GetUsPPE.org’s Weekly Briefing
This document features the GetUsPPE.org's weekly briefing in an edited and condensed format for brief19.com.
How will reopening states affect healthcare workers?
About half of states have begun to reopen, allowing shops, movie theaters, and even, in Georgia's case, salons and bowling alleys to welcome customers. The majority of Americans would rather extend stay-at-home orders, though, and healthcare providers agree with them. In one striking scene, so-called "anti-lockdown protestors" in Providence, Rhode Island, were met by a line of medical workers standing in scrubs on the statehouse steps, supporting the governor's decision to keep the state closed.
Reopening states puts healthcare workers in danger, and not only because it will likely cause a more severe second surge of infections. Surveys we conducted at GetUsPPE show that healthcare facilities are still facing extreme shortages of protective equipment and are struggling to afford the skyrocketing prices of PPE. Now, with businesses reopening, they will have even more competition.
And Some Good News
PPE will be in demand across industries. Georgia's new state safety guidelines, for example, require salons, spas, and barber shops to "make use of face shields, gloves, disposable or re-washable capes, smocks, neck strips, etc."
This is equipment that frontline medical workers desperately need. It is already so scarce that the CDC has created a burn rate calculator to help healthcare facilities determine when they will run out of their essential supply. Reopening businesses is likely to make the PPE shortage even more dire for healthcare workers.
There were a few bright spots on the horizon this week. We saw more proof that social distancing works, and, in a show of human selflessness, over 4,000 people in 52 countries signed a statement that they are willing to be infected with coronavirus in order to speed up the creation of a vaccine.
GetUsPPE continued to ramp up efforts to get PPE to providers in need. Working with tireless regional teams, we have distributed nearly 317,000 units of PPE in the Bay Area to date, along with 133,500 units in Michigan and thousands more across the country. Meanwhile, some who support our cause are getting creative in their efforts to help, including a writer exchanging poems for donations to GetUsPPE.
GetUsPPE is a movement founded by emergency physicians on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, it has become a leading national grassroots effort to equip front line healthcare workers with the protective equipment they need. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on opportunities to volunteer and ways to contribute.