With over 1.25 million confirmed cases and 69,000 deaths worldwide to date, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is unlike anything we’ve seen in our lifetimes. The spread of the disease is particularly stressful for healthcare providers who man our frontlines, working long, understaffed shifts as they risk their physical, mental and emotional health caring for others. Thanks to the outstanding efforts and sacrifices of these everyday heroes, more than 260,000 confirmed COVID-19 patients have recovered, but no one knows how much longer these unprecedented times will last. As the war wages on, healthcare workers’ dwindling supply of personal protective equipment to prevent exposure to the virus has been a topic of great concern—how can we continue to keep our doctors and nurses safe?
In response to the shortage, sport suppliers around the world have shifted the focus of their production factories away from athletic gear to produce much-needed masks, gowns and ventilators to supply hospitals with the means to protect our medical heroes. Bauer, a U.S.-based company that manufactures hockey gear, announced last week that it is shifting from making helmet visors to mass producing medical visors with face shields for those fighting the coronavirus pandemic. Their first 100,000 devices are ready for distribution and expected to first go to healthcare professionals in Canada, then the United States.
American sports merchandiser Fanatics, the top provider of MLB hats and jerseys, also announced last week that it will be using the material that the company has on hand to create masks and gowns out of its factory in Easton, Pennsylvania. Fanatics has completely halted production on anything other than the masks and gowns to focus on plans to make one million of each to be donated and distributed across Pennsylvania and, eventually, New York and New Jersey.
A collective of U.K.-based Formula 1 teams, engine manufacturers and their respective technology arms is evaluating support in producing respiratory ventilators in response to the U.K. Government’s call for assistance against the coronavirus pandemic. Specialized in expert design and technology, rapid prototyping and high-value manufacturing, they are working in collaboration with the U.K. Government and other organizations to evaluate and produce medical devices for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
Why We Like It:
Every day, healthcare professionals all over the world are collectively suiting up as soldiers on the frontlines in this war against the COVID-19 pandemic. In China, an estimated 3,000 healthcare workers have been infected by the coronavirus, and at least 22 have lost their lives.
In Northern Italy, 1 in 5 healthcare professionals has become infected, and over 50 of Italy’s doctors have been confirmed dead. Many fear that the United States is headed in the same direction as we lost our first physicians and nurses to COVID-19 two weeks ago.
As their direct contact with infected patients has exponentially increased over the past few weeks, it is our civil duty to do what we can to help healthcare professionals as much as possible. For most of us, that duty is to stay at home and practice social distancing to prevent further spread of the coronavirus. Sport suppliers like Bauer, Fanatics and Formula 1 are fine examples of how entities in the sport business community are doing their part in looking out for those who look out for us.
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