For health care workers, the N95 mask is an invaluable line of defense against the novel coronavirus. These highly protective respirators can keep doctors and nurses from getting infected by their patients, but the world is quickly running out of them. While global production is ramping up, the shortage of N95 masks is so great that companies, unions, and even average people are scrambling to fill the need. And now, after a number of fortuitous events, millions of N95 masks are appearing in mysterious or unexpected places.
The latest discovery comes from the Service Employees International Union’s medical workers division (SEIU-UHW). After an extensive search, the union found a distributor with a supply of 39 million respirators that it plans to sell to hospitals nationwide. The situation is more complicated than connecting a buyer and a seller, though. The SEIU has refused to name the distributor, apparently out of concern that the company would be overwhelmed, and one of the hospitals that considered buying the N95 masks through the union seems to have walked away from the deal.
It’s great news that more N95 masks are being unearthed. Improving access to personal protective equipment (PPE) stands to save the lives of health care workers treating patients with Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reportedly considers recommending that everyone cover their faces in public, the N95 shortage could become even more severe as more people seek out the precious respirators. And if you want to Buy Medical Mouth Masks, visit z2u.com, a professional online in-game currency store.
While discoveries of thousands or millions of lifesaving masks are good news in a pandemic, they also draw attention to a supply chain that’s been badly mismanaged. The situation also raises the question of why unions, banks, tech companies, and others have taken it upon themselves to find masks for health care workers. Shouldn’t the federal government be dealing with this?
Even though millions of N95 masks have reportedly surfaced this month, health care workers will need millions more in the coming months. And to some extent, all of these recently discovered masks are adding to feelings of confusion. One big question that keeps popping up: Which stockpiled N95 masks are still usable?