GoFundMe: Help us get critical gear for Doctors & Nurses

Saturday, August 22, 2020

There is no way for me to write a post about COVID without being extremely angry. But I'm going to take a step back and take us back to March.

Before I write a post about COVID and how that's impacted our daily lives, I'm going to use this post to document what I posted in a GoFundMe fundraiser that I started five months ago. The note below is a powerful reminder of what was going on during the weeks of March 22, 2020. 

J and I are so incredibly grateful to those who contributed to the fundraiser and helped us through this hectic time. Together, we were able to raise $22,361 (minus fundraising fees, which is a story for a different time) that went to buying medical grade N95s for Doctors & Nurses in the Bay Area and other parts of the US. 

During this time, we experienced support from our family and friends unlike ever before. When shit gets real, it's extremely easy to separate the wheat from the chaff. I will never forget who was there for us day after day during the most challenging time that J and I have ever been through together. We are so grateful for you. Thank you. 

---
 
Here's what I posted on March 20, 2020:


🦠 TL;DR 
It is almost certain that hospitals will soon be overwhelmed by Coronavirus patients, and doctors and nurses on the front line are at great risk of infection. A sick doctor or nurse takes away one more valuable professional that can’t be spared and potentially a hospital bed that will be needed for a friend or family member of yours that could fall seriously ill. There is already a major shortage of protective equipment for medical professionals. Doctors and nurses are taking it upon themselves to raise money and work directly with suppliers to procure critical protective equipment because the government has been slow to take action. Help us help them.  ‍

πŸ™‹πŸ»‍♀️ WHO AM I? 
Hi! I’m Shelly and my husband is a doctor in the Bay Area. He works at a hospital and he and his brave colleagues will be exposed to COVID-19 patients. I’ve been working day and night learning about how to keep him and his group healthy and safe during this crisis and buying personal protective equipment (PPE) where I can so he is protected. I’ve come to realize this is a bigger issue than just his hospital. 

😷 PROBLEM 
Our medical professionals are NOT equipped to handle the Coronavirus pandemic, especially in highly impacted areas like the San Francisco Bay Area. They have already run out of hand sanitizer at Kaiser SF and are reusing surgical masks by storing them in lunch bags. 

This is true across many hospitals in the US. Nurses & doctors are now resorting to homemade DIY masks. That’s horrifying and unacceptable. As seen in China and Italy, doctors and nurses have been overwhelmed by the surge of Coronavirus patients and are at high risk for life threatening infections without proper equipment. 

The bottom line: ALL MEDICAL STAFF in the hospital needs to have a N95 mask at minimum to protect themselves while saving lives. 

In my outreach to friends and family, I understand that other doctors in the Bay Area are doing the same as I am -- searching for construction grade N95s where we can and buying the remaining supplies from any websites that still have stock left. This is not scalable.

 

The other day, a desperate anesthesiologist put a bag over his head and stuck oxygen tubes up his nose, sealed the bag with tape because he had no proper equipment. 

For every health care provider that gets sick, we will lose one bed meant for a patient. We also compromise their ability to treat the people you care about and love. 


⚰️πŸ• WHY WE NEED TO ACT NOW
Unfortunately our government and hospital policies are slowing down the ability to quickly buy and distribute this equipment NOW to fight this pandemic. We don’t have time to waste on politics -- there is PPE out there available for purchase, it’s just not getting into the hands of the nurses and doctors who need it the most fast enough.

This is America. We should not be asking people to make scarves for masks, we should not be loosening our sanitization protocol because we don’t have what’s needed! Hospitals are already burning through the supply they do have (N95 masks, medical goggles, face shields, protective suits, and gloves).

πŸ’ΈπŸ’΅πŸ’° THE SOLUTION IS SIMPLE
At this point, there are no more supplies left that the general public will have access to. In order to get more access to N95s and other supplies, we need to raise money to buy the PPE direct from smaller suppliers who will only sell to those buying large orders (Think: 2000 masks, too expensive for me to buy personally, but too few for any major hospital to add to their supply chain).

PPE is very important to the health of those on the frontline. In Wuhan, 63% of healthcare workers were infected due to lack of proper protective gear. This number went to 0% once they had the proper gear in place.

πŸ’²DONATE
Let’s take this into our own hands and get our health care workers who are on the front lines supplies they need NOW. Help our front line get this crisis under control so we can get out of this situation sooner rather than later. 

πŸ‘©πŸ½‍⚕️πŸ‘¨πŸ»‍⚕️πŸ‘©πŸ½‍πŸ‘©πŸΌ‍⚕WHERE THIS MONEY GOES PPE
Direct to Doctors and Nurses in the Bay Area: As of today, Mar 22, there are 645 cases and we’re already at a supply shortage. In the coming week, this number is predicted to grow exponentially.

While I’m unable to predict which specific hospitals will need these supplies the most when I receive the shipments, I will prioritize distributing to the hospitals that are in the highest need. I’ll be leveraging available resources such as KQED’s vetted list of local hospitals that are experiencing shortages. I’m in touch with doctors who will vet the authenticity of our purchased products, as well as a contact at National Nurses United (California’s Nurses Association). I will keep those who donate updated on the progress and where the supplies go. 

πŸ‘¨‍❤️‍πŸ‘¨ HELP PEOPLE YOU KNOW
If you donate and want to make sure we get supplies to hospitals and health care providers you know, please give me your info in this form here and I’ll work with you to ensure that they have what they need. I am also aware that there are vendors in “grey markets” that are price gouging. 

I promise I will use this money responsibly and source from manufacturers who are not participating in this practice. But the only way for them to sell to us is if we can do a bulk order to help them also stay afloat.. 

 Cost of PPE 
➜ N95 Masks- $2-4 
➜ Medical Goggles - $2 
➜ Face Shields - $2 
➜ Protective Suits - $3-4 
➜ Box of 200 Gloves - $10 

The highest priority right now is for N95 masks for everyone. 

πŸ™πŸ™ Thank you for your attention and support in this. 
I am by no means an expert in this space. I started doing this as a concerned wife struggling to make sure my husband comes out of this healthy and alive. From what I’ve seen this week so far, I’m horrified with everything that I’ve learned. At this point, I am just doing the best that I can to fight the protection and safety of our Health Care Providers.

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been doing a lot of research in this space, learning best practices directly from doctors in Wuhan. I’m more than happy to continue sharing my knowledge with anyone who reaches out.

INTERESTING COVID-19 LINKS 
➜ This change.org petition really helps outline the fight for more PPE 
 ➜ A very comprehensive handbook on COVID-19 best practices coming from Wuhan 
➜ Why aren't hospitals buying these supplies themselves? Because of BS like this 
Burn rate of supplies in Oregon

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