And it’s a really hard time. If you are following COVID-19-related news, you have probably noticed almost daily stories of shortages of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Physicians and nurses write urgent appeals. Hospitals, nursing homes, hospices, clinics and first responder organizations are all struggling to have the protection they need in order to protect the rest of us.
These shortages give us another opportunity to help. While we wait for companies to re-tool their production lines, we can get the needed materials out of our bathrooms, wood shops and businesses, and into the hands of the people who need it most.
Do you have leftover protective gear from a furniture refinishing project? Do you have a stash of gloves for at-home hair coloring? Do you, or your friend or family member, operate a nail salon, construction site or food service operation? If so, you may be in a position to provide life-saving assistance.
Please check your homes and businesses for any surgical or dust/respirator masks, nitrile or clear vinyl gloves, and protective goggles. Some organizations can use other materials as well; see links below.
As in any emergency, it is important to make sure that anything we send can actually be used by the recipients. Please check the online lists for instructions and guidance. The website findthemasks.com is particularly helpful, as it allows medical facilities in every state to post exactly what they need and how to get it to them. In the past week I have shipped supplies to the Boston Medical Center, the Cambridge Health Alliance and the Codman Square Health Center, confident that they are meeting specific needs at those locations.
Some church groups are looking at ways to create PPE, particularly masks. Before you initiate such a project, be sure what you create will be usable. Connect with your local health care providers and emergency responders to find out whether they are interested, and, if so, their requirements as to the type of mask and how it can be safely created and delivered.
One of my bubbles-in-the-bathtub toddlers is now a hospital nurse. She shares stories of incredible solidarity, discipline, determination and compassion among her colleagues. There are hundreds of thousands like them. Let’s provide what help we can.
Other useful links:
Dawn is the Executive Minister for Policy and Finance for the Southern New England Conference. She is primarily responsible for internal operational matters (such as accounting, office systems, retreat centers, personnel policies). She staffs the ...