Amazing people step up to do the unexpected!
I am not certain why I do not remember much about the 2009 H1N1 season. However, I believe we will be talking about the COVID-19 Pandemic for years to come. How will life be different in the months to come? How will businesses change? How will travel change? Will our kids be asked to write papers about the worldwide event? Will they tell jokes about toilet paper?
As a physician, I have studied about diseases, treatments, pathology, physiology, and innumerable infections/pandemics. We have learned algorithms and we have become accustomed to having needed supplies at all times. Many of you may be aware of the toilet paper shortage, the meat shortage, and the need to maintain social distancing. Yet, any one of those things would have been unfathomable 3-4 months ago. Yet, many may be unaware of the supply chain issues faced by the healthcare industry in the times of COVID-19. Our first responders, doctors, nurses, and hospital workers are facing a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) due to the rapid spread of the SARS-COV-2 virus. Many organizations and hospitals are frantically searching for options. Unfortunately, we are met with bloated prices, delayed shipments, and promises of potential future deliveries.
While many groups wait for needed supplies, the amazing people of Nomad, a wallet, cellphone case/charger/accessory manufacturer, have stepped up to do their part in helping those on the frontlines. Tired of waiting at home, they awoke the might of their e-commerce network and returned to doing what they know to do. Rising to the occasion, they converted their iPhone case factory into a dedicated clean room for the production of surgical style masks. Manufactured in Taiwan, the FDA pending surgical masks, were designed to mirror those masks already in use today. These procedure masks provide the user with a degree of fluid resistance/protection from larger droplets, splashes, or sprays of chemicals/fluids, while simultaneously protecting the patient from the wearer. It is important to note that these are not N95 masks (chart detailing the differences), and should not be used when a higher level of protection is needed. N95 masks are designed to filter at least 95% of the large and small airborne particles. Up until this current COVID-19 crisis, N95 masks were single-use masks. Basically, we would apply and remove the masks after each visit or after aerosolizing procedures. As the demand increased, the supply simply could not match the need. One solution to protecting the more protective N95 mask is to cover it with a surgical mask, like the ones manufactured and shipped by Nomad. With conventional supply sources exhausted, Nomad has worked with its manufacturing partners to create an accessory supply chain.
I cannot explain how truly impressed and thankful I am with the efforts of Nomad. In business for over a decade, Nomad has built a strong network/supply chain to handle their weekly shipments. Utilizing this system, they aim to quickly move medical supplies from their Asian and American warehouses to the frontlines. They do not have an IOU, they do not have promises for future deliveries, nor do they have a product that was hoarded and marked up to be sold later. Instead, and quite noteworthy, they have switched from a focus on their world-class product manufacturing (wallets, bags, cases) to help to make a needed resource. More than that, they are ready to ship their disposable three-layer face-masks ASAP. As COVID-19 has slowed in China, they have a desire to help where they can.
Nomad’s major priority is to get masks to medical professionals, first responders, and essential businesses. If interested, fill out your first/last name, Email Address, Country, describe your exposure to COVID-19, provide a workplace and professional title, send in a photo ID/medical ID, professional ID or proof of employment, describe your current mask supply, and quantity desired. They will select individuals and try to send masks to those areas most at need. With current fabric prices elevated, masks are set at $0.375 cents. Anyone interested in helping can donate through their website.
I invite you to read a letter written by Noah Dentzel and Brian Hahn about their mission.
Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss this initiative.
I am thankful for the efforts of the NOMAD team and its contributors. In a time of perpetual bad news, it was certainly refreshing to hear about amazing people trying to help others.