What’s working to ensure hospitals have enough face masks and gloves?

Members of different communities have taken the time to donate masks and gloves to hospitals.

Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, prices have surged. Surgical masks have seen a sixfold increase, N95 respirators have trebled and gowns have doubled. Supplies can take months to deliver and market manipulation is widespread, with stocks frequently sold to the highest bidder. WHO (world health organization) has so far shipped nearly half a million sets of personal protective equipment to 47 countries, but supplies are rapidly depleting. There’s a group of volunteers called Mask Crusaders who’ve set up chapters in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, and elsewhere. The hashtag #GetMePPE continues to trend across social media. They’re asking contractors, nail salon owners, museums — anyone — to search their closets and storage bins for disposable nitrile gloves as well as masks. The Illinois Health and Hospital Association, the influential lobbying group of nearly every hospital and health system in the state, is urging different industries to help. They’re calling on construction workers, dentists, and veterinarians to donate face masks or N95 respirators to their local hospitals.   

Some work environments are taking initiative.  

“My job has been providing us with reusable face mask. They have been checking our temperatures before our shifts to make sure they’re normal and no one a fever,” Ezequiel said. 

Whereas individuals feel upset about the circumstances. 

“Honestly… I don’t like it at all, but it’s something we all have to adapt to now,” Marco said.  

But others are optimistic towards the situation.  

“To me, the virus is not that scary, as long as we stay at home and be safe when we leave the house, everything will be okay. I just hope everything goes back to normal soon,” Griselda said