Coronavirus Pandemic Good News Roundup Sheds Light Amidst Trying COVID-19 Times
Dr. Fauci, Dr. Birx and Surgeon General Dr. Adams of the Coronavirus Task Force have all been very honest and blunt with the American people since the start of the COVID-19 crisis. Their “tell it like it is” approach continued late last week when all three tried to prepare us for what’s projected to be a painful next few weeks.
Surgeon General Adams stated in an interview with Fox’s Chris Wallace, “This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment. Only, it’s not going to be localized, it’s going to be happening all over the country. And I want America to understand that.”
While we collectively brace for an extraordinarily difficult next few weeks, it’s always helpful to remember the goodness, innovation, and togetherness that always surges within us during times of national peril. Americans across the country are helping their neighbors by faithfully remaining apart; essential workers continue to risk their wellbeing to treat the sick and keep our cities, towns, and villages operating as close to normal as possible; and businesses and organizations everywhere are stepping up to do whatever they can to help in this time of great need.
Here’s is our Good News Roundup for the week:
A group of Baltimore tech entrepreneurs and companies founded DigiBmore to help Batlmore, Maryland public school students bridge the digital divide. When Baltimore City schools moved to a distance learning platform because of COVID-19, many students in the system lacked the digital tools, including laptops, tablets and even wireless access, to participate in online learning. DigiBmore’s mission is to collect unused or older devices for distribution to students in need.
DigiBmore was created by the Executive Director of the Baltimore Robotics Center, Ed Mullin; CEO of workforce development startup RowdyOrb.it, Jonathan Moore; McKeever “Mac” Conwell, TEDCO’s Deal Team Coordinator; Adam Bouhmad of Waves; and Andrew Coy of the Digital Harbor Foundation.
The founders are reaching out to their network contacts for older or unused equipment. The organization has already secured a number of pieces of equipment at the Baltimore Robotics Center collection point at 1001 W. Pratt Street in Baltimore. According to Mullin, the organization hopes to provide online tools to as many Baltimore families in need as they’re able.
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Novak Birch, Inc. out of Baltimore, Maryland, a strategic marketing and events agency, has been working non-stop to produce clear face masks for Maryland first responders and healthcare workers. The company was spurred to act after seeing widespread reports of nurses, doctors and emergency workers having to reuse Personal Protective Gear (PPE) due to lack of supply.
The clear mask can be cleaned according to CDC guidelines and, when needed, the mask snaps out and a new mask can be snapped in. These are high quality reusable face shields that are designed and produced on their CNC machine. This was an innovative solution that answered the need for a PPE that healthcare professionals and first responders could use again and again. Novak Birch has also been producing disposable masks that can be mass produced.
By Novak Birch designing and manufacturing these face shields, they were able to keep their doors open saving jobs while also providing the necessary safety equipment that is so desperately needed.
Two Sophomores from Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Maryland started helping their elderly neighbors by going on grocery runs for them during the coronavirus crisis. Matthew Casertano and Dhruv Pai decided to come up with a plan to help those in their neighborhood sheltering in place. The two teens have developed a meticulous process, including following social distancing protocols to flatten the curve, wearing protective gear like gloves, wiping down grocery bags and offering curbside pickup. Bags are often left at the doorstep and cash is exchanged the same way.
Tommy Luginbill, Visiting Specialty Faculty and Director of Techport at the University of Maryland, recently highlighted the work of its COVID-19 response team that is producing 200 clear masks for the staff at the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home in Charlotte Hall, Maryland. Led by Matt Hayes, the team of expert volunteers has partnered with Lowes, Home Depot and Techport to create these masks using donations from local citizens. The group plans on releasing the mask design for public use once it is validated by experts.
Eric Patel is doing his part to help fellow students deal with school disruption during the COVID-19 crisis. Patel is a mechanical engineering student at the James A. Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland. He is also the CEO and Founder of Edullo, an online tutoring platform for students, by students. Patel’s company seeks to supplement distance learning programs at various schools by providing free tutoring from students around the world. The Edullo learning platform provides virtual office hours, online tutoring and a resource for students to ask questions they have about AP tests, online curricula, and other subjects.
Sagamore Spirit Distillery in Baltimore, Maryland is using alcohol to make hand sanitizer for healthcare workers on the front lines of the battle against COVID-19. The distillery recently shipped 180 gallons of hand sanitizer to Johns Hopkins and they have committed to delivering 54,000L to the hospital. The sanitizer is 100% compliant with standards and four Johns Hopkins pharmacists helped the Sagamore team while they produced first-hand sanitizer batches. Fellow spirit creators — McClintock Distilling in Frederick, Maryland — is also producing hand sanitizer at their facility, which was the first organic-certified distiller in the state and remains the only organic facility of its kind in Maryland.
Loyola University Maryland located in Baltimore, Maryland didn’t let COVID-19 stop their career fair. The Loyal University career services team adapted quickly to create a 100% online career fair format to preserve the chance for their students to be seen by prospective employers. Jim Dickinson, Assistant Vice President for Career Services at Loyola University, reported via Linkedin that the entire event was administered via Zoom, with university and administrators hosting each virtual room that provided five minutes of one-on-one time for student-employer interaction.
At BioBuzz, we’ll keep bringing you whatever good news we can find. We’ll make it through this crisis, together.
Thanks and cheers to all working to make an impact.
Read more local Good News we’ve found in and round the region 👏
Have more good news to share? Reach out to adam(at)biobuzz(dot)io to be featured.
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