the right people.

Mini-Pantry Movement in Rochester

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, little free libraries are being replaced by little free pantries. If you would like to create your own, here’s some information:

If you are in need, or would like to donate, here are 11 locations:

  • 261 Pennsylvania Avenue (Market View Heights)
  • 125 Caroline Street (South Wedge)
  • 20 Alexander Street (South Wedge)
  • Lansdale Street & Nelson Street (Swillburg)
  • The intersection of Meigs Street & Interstate 490 (Garden Food Pantry)
  • 184 Sherman Street (Lyell-Otis)
  • 2300 Nine Mile Point Road (Penfield)
  • 271 Flint Street (Flint Street Recreation Center)
  • 700 North Street (North Street Recreation Center)
  • 50 Science Parkway (Golisano Autism Center)
  • 41 Backus Street (Edgerton Recreation Center)

Also, Liberating All Black Lives, a local nonprofit, are accepting pantry items purchased on an Amazon wishlist.