When the current pandemic began, it became evident that the world was not ready. It was glaring that the world isn’t prepared for this kind of world-scale event. Many nations were caught off guard which made them suffer some setbacks before they could find their bearing.
The destructive effects of the virus have made the government and agencies to come up with regulations that will help to curtail the spread of the virus. As part of the regulations, the public is advised to put on their masks whenever they are out in the public and are going to places where the observation of physical or social distancing might be impossible.
This has made different people and countries to ensure the availability of face masks for use among their citizens. Early on in the crisis, countries depend on China for their face masks supply which is limited and insufficient to meet the high number of face masks being demanded. This made these countries look inward to motivate their domestic companies to boost up their production capacities to meet up with the demand from their citizens.
Nonetheless, it wasn’t too long before each country discovered that there is so much to do if they will be able to meet up with the daily demand of their citizens, especially health workers. It is good to note that among the types of face masks produced to protect against the virus, N95 masks are one of the most sought. This is because the mask can protect against at least 95 percent of small particles of bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants.
Due to this high quality of the mask, the majority of people tend to go for it which makes the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention advise that these masks should be reserved for medical professionals, emergency first responders, and other frontline workers.
Even at this, the available N95 masks are not sufficient for use by the health workers. This has made medical authorities to adapt N95 masks that were originally designed to be used in Industrial settings for healthcare environments and hospital settings. This is because healthcare personnel who interact closely with coronavirus victims need an adequate and constant supply of N95 masks.
For healthcare workers, the N95 mask is a worthy line of defense against the deadly virus. It is one of the effective ways these professionals protect themselves as they attend to their patients daily. But these masks are clearly in short supply which calls for assistance and donations to help with the supply deficit.
Why N95 masks are in short supply
One of the reasons why these masks are in short supply globally and in the United States is because up till now there is still a dependence on external countries. The truth is depending on imports from other countries isn’t safe or wise. These countries also need these masks to meet their internal supply and may decide to stop exportation whenever they choose to because any sane country will choose itself over another at every opportunity.
Similarly, because of the progression in the coronavirus pandemic, some countries are shutting their borders to prevent the further spread of the virus. Most countries are doing all they can to protect their citizens and preserve their limited resources. This further impedes the proper exportation processes and consequentially impacts the importation of the highly sought N95 masks.
Another reason is that major mask producing companies in the United States have branches outside the country that are producing millions of N95 face masks but since these branches are located outside the country, their supplies are also considered as an import and are subjected to the factors that affect other importations as well.
There is also the problem of reliance on the global supply chain where these facemasks are allocated based on some factors including the documented number of cases and nominal face value, etc. This dependence on the general pool is affecting the domestic focus on internal production.
Similarly, there is a mentality where the country assumes that it possesses the capacity to produce whenever it is needed which affects the country’s mentality towards saving for future purpose. Again, the machines used in the production of these N95 masks are now very expensive as well as the material used.
This calls for assistance and donations from different corners, but you need to make sure you giving out your donation to the right set of people, the set of individuals that are most in need.
Who then should you donate to?
The N95 masks are in high demand globally and calls are being made for donations to be made to fill in the space left by importation and domestic production. There are groups of people that are in dire need of these masks and whom donations will help in so many ways.
In order of priority, the healthcare workers, emergency first-line responders such as doctors, nurses, and other paramedics are at the forefront of the battle. These people need a constant supply of N95 masks to protect themselves from the deadly virus. It is only when their lives are secured that healthcare can be delivered. To protect the public, you need to protect those who are caring for the lives of the public.
Some of these healthcare professionals work in hospitals, special medical centers, intensive care units, community clinics, and are trying their best to provide the necessary health care. You can give your donations to their regulating association such as the American Health Organisations, Community Health Centers, and the Association of Primary Health practitioners.
Also among this group of workers who need your donations are psychologists, pathologists, laboratory scientists, occupational therapists, and other essential healthcare workers with essential medical services. There are also other workers whose jobs are essential to the efficiency of the service of health workers. These include pharmacists, researchers, Home caregivers, etc.
These workers must be provided with the necessary personal protective equipment to maintain the sanctity of the protective chain. Also, some workers are in charge of emergency services such as workers who work at the police departments, fire stations, county sheriff’s offices, and public works departments.
After health care and related workers are security agents both state and federal as well as the privately-owned security institutions. It is good to donate to these workers to be able to protect themselves as they go on to protect the lives of others.
Also, in the group of essential workers who need your donations are assistants and technicians who are helping these professionals in the performance of their duty. It is good to note that protecting each of these workers goes a long way in helping these professionals.
It is important to note that the government and different agencies are trying their best to make sure that the N95 masks go around. Nonetheless, business organizations, wealthy companies, and philanthropists should also offer their support. There is so much to be done and every hand must be on deck to make sure that this coronavirus menace comes to a halt globally.For those who are unsure how they can go about their donations and where they can try to contact the American Hospital Association (AHA) to learn more about how they can be of help. Try and make your donations today.