The War against COVID-19: Tales from the Trenches

Small business gap funding. Northern Virginia technology entrepreneur Pete Snyder and his wife have donated $100,000 in “seed money” to create the nonprofit Virginia 30 Day Fund to help businesses meet payroll until federal relief comes through. The fund, reports the Washington Post, will provide up to $3,000 to each approved small business. recipients do not have to repay the money. Snyder, who is considering a run as a Republican for governor, said the fund has no connection to his political plans. “This is a time for us to be helping each other,” he said. “There are other days for politics, but today is not one.”

Sequencing COVID-19’s DNA

. The state Division of Laboratory Services is one of three public health labs in the country to begin unraveling the genetic code of COVID-19, reports the Virginia Mercury. Said lab Director Denise Toney Monday: “We want to determine what are the similarities and what are the differences between what Virginia has and what they’re seeing in European countries, for example, versus southeast Asia versus Washington state.” Comparing viral sequences can help experts determine which mutations are responsible for outbreaks and which seem to respond to containment measures.

From shirts to masks. Ledbury, a Richmond manufacturer of dressy menswear, and Shockoe Atelier, a maker of denim jeans, have shifted their businesses to produce medical masks for VCU Health. Between the two of them, the small businesses cranked out about 1,030 masks Friday, reports Richmond BizSense. The masks, made of a polycotton blend used for scrubs, are tailored to VCU’s specifications. Said Ledbury co-owner Paul Trible: “If there’s a way to help, we have the manpower and the expertise to do it.”

Flights of mercy. Sixteen-year-old T.J. Kim doesn’t have a driver’s license, but he can fly, and he’s turned his flying lessons into missions of mercy, reports the Associated Press. Each week, he delivers protective gear to small hospitals around the state. In the most recent trip, he conveyed 3,000 gloves, 1,000 head covers, 500 shoe covers, 50 non-surgical masks, 20 pairs of protective eyewear and 10 concentrated bottles of hand sanitizer to Winchester to supply a hospital in nearby Woodstock. His father helps round up the supplies. Kim was especially touched by his reception in Luray. “They conveyed to me that they were really forgotten about. Everyone was wanting to send donations to big city hospitals. Every hospital is hurting for supplies, but it’s the rural hospitals that really feel forgotten.”

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12 responses to “The War against COVID-19: Tales from the Trenches”

  1. johnrandolphofroanoke Avatar

    The trench line at the Canterbury Nursing Home in Richmond has fallen! Looks like the Crater in Petersburg. Disaster! 32 dead and 80 plus positive cases. What is the Governor’s response? Please tell me our top leaders are not going to just stand around while this unfolds?

    1. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
      Dick Hall-Sizemore

      What would you have the Governor do? The RTD has reported frequently that the local health department (funded primarily by the state) has been testing patients and working with the facility’s management.)

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        yes… exactly… what are we expecting him to do?

        1. johnrandolphofroanoke Avatar

          Lets start with acknowledging the tragedy at this facility. I seem to remember that from our Governor did this very well in the Virginia Beach tragedy 10 months ago.

          1. LarrytheG Avatar

            Do you want him to acknowledge all such things upcoming in the outbreak?

            Just stand up and give a list of places that have been “affected”?

            For the critics, it won’t matter what he does or not – they’re gonna
            find something to use as an excuse to criticize.

            Right now, today, we have people criticizing from both sides – the criticize if he does something – like set a June date and they criticize because he was “slow”and did not act soon enough.

            If the criticism is going from across the board, independent of partisanship – then fair enough. If it’s coming from folks who oppose him politically, not so much.

            He has been anything but perfect in his performance, no question but some of this stuff seems pretty picayune and pretty partisan to me.

          2. johnrandolphofroanoke Avatar

            At least a number of Virginia Congressional leaders are pushing to send aid to Canterbury. 35 people are gone.

          3. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
            Reed Fawell 3rd

            “35 people are gone.”

            For some, this is all about politics. How to keep power for oneself.

            Or gist for playing their little games over the internet. Little games intended to destroy serious discussion of real problems.

        2. LarrytheG Avatar

          re: ” At least a number of Virginia Congressional leaders are pushing to send aid to Canterbury. 35 people are gone.”

          What kind of “aid” did they give to the one is Washington State?

          What kind of aid should be done for this facility?

          We’ve had problems with nursing homes all along. Some of them are not very well run and they have higher deaths and sickness than they should.

          But they are private sector also. Are we, should we, expect government to strictly regulate them and to send them aid when they need it? For all nursing homes that have problems?

          Just for the record, I have ALWAYS been in favor of strict regulation of nursing homes no matter the mantra about “small govt” and “free market”. And the ironic thing is that many nursing homes get their money from the govt – Medicaid – for people who were not responsible enough in their own financial affairs to provide for their care when they would need it. Is that personal freedom?

  2. LarrytheG Avatar

    Do we not know what is happening and we want to?

    I’m actually surprised that we do not see a whole lot more nursing homes
    involved because the folks that staff them go home at shift end and interact with others in their daily life and opportunity to get infected and take it back to the nursing home.

    I don’t see why this is a failure of govt though… it’s one of the bad things that can happen in a pandemic no matter how good govt is…

    I like what I see so far of Synder though he is a GOP functionary and was a commentator on FOX news… If that’s his real money and he is not going to get reimbursed from the bailouts… good on him – though it’s limited and I’d like to know more about how he decides who receives it.

    The thing about small businesses is that most are already closed and have lost their employees… and there is little chance of them opening back up
    so are we basically trying to keep them alive while in hibernation even though their employees are already gone and getting unemployment?

    ‘Not being critical here, just asking questions.

  3. CrazyJD Avatar

    I’m sorry Larry, but the “just asking questions” is just a little bit disingenuous because of the premises you use in your “question”: “most are already closed and have lost their employees and there is little chance of them opening back up”. You don’t say how you reach that conclusion, and I don’t see how you can at this point.

    Further, you are ascribing statements to people, in this case John Randolph, that he simply didn’t make. He didn’t say it was a “failure of government”. He said he would like a response from the governor.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      crazy – it’s all over the news that small business has shut down. It’s the focus of the bailout – it’s not exactly a “point of view”.

      I did not ascribe that statement to John R. go back and read it.. It was a separate statement based on many, many comments here about the “failure of government”.

      why the nagging and it’s not even justified… geeze

  4. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
    Dick Hall-Sizemore

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