While the world is seemingly crippled by the fight against the deadly coronavirus, word of vital supply shortages are part of the daily news cycle.
As their first line of defense, one of most important supplies for medical personnel are respirator masks. With the pandemic reaching virtually every corner of the globe, these special masks are already in short supply as the virus continues to spread.
While pundits and politicians waste time finger-pointing about who is to blame, Facebook mogul Mark Zuckerberg is getting things done by donating the company’s own reserve of face masks.
“Health workers urgently need more protective gear,” Zuckerberg, who founded the social media giant and serves as its CEO, posted to his Facebook account Sunday. “To help, Facebook donated our emergency reserve of 720,000 masks that we had bought in case the wildfires continued. We’re also working on sourcing millions of more to donate. I hope you’re all staying healthy and safe!”
While the government is playing an active and important role in the fight against the coronavirus, this is yet another example of the private sector doing what the government cannot.
Despite the billionaire-bashing you may have heard throughout the 2020 Democratic primary race, it’s clear that in a crisis, wealthy men like Zuckerberg come in pretty handy.
Facebook isn’t the only company providing assistance during the pandemic — the companies that manufacture important medical supplies are also increasing production.
As Mike Rowe, former host of the television series “Dirty Jobs” and champion of hard work, noted this week, General Motors has already announced it is ramping up production of ventilators, while 3M is churning out more respirators.
Rowe championed these as examples of capitalism’s crucial role in solving problems.
“We have these big conversations about what direction the country is headed and what direction the country ought to be headed,” Rowe said Monday on the Fox News morning program “Fox & Friends.”
“This is a chance, unlike anything I’ve ever seen, for corporate America to step up and do what the government simply can’t do.”
Without government mandates, companies such as Olive Garden, Walmart and Starbucks, among many others, have modified their sick leave and other policies to protect their hourly workers out of their own till, ABC News reported.
Private companies are also innovating to help where they can.
Hand sanitizer quickly disappeared from grocery store shelves as news of the pandemic spread.
To temporarily fill the void for vulnerable people such as cancer patients, local distilleries including Eight Oaks Farm Distillery in New Tripoli, Pennsylvania, turned to making sanitizer themselves using their high-octane spirits.
“We are in a national emergency,” the distillery’s founder, Chad Butters, told The Associated Press. “What’s the right thing to do? The right thing to do is support this community by providing something that is in desperate need.”
Grocery chains and other stores that sell essentials are voluntarily adding special shopping times for the disabled and senior citizens. They are doing so not because of a government mandate, but rather as a way of helping vulnerable Americans get what they need safely.
This is the essence of the American spirit — that we are all in this together and that everyone helps where he or she can. It is the spirit of Frank Capra films that liberals dismiss as a myth, but which has always carried America through times of trial.
We’re seeing private citizens, industry and the government work together for a common cause just as they did in World War II. That spirit defeated the Nazis, and it will prevail against the coronavirus as well.
Under modern America’s veneer of selfishness and consumerism, a heart of charity and love of neighbor still beats. We will get through this pandemic as we always have — with God, love of country and good old American grit.