The COVID-19 pandemic has been attacking every country in the world since February, and the United States is no different. Health care providers have reported shortages of protective equipment, like N95 masks, and cases are increasing each day. That’s why Lowes has been supportive and doing their part since day one.
The SARS-Cov-2 is a new type of coronavirus that started to infect people back in December of 2019. Since then, the infection has spread from Wuhan, China to the rest of the world, now being considered a pandemic. The disease this virus causes is called COVID-19: coronavirus disease 2019.
The virus causes respiratory symptoms primarily, and the illness is characterized by sore throat, dry cough, muscle pain, and the loss of smell and taste. For the majority of the cases, the disease is asymptomatic or very mild. But, there’s a considerable portion of infected people who develop severe lung injury, multi-organ failure, and thrombosis.
The severity of the disease is highly linked to age and the presence of any comorbidities, among which the most considerable are cardiovascular disease, Diabetes Mellitus, obesity, any other respiratory illnesses, kidney, or liver failure, and people who are immunocompromised.
Even though scientists and researchers have been studying and learning a lot about this new virus, there’s still so much that we don’t know. Health care workers have been risking their lives treating these patients and fighting until the very last moment, but cases are still increasing at a very fast rate. That’s why it’s in the interest of all of us to do what we can to give more time to scientists and health care providers.
How the company Lowes has been combating the Coronavirus
Since the start of the pandemic in the US, Lowes has been very reasonable with their employees. The company provided two extra weeks of vacation, closed all stores on Easter Sunday, and gave out bonuses to all active hourly associates in the stores, distribution centers, and store support centers
These bonuses meant that full-time hourly associates received $300 and part-time received $150. They also temporarily increased wages by $2 an hour during April, in all Lowes stores in the USA and Canada.
In addition to the two extra vacation weeks, the company also offered 14 days of emergency paid leave in case they or their families are feeling sick, or due to other types of emergencies, such as closed schools or daycares. This paid emergency leave can be extended to four weeks for those associates that are at a higher risk of getting complications from the virus infection.
The company also have a Lowe's Employee Relief Fund to support associates who might need economic help for emergencies and donated $3 million to it for associates who might be going through economic difficulties due to the pandemic. They also have pantries with food inside so that employees can take home or have access to food while in the store.
Lowe’s pledged $25 million to support not only its employees and customers, but also the communities that are being affected by the virus. $10 million from that budget was donated to healthcare providers on the frontline of the pandemic. Working with medical supply distributors, they have been delivering essential equipment, like N95 masks and other protective gear to hospitals across the country.
The remaining funds went to support local small businesses ($3 million), to the COVID-19 Response Fund and non-profit organizations in Charlotte ($1.5 million), and the American Red Cross ($500,000). According to Lowe's CEO, Marvin Ellison, Lowe's was committed to continue to do their part to serve everyone during the pandemic, and to work together with the communities to overcome this emergency.
The N95 respirator is the best piece of protective equipment there is right now to prevent coronavirus infection. This type of non-reusable face mask has an antiviral filter material that traps at least 95% of all airborne particles, including bioaerosols, like the virus that causes the COVID-19 or the flu, smoke, and dust. These masks need to meet the standards set by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
Lowes has been doing their part in providing the personal protective equipment necessary for healthcare providers who are at the frontline of the pandemic. They have face shields, 3M N95 masks (also known as N95 respirators) in the models 3M 8511 and 3M 8210, as well as KN95 masks and other types of virus protection and healthcare equipment for medical or surgical use for sale.
They’ve also been taking measures to avoid infection while maintaining their stores open. They’ve taken social distancing measures, like opening an app monitor to see how many people are inside the store at all times. They also installed Plexiglass shields for cashiers, and implemented curbside pickups. In addition to all this, all customers and employees must use face masks, and they provide face masks for all customers who enter the establishment.
As always, we remind our readers to stay socially distanced. The use of disposable face masks is very easy. You can find the best masks for kids (which have a smaller size) online, which you can buy in bulk from the safety of your home. Use these masks when you go out, to ensure you’re keeping your community safe.