Companies around the world are implementing massive changes in the face of COVID-19 medical shortages. Assembly lines that once crafted cars now make medical masks and ventilators. Big names in fashion are trading sewing gorgeous gowns for sewing much-needed masks. Breweries and beauty brands are making hand sanitizers. Last but not least, major medical companies are increasing production. These changes illustrate the huge impact coronavirus has, not just on hospitals and individuals, but on the private sector as well.
Assembly Lines to Produce Ventilators
In the automobile industry, those famous assembly lines are being tasked with making a new product: ventilators. Tesla, Ford, Nissan, and General Motors are beginning to make big changes to their production lines. Each company has volunteered assets and supplies to make desperately needed ventilators and respirators in place of their cars. Ford and Fiat have already begun efforts to make face shields and masks.
From Fashion to Face Masks
Meanwhile, fashion industry brands are sewing medical masks and other protective gear. Fashion designers and brands, including the likes of Christian Siriano and Prada, are transforming their production facilities to produce masks. However, face masks require specific materials that meet WHO guidelines to be of any use, and many companies must wait to acquire these supplies.
An Array of Antiseptics
In addition, several others industries are working to make more hand sanitizers. BrewDog, a brewery chain from Scotland, is producing its own hand sanitizer. The sanitizer is being delivered to the NHS free of charge.
We'll be delivering free bottles of Hand Sanitiser to
🏴@aberlourcct – A charity working across Scotland to support vulnerable families
🧒@archiegrampian – Parent accommodation at Aberdeen Children’s Hospital
Be kind. Stay safe. pic.twitter.com/vWJcA58xbe
— BrewDog (@BrewDog) March 25, 2020
LMVH, a conglomerate whose subsidiaries include brands from Christian Dior to Fenty to Princess Yachts, is producing sanitizers as well. Resources that typically go towards making makeup, skincare, and perfume are now creating hand sanitizers. Like BrewDog, LMVH is also supplying their product for free.
COVID-19 Medical Shortages Ramp Up Production
The medical shortages caused by COVID-19 have made several companies increase production of pre-existing products. 3M is prioritizing its production of N95 respirators and has already sent half a million to U.S. states hit hardest by the virus. Similarly, French companies Tereos and Cristal Union are increasing their productions of ethyl alcohol for hand sanitizers.
When companies cannot make their own supplies, many simply purchase and donate what they received. Parent company of Yves Saint Laurent, Kering, bought 3 million masks to donate to the French government from Chinese suppliers. LMVH also purchased 10 million masks from China. Furthermore, Elon Musk obtained 1,255 ventilators from China.
We expect to have over ~1200 to distribute this week. Getting them delivered, installed & operating is the harder part.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 22, 2020
The Tesla and SpaceX CEO offered via Twitter, “If you want a free ventilator installed, please let us know!”
Yup, China had an oversupply, so we bought 1255 FDA-approved ResMed, Philips & Medtronic ventilators on Friday night & airshipped them to LA. If you want a free ventilator installed, please let us know!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 24, 2020