COVID-19: Let's not let the hopeful news get lost, part two

Tech industry people, funny people, sports stars, regular ole people, and medical professionals are all doing what they have to do to defeat this deadly virus, and keep our hope alive.
Written by Paul Greenberg, Contributor

After the response last week to what is now my first of several hopeful news posts, I decided for the immediate future that I would simply provide all of us with the hopeful news for a little while.

There is an astonishing sea change beginning I think in how we all interact. Now, I'm not pretending to be an expert in social psychology. But it is clear that despite all the glitches there is an unprecedented level of global cooperation going on. Usually, wars have two human sides. In this one, there is all humanity versus a virus. So, I'll say it again: Unprecedented

I'm going to institute some regular features and some random things every week. The regular features will be the latest hopeful news about medical supplies, vaccines, treatments, the tech industry response, tools and useful info, the comedy and a Corona Cover of the Week. What will vary is how I organize the good that people do. 

This week, for example, it's the cheering of the amazing healthcare workers who are putting their lives on the line. Also, the good that sports teams and players are doing. That will vary week to week. 

COVID-19 crisis: Medical Supplies

  1. The Trump administration invoked the Defense Production Act to ensure the supply of materials for the production of ventilators to General Electric, ResMed, Hill-Rom Holdings, Medtronic PLC, Vyaire Medical and Royal Phillips NV.
  2. China sent NYC 1,000 ventilators. That alone is worthy of hope. For all kinds of reasons.
  3. The state of Virginia signed a $27 million contract to get medical supplies to Virginia to cover the expected increase in cases.  At the same time, the Virginia Department of Health shipped out one million masks to medical facilities throughout the state that it had stocked since the H1N1 pandemic in 2009.

COVID-19 crisis: Vaccines and treatments

  1. Inovio Pharmaceuticals, a company that Bill and Melinda Gates funded, is the second to start human trials with a coronavirus vaccine on patients in Philadelphia and Kansas City Missouri. As always, caution. But the human species is responding with unprecedented speed, despite how slow it seems from day to day. Two clinical trials going in within a couple of months.
  2. With all the cautions and caveats around larger and randomized sampling still intact, there are a number of promising signs in treatment with the COVID-19 plasma serum:

COVID-19 crisis: Trends

  1. The University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME)T says that new data suggests there are considerably fewer deaths from the COVID-19 virus than previously expected. The model still suggests that the peak will be between April 15 and April 16 nationally and then the decline will begin.

COVID-19 crisis: Tech Industry Response

  1. Apple has not only sourced and shipped 20 million medical-grade masks to health care professionals but has designed a medical-grade custom mask. 
  2. Pegasystems has developed an app called The Employee Safety and Business Continuity Tracker for its customers that will track COVID-19 exposure and its impact on operations. These kinds of apps, like those ServiceNow and SAP released, are exceptionally important because they support business continuity and the back end of the workings of the company. With the much higher pressure placed on all aspects of a company's workings, this kind of crisis and emergency management ops support can, at times, be the make or break of a company during a crisis. The app can be obtained here.
  3. Salesforce continues to put itself out front, landing a 747 filled with masks and other medical supplies in N.Y. on April 5. I'm not sure of the numbers, but Salesforce, always mindful of the psychology of what it does, knows that landing a huge plane in N.Y. with supplies can be inspiring and hopeful. I will guess it was fully aware of the impact of that kind of delivery.    
  4. Wipro and the Azim Premji Foundation have been making a major effort to feed the underprivileged during the crisis and now have managed to feed 500,000 people with their work. (For more on the Azim Premji Foundation, go here.)

COVID-19 crisis: The good that people do

  1. The healthcare workers are putting their lives on the line and trying to save lives by doing that. The appreciation across the country from little towns to big cities is being shown by grateful citizens who are doing what they can to show that they know this and it matters. (Thanks to Kathryn Bonesteel for these links. You can see what she is doing in Houston in last week's post.)
Editorial standards