More COVID-19 Innovators and Heroes

Intubation box. Photo credit: Dr. Hsien Yung Lai by way of Virginia Business.

From Taiwan with love. Dr. Scott Hickey, president of the Virginia College of Emergency Physicians, is contracting with two Powhatan County companies to produce boxes designed to protect emergency health care workers while they intubate patients with COVID-19. Designed by a doctor in Taiwan, the protective box is being replicated in the U.S. to shield doctors from droplets that can spread the disease. The builders are selling the boxes at cost for $270. They can be cleaned with bleach or alcohol.

Hickey explains the necessity of the boxes to Virginia Business. Physicians’ highest-risk exposure to patients — oral secretions, nasal secretions, eye secretions — is when they have to put them on a ventilator or intubate them. The box doesn’t provide total protection, but it does create an extra layer of defense. The box is not commercially available anywhere in the world. Hickey made a prototype and reached out to friends of his, who responded immediately. Now a major insurance carrier is interested in providing  the boxes for emergency rooms across Virginia.

Sheetz sandwiches for kidz. Sheetz Inc., a Pennsylvania-based operator of gas stations and convenience stores, will start providing fee lunches for children in need at 21 Virginia locations starting Thursday. The “Kidz Meal Bagz” program will include a turkey sandwich, chips and a drink, reports Virginia Business. Families can go to participating stores and ask an employee at the register for a meal. They’ll be offered one bag per child.

Newspaper subsidies for small business. Ogden Newspapers, the parent company of the Loudoun Times-Mirror, has established a $1 million fund to help local businesses get back to full strength by subsidizing local marketing through matching grants, reports the Times-Mirror. Businesses in the Loudoun market can apply for grants up to $15,000. The fund is open to all locally owned businesses impacted by the coronavirus. Grants can be used for print and online advertising in the Times-Mirror and


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5 responses to “More COVID-19 Innovators and Heroes”

  1. Steve Haner Avatar
    Steve Haner

    I like it. Cutting your ad rates in half, but calling it a “grant” and getting praised for your generosity. My wife noticed that this week’s Kroger ad contains no “grant subsidized” (a.k.a. sale) items, given store sales are through the roof.

  2. WayneS Avatar

    This is a repeat of a comment I made on another thread, but it is probably more apropos here :

    “Speaking of re-purposing manufacturing capabilities:

    The Mercedes Formula 1 team have developed a modified/upgraded CPAP machine (a Super-CPAP?). Apparently these devices are a simple and viable alternative to medical ventilators for many patients.

    Mercedes F1 says they can turn out about 1,000 of them per day from their relatively small bespoke manufacturing facility, and the other Formula 1 teams are on-board to make them as well, but imagine how many could be built each day if a couple of car companies with large-scale manufacturing capabilities started making them.”

  3. Wow, that’s 30,000/month. We need them!

  4. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
    Reed Fawell 3rd

    “Wow, that’s 30,000/month. We need them!”

    Yes, now along with hero nurses, real American heroes emerge as in years long past:

    “This is a time of war… Wartime mobilization is surely the domain of the federal government, right? Actually, that’s never really been true in America.

    Victory in the American Revolution wouldn’t have been possible without voluntary mobilizations, donated war materiel, and private financing from patriots like Robert Morris and Haym Salomon. In the War of 1812 some 500 American privateers captured or sank around 2,000 enemy hulls. The U.S. Navy had only seven frigates at the beginning of the war, and over the course of it captured or sank 300 enemy ships.

    Almost a century later, American private initiative again spurred a new development—air power. The War Department heavily funded Samuel Langley’s efforts to build a flying machine, but the astronomer and secretary of the Smithsonian Institution managed only to crash two prototypes into the Potomac River. Meanwhile a pair of bicycle enthusiasts, brothers without a high-school diploma between them, launched the world’s first airplane with less than 2% of Langley’s budget, none of it from taxpayers.

    During the 1920s the Guggenheim family … funded prize competitions and sponsored Robert Goddard, the father of modern rocketry, even as government officials, academics and journalists mocked Goddard’s theories.

    In late 1939, the federal bureaucracy was floundering at two tasks that would be critical to winning World War II—mastering radar and creating atomic weapons. A private donor, Alfred Loomis, jump-started both efforts … President Franklin D. Roosevelt said Loomis contributed more to Allied victory than any other civilian save Winston Churchill …” End Quote.

    It goes on and on. See Wars Aren’t Won by Government Alone by Karl Zinsmeister in Wall Street Journal at:

  5. DeptOfTyranny Avatar

    Lots of Open Source PPE has been happening. Here’s a prominet example that was picked up by Ford Motor Company, among others. Design, BOM, Suppliers, Logistics handed-out on a silver platter:

    More examples:

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