The U.S. is only several weeks into living through the COVID-19 pandemic and it’s no secret that healthcare workers are experiencing a vast undersupply of personal protective equipment (PPE). For a frame of reference, healthcare workers are expected to need 3.5 billion face masks over the year. But the national emergency stockpile only consists of 12 million N95 respirator masks and 30 million surgical face masks – roughly 1% of what is needed.
In some situations, PPE needs are so dire that doctors and nurses have resorted to wearing Halloween costumes and masks to cover their faces. One New York doctor has been reusing his ski goggles and ski jacket, and washing and spraying them with Lysol after his 12-hour shift.
How Goggles for Docs started
The shortage gave emergency physician Mike Halperin the idea to start using ski goggles during his shifts: in particular, for intubating patients, or placing a tube down their throats to enable them to breathe via a ventilator.
Just a couple days later, Goggles for Docs was born. Halperin and a group of volunteers – also led by Jon Schaefer, GM of Berkshire East and Catamount, Gregg Blanchard of Inntopia, and Kenta Takamori of the Silicon Valley Japan Platform – have already shipped out well over 5,000 goggles to clinics and hospitals across the U.S.
How you can help
And guess what: you can help. Here’s how:
Donate your goggles: Search their Google Doc for drop-off locations, or you can ship directly to a hospital. Wipe off your to-be-donated goggles and place in a sealed Ziploc bag. Note that tinted or clear lens goggles can be donated, as can safety glasses with wraparound protection.
Become a drop-off location: Refer to Goggles for Docs’ full guidelines on becoming a drop-off location, then sign up on their form. Be sure your location allows for proper social distancing (so that donors can be at least 6 feet apart from others). Also ensure your drop-off receptacle is weather-resistant, such as a plastic bin which can also be disinfected between uses.
Spread the word: Join their Facebook group to see updates, and share the information with everyone you know who can help.
If you’re looking for ways to support ski industry businesses during the time, here are six ideas.