February 16, 2024
These strange times will not last forever. All around the world, people are hunkered down to flatten the curve of hospital admissions. Medical professionals are struggling to obtain the needed personal protective equipment [PPE] and sufficient ventilators to treat all the expected victims of this outbreak. Experts who had no idea what PPE stood for a month ago are now trying to make ventilators magically appear with no understanding of the manufacturing process or the rigorous testing process required of medical devices. It requires great self restraint to keep from throwing things at the TV screen. So, what can you gear people do about it? Unless you have a bank of 3D printers in your home workshop — not much. My wife, a retired dental hygienist, has given up trying to explain to her fellow quilters that scraps of fabric cannot be made into a certified N95 mask no matter how cute the pattern on it is. No one wants to hear that an auto assembly plant cannot be converted into a “clean room” medical device factory over night. When this crisis passes, we will hopefully return to our former duties. The crisis will have changed us and what we do during our time of social distancing will affect our lives for years to come. I am not a family therapist or philosopher so I will confine my advice to gear-related matters. Every gear professional has tasks they enjoy and tasks they prefer to avoid. This is a great opportunity to think about the duties you do not look forward to and improve your “game” through reorganization and study. Hey, we expect the children to be “distance learning,” so why not set a good example and crack open a few books, watch a few tutorials, and access Gear Technology’s online archives on the gaps in your personal skill set? You might also turn your downtime into “content” to share with your co-workers or our readers. We are always looking for stories on the full range of gear topics; you do not need a graduate degree to get published in our magazine. All that is required is a fresh look at a topic of interest to our worldwide audience.