By Jenna Shelton
The coronavirus outbreak has infected over two million people world-wide and over 134,000 have died from complications of Covid-19 at the time this was written. Much of the United States, along with countries all over the world, are currently shut down and many communities are under a government mandate to stay home. The only businesses that are open are ones that are considered essential to survival – grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, and bigger organizations that produce and ship the items at these locations. The U.S. government has approved a stimulus package that is meant to sustain its citizens until things can get back to normal.
Public schools are doing their best to ensure students are not going hungry. Organizations around the world are stepping in to help fight this virus. Bayer has a newly established coronavirus testing laboratory in Berlin, boosting testing analysis by several thousand tests per day. Bayer also donated three million tablets of Chloroquine for treatment of Covid-19, as well as one million over-the-counter products and vitamins for Americans in need. They turned one of their global plants into an area to start producing protective supplies and disinfectants.
Teva Pharmaceutical donated more than six million doses of hydroxychloroquine sulfate, with another 10 million doses shipping out within a month. Global giants like Microsoft, General Motors, Ford and Tesla, to name a few, are halting their normal product productions and designing and producing ventilators to ensure those most critical have life-saving equipment during a world-wide shortage of machines. Medtronic, using CDC guidelines, developed a new remote monitoring solution to lesson exposure in medical facilities and hospitals.
St. Louis University is offering isolated housing on campus for healthcare professionals so that they do not expose their loved ones, while Lindenwood University has established a Lions Relief Fund to address student needs. Anheuser-Busch and Bacardi Bottling Company changed their product lines to produce and distribute desperately needed hand sanitizer. Ameren donated $500,000 to start a Covid-19 relief effort in Missouri and Illinois.
Aerofil Technology donated 600 cans of disinfectant to first responders. Goodwill is offering support for people facing unemployment with virtual development. Scientist Minal Dakhave Bhosale developed a two hour Patho Detect Covid-19 test. Bill Gates is funding the development of a potential Covid-19 vaccine for patients. The Columbia Sportswear Company CEO cut their salary to $10,000 to keep paying employees. Health insurance corporations Humana and Cigna are waiving coronavirus treatment costs. St. Louis native Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Square and Twitter, donated $1 billion to help fight the virus.
These are just a few of the larger, news worthy engagements, donations and commitments by large better-known corporations. There is so much world engagement at many other levels. Some examples are hand sewn masks; excess company personal protection equipment; bagged food distribution to front line health care workers and truckers; neighbors helping the elderly residents; store hours just for the elderly; etc. There is so much participation, pride and support to get to a cure with a truly heartfelt support system from the citizens across the world. Time almost seems as it has spun back to a time and place of the past as we fight to survive this pandemic and the uncertainty it drives in our futures.