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Millions of companies around the world have had to adapt their operations to some degree in the recent fight against coronavirus. Some have taken it to the next level and have completely repurposed their operations to help build the equipment needed to treat the influx of patients with COVID-19.
As the number of coronavirus cases exceeds 1.5 million and hospitals around the world have become overrun with thousands of victims, there is an urgent need for temporary facilities such as triage tents and personal protective equipment like face masks that are desperately needed to help keep healthcare workers safe.
Here are some ways that companies have adapted to help fight coronavirus:
Live events were affected by COVID-19 before almost every other industry. Events, concerts and sports were being cancelled as early as late February and many in the industry took the hit early on. In the aftermath some event production companies have altered production to help make temporary treatment facilities and personal protective gear like face shields.
With events like Coachella and South by Southwest cancelled, California-based event production company Choura events quickly adapted operations to build triage tents and overflow facilities. So far they’ve helped to build four medical villages in Los Angeles which will help treat the huge numbers of coronavirus patients expected over the next few months.
LA and Chicago based event production firm Upstaging has shifted operations from event fabrication to building clear face shields that can be supplied to hospitals and healthcare workers on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19.
The average hospital does not own enough ventilators to cope with an elevated number of COVID-19 patients in respiratory distress. With hundreds of thousands of coronavirus patients expected to overwhelm hospitals in the next month, automakers in the US have been instructed to alter operations and start building ventilators instead.
After shutting down car production in their factories, OEMs like General Motors, Ford and Tesla have adjusted operations to enable the production of tens of thousands of ventilators. Automakers around the world have also joined the fight, with Fiat Chrysler, McLaren and Rolls-Royce all pivoting production in Europe, Toyota helping to source ventilators in Japan, and others around the world helping to build the ventilators that are desperately needed in hospitals in almost every country.
As widespread panic began to set in during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic and people flocked to stores to stock up on toilet paper and cleaning supplies, the rush culminated in a global shortage of alcohol-based hand sanitizer. With the sanitizer necessary to keep healthcare workers safe, hundreds of breweries and distilleries around the world have altered operations to produce and distribute hand sanitizer in bulk.
With most distilleries equipped with the equipment and ingredients needed to create a homemade hand sanitizer that meets the CDC’s recommendations, many have jumped at the chance to help meet the urgent demand, often free of charge.
With real medical equipment and clothing regularly used as props in popular medical dramas, TV production companies have been raiding their storage units and sending their surplus of protective gear to hospitals and healthcare workers.
Long-running hospital drama Grey’s Anatomy donated gowns and medical gloves from their costume department to hospitals in and around Los Angeles, and Grey’s firefighting spinoff, Station 19, donated hundreds of N95 face masks to local fire departments. In Canada, ABC’s the Good Doctor has donated protective gear to hospitals in Vancouver.
Manufacturers all around the world have stepped up, adapted production and joined the fight against coronavirus. With ventilators, gowns, medical masks and hand sanitizer all in short supply, many companies that can adapt their operations have been jumping at the chance to do so.
From fashion houses like Ralph Lauren and Canada Goose producing thousands of medical gowns and masks, to vacuum company Dyson building ventilators; from 3D printing houses printing oxygen valves for use in medical equipment, to cosmetic companies like L’Oréal producing hand sanitizer and hydroalcoholic gel, it’s inspiring to see how quickly brands around the world have stepped up to help in a multitude of innovate ways.
These companies have shown that by adapting quickly, they can all do their bit to help the world through these challenging times as we navigate a new and uncertain future.