COVID-19 Update: Ford, FCA to The Rescue

What the industry has to do is what we need now to deal with this COVID-19 situation here and elsewhere.

Ford announced on Tuesday, March 24 that they will start producing more than 100,000 plastic face shields for "medical professionals, factory workers, and store clerks" per week at one of their assembly plants in Michigan. They will also produce ventilators, as well as Powered Air-Purifying Respirators, for patients, healthcare professionals, and first responders, as well.

The announcement included that this is not a solo effort on Ford's part. GE Healthcare, 3M, and the United Auto Workers were involved in restarting production at Ford's plants for this purpose. The design of this new respirator was also a collaboration between Ford and 3M. The ventilator is a current GE Healthcare product, now given additional production capacity to meet urgent demand. The face shields will be produced using Ford's own 3D printing capability.

Also just announced, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will produce 1 million protective face masks per month. These face masks will be donated to healthcare professionals and first responders.

This is good news. We need good news now. So, does our healthcare community.

There is a friend at nearby North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale, Minnesota, who posted on her social media that they are in need of supplies at their facility. What do they need? The simple answer is everything. So far, they received hundreds of donations of supplies to keep their care going.

You may be a healthcare professional reading this. Are you still in need of supplies? What do you need? How can get them to you?

More governments worldwide have imposed "shelter in place" orders of various degrees. These orders do allow for essential travel to grocery stores, pharmacies, healthcare appointments, and so forth. As I pointed out recently that delivery services are booming right now. They will continue to be a lifeline to us as these orders are in place.

Most of us have set up home offices to keep us productive as their physical worksite has shut down. Students are learning at home – well, hopefully learning at home. Even my fellow professionals in the automotive industry and media are doing their best to keep their children learning and themselves from not climbing the walls.

What are you doing to keep busy at home? Or, entertained?

I would love to tell what I'm doing, but I feel this is not the platform to do so. I had some changes in my workflow and, yes, it does affect my income. However, I would rather not delve into further at this time.

Again, this is a time for common sense. Wash your hands regularly. To cough or sneeze onto a sleeve or tissue. To keep social distancing. To stay at home. To stop being selfish humans by hoarding more semi-necessary supplies – such as toilet paper – for those who need it to see empty shelves daily.

We will get through this. Help is on the way. It is a start, but we'll get out of this in time. Stay well, V&R readers and fans!

Photo courtesy of the Ford Motor Company

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