Have you had to switch gears recently and change the way you go about your daily life? Perhaps you’re distance learning from home or taking virtual dance classes. Whatever the change is, we’re all adapting and making changes to help slow down the spread of the novel coronavirus. Like you, businesses have had to make some pretty drastic changes too. More and more restaurants and grocery stores, for example, are offering delivery services. And some businesses are dedicating a portion of their workforce to making things like ventilators and respirators, products they don’t normally make. Check out how some companies are using their expertise and production power to help fight the novel coronavirus pandemic.
DysonA company known for reinventing the vacuum cleaner recently announced that founder James Dyson and his team of designers designed a new ventilator in ten days after he received a call from the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson asking for help. The greatest challenge, Dyson said, “was how to design and deliver a new, sophisticated medical product in volume and in an extremely short space of time.” Now that the design phase is complete, the next challenge is production. The company is hoping to produce 15,000 ventilators, 10,000 of which will be going toward the UK’s National Health Service and 5,000 of which Dyson himself will be donating to countries around the world fighting the pandemic. The hope is that all of the ventilators will be ready for delivery by the end of April. Why ventilators? Hospitals around the world are in dire need of ventilators because coronavirus patients often need these machines to help them breathe.
One of the biggest medical ventilator suppliers in the world, Medtronic has made the design of their proprietary ventilator public and is partnering up with other companies to help produce as many of these devices as possible. Furthermore, Medtronic has dedicated its workforce to producing at least 30,000 ventilators a month until there isn’t a need for them. Medtronic is currently partnering with electric carmaker Tesla to increase production. Other companies partnering up to make ventilators? Ford and General Electric.
Retail Clothing Stores
Retailers might be temporarily closing their doors to customers like us, but they’re turning their attention to manufacturing much-needed medical supplies such as face masks and other protective gear for healthcare professionals. Retailer Neiman Marcus has partnered up with JoAnn, a fabrics and crafts company, to manufacture face masks. Clothing company Gap is connecting California hospitals directly with their vendors who have the supplies and ability to make medical grade protective gear. Fanatics, the maker of apparel for major sports leagues, is allocating materials used for jerseys to make face masks. It looks like retailers are either stepping up on their own or being asked to help from their local governments to allocate a portion of their workforce and manufacturing capabilities to help make protective gear for frontline healthcare professionals.
Brewing and other alcoholic beverage companies around the world are making something else besides adult beverages; they’re making hand sanitizer. Why? Because hand sanitizer has been in more demand than adult beverages. With the government allowing distilleries to make hand sanitizer as long as they follow two recipes developed by the World Health Organization, distilleries have been staying in business by producing hand sanitizers as well as various beverages.
While big businesses are using their manufacturing and manpower to fight this global pandemic, people everywhere are doing their part as well. Students are producing protective face shields from 3D printers. People around the world are sewing face masks and shipping them to their local hospitals. Volunteers are distributing and delivering food to kids who would normally receive food at school. It’s all hands on deck, and everyone has been stepping up to help. Hey, you can’t spell humanity without the word “human,” and people around the world are showing what humanity is all about. Wouldn’t you agree?
Know of how other businesses, schools, or people are helping? Tell us by emailing email@example.com. We’d love to share their stories.