Companies far and wide are doing what they can in support of the global citizen by retooling their factories and supply chains. Auto manufactures, distilleries, home product companies, and others are all stopping production of their standard business products and shifting their expertise towards making items like masks, sanitizer, and respirators.
Ford announced on March 24th that, “Ford Motor Company, joining forces with firms including 3M and GE Healthcare, is lending its manufacturing and engineering expertise to quickly expand production of urgently needed medical equipment and supplies for healthcare workers, first responders and patients fighting coronavirus…Ford team members are working with 3M to increase the manufacturing capacity of their powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) designs and working jointly to develop a new design leveraging parts from both companies to meet the surge demand for first responders and health care workers… To go as fast as possible, the Ford and 3M teams have been resourcefully locating off-the-shelf parts like fans from the Ford F-150’s cooled seats for airflow, 3M HEPA air filters to filter airborne contaminants such as droplets that carry virus particles and portable tool battery packs to power these respirators for up to eight hours.”
Sir James Dyson, the man who brought you those cool fans and vacuums has invented a new ventilator as well called the CoVent. According to an article in Forbes, “A spokesman for Dyson confirmed to Forbes that an initial order of 10,000 units from the U.K. government has been placed, and work will begin immediately at the historic Air Force base RAF Hullavington.”
Locally, distilleries across the country are shutting down alcohol production and turning their production into hand sanitizer for hospitals and residents. Companies like Wigle Whiskey, Maggie’s Farm Rum, Quantum Spirits and so many others have been working to create safe and effective hand sanitizer to be available for their local communities as fast as they can produce it. “We know how great the need is. We know how desperate you feel. We, alone, are not able to produce enough to satisfy the need. We will do the best we can to produce as much as we can,” Wigle said in a Facebook post.
In trying times, it seems that there are always people working towards improving the conditions for themselves and those around them. I would encourage all of you who read this to do the same. Although you may not operate a company that can create a frontline necessity, you can take the time to check on an elderly neighbor or family member, or if you are able to help someone who is confined to isolation. Please take the time to be kind to one another, practice social distancing and stay safe.