Every day more and more people go without the essential equipment that will keep them safe in this vulnerable time. People leave home wearing bandanas, t-shirts, and cloth wraps over their mouth and nose in an effort to prevent the spread of disease. For most there is a mild risk, not only to themselves, but to the people around them. Sometimes though, the people in the most need for masks are medical workers. Emergency service members. Those people who will regularly work with the sick and vulnerable and therefore don’t have the luxury of taking the same chances that we do everyday. These groups, and the organizations that they work for, need quality PPE in high amounts and need it as soon as possible.
In the coming months, winter will have arrived, and with it, we will all be staying indoors even more often, no matter how much we may dislike it. The cold weather will mean an end to most outside dining experiences that we enjoy at local restaurants. If restaurants don’t want to close they will have to open at least some inside dining, or buy massive heating systems for their outside dining, which will run a bill with every use. People need to buy PPE or have it supplied to them by their companies in order to keep working. People need masks not only to dine and shop, but to wait tables, cook food, and run cash registers. Right now there is enough for companies and health organizations to both have an adequate share, but if the number of cases per day spikes again to their spring numbers and hospitals find themselves in need of more and more for their patients, it will be harder for others to find PPE.
Hospitals, medical centers, and other health care organizations are hard at work preventing the worst of the virus from affecting us all. These brave men and women work long hours taking care of the sick or vulnerable, and if the winter is anything like the spring, it will become tougher as the months continue. American companies are coming up with creative solutions and providing jobs manufacturing PPE, but until there is enough of a supply to meet the incoming demand, we all have to try to stretch out our usage of masks and hand sanitizer. This is not to advocate for reusing one use only masks like the N95 or surgical masks, but instead to try to find ways to use masks less. Instead of the whole family heading out for grocery shopping, try to send only one member. Instead of eating out at a restaurant, order takeout or delivery.
All of our effort will be drastically damaged though, by the lack of effective, quality equipment. That’s why inventive, innovative, and business-minded people have come together to help. Companies like DocPPE are now making face masks, face shields, hand sanitizer and N95 respiratory masks for people and organizations to use. You can help by donating to a medical center of your choice from their website or from other companies like them. With that supply, the patients and healthcare workers, like doctors and nurses, will be safer, provide better care, and be better able to help us in the long run.