What can we do to help in the Coronavirus/COVID-19 era?
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  1. #1
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    Default What can we do to help in the Coronavirus/COVID-19 era?

    Hi all,
    Just about everyone here is a shop owner, machinist, or engineer. Many of us have already been affected by the restrictions urged or mandated by government to help slow the spread of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 disease.

    We don't want to sit back and wait, do we? So let's think about how we can use our talents and shop capabilities to help in the treatment and ongoing research to combat this virus (and those to follow).

    I've been in touch with a researcher in the Biotech field I worked with in the early 2010's, and hope he'll be getting back to me with some suggestions. I've also reached out to the medical Professor who's posted on PM, he's already talking to some of his contacts about whether equipment mods might help stretch existing medical capacities. He'll chime in if/when he has more to talk about.

    We're in a very uncertain time, but perhaps a look back to the 1940's could be instructive. While we don't have the massive manufacturing infrastructure we had back then (which arguably won WW2), we have much more flexible and fast response capabilities, Corvettes rather than Battleships. Properly directed, there's a lot we can do.

    So this is a thread for ideas, leads, suggestions on outreach to labs and hospitals, etc. No, the vast majority of us aren't doctors, but we have skills and the ability to make stuff. Surely there's some way we can serve in this new (microbe) war.

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    If, and I mean if, the situation in hospitals ever gets to where there are shortages of critical components such as respirator valves then the private sector could quickly produce what was needed as long as authorities released design files and specifications.

    There are plenty of 3D printers in the USA and plenty of shops that can accurately turn out parts such as stainless steel fittings. It would be the responsibility of hospital technical personnel to inspect and disinfect "alternate source" parts before use.

    Biggest thing that all of us can do? Avoid panic, don't overwhelm the health system if you really don't need treatment and above all don't hoard. I spoke with people who saw families with carts loaded with paper goods etc. enough to fill 2 good size SUVs and a cashier at a market told me they locked the rest rooms due to toilet paper theft.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scottl View Post

    Biggest thing that all of us can do? Avoid panic, don't overwhelm the health system if you really don't need treatment and above all don't hoard.
    Agree with the "don't panic" suggestion. Hoarding is something of a natural, if unfortunate response, best way to handle that is awareness and keeping information flowing so that people don't panic.

    3D printing has it's limits, it's still so "porous" and materials limited that sterilization can be an issue, or working lifespan. But if it's all you have it's better than nothing...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Milland View Post
    Hi all,
    Just about everyone here is a shop owner, machinist, or engineer. Many of us have already been affected by the restrictions urged or mandated by government to help slow the spread of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 disease.

    We don't want to sit back and wait, do we? So let's think about how we can use our talents and shop capabilities to help in the treatment and ongoing research to combat this virus (and those to follow).

    I've been in touch with a researcher in the Biotech field I worked with in the early 2010's, and hope he'll be getting back to me with some suggestions. I've also reached out to the medical Professor who's posted on PM, he's already talking to some of his contacts about whether equipment mods might help stretch existing medical capacities. He'll chime if/when he has more to talk about.

    We're in a very uncertain time, but perhaps a look back to the 1940's could be instructive. While we don't have the massive manufacturing infrastructure we had back then (which arguably won WW2), we have much more flexible and fast response capabilities, Corvettes rather than Battleships. Properly directed, there's a lot we can do.

    So this is a thread for ideas, leads, suggestions on outreach to labs and hospitals, etc. No, the vast majority of us aren't doctors, but we have skills and the ability to make stuff. Surely there's some way we can serve in this new (microbe) war.
    I was listening to the Michael Moore "Rumble" podcast that had a similar theme or idea as to how quickly the auto manufacturers were able to re-tool so that a fighter plane could roll off a production line every 64 minutes and yet we can't fabricate sufficient numbers of test kits in 2020.

    The one thing I find disturbing is the possible/ eventual lack of respirators/ ventilators in hospitals.

    As I understand it there may only be 75,000 respirators for folks that would have severe pneumonia.

    It's possible there could be a 50% shortfall of respirators, actual equipment where doctors in hospitals would have to triage a 62 year old woman with two children versus a 75 year old man with no children ~ Advantage 62 year old woman.

    It got me thinking how does one hack a respirator (using 1940's technology) + Arduino to whack together a makeshift respirator / ventilator ?

    When the option is …

    1. Die.

    or

    2. Use a slightly sketchy not very permanent respirator to perhaps not die ?

    I don't know ?

    __________________________________________________ __________

    * Just read scotl 's post.

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    There is a shortage of ventilators ... very true. But putting someone on a ventilator is very human intensive. It requires constant monitoring.

    In the future perhaps some of this could be automated but for the here and now the best thing you can do:

    If you have any face masks, Tyvek coveralls etc donate them to your local healthcare workers. We need to keep them safe and healthy so they can do their jobs.

    If you are sick stay home.

    Everyone get sleep (sleep is important for a healthy immune system). Listen to what the officials are telling you to do. Check on your older neighbours.

    If you have kids spend some time reading them a story.

    And above all (this is mostly directed at my friends to the south - I'm a Canadian) now is not the time for politics. There will be plenty of blame to go around and you can take that out in the coming election.

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    If you put up prints for parts that were useful, I'm sure a lot of people could make them all over the country. Decentralized, as it were.

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    great approach.....needs a bit of leadership from one who understands what a ventilator needs to be and is mechanical enough to come up with a simple open source design. Not some $250,000 thing that makes coffee, but some simple device that is the difference between life and death, a ventilator or no ventilator. We could easily rally and have teams start producing each part.

    It needs that leadership; "this is what we're doing...."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mcgyver View Post
    great approach.....needs a bit of leadership from one who understands what a ventilator needs to be and is mechanical enough to come up with a simple open source design. Not some $250,000 thing that makes coffee, but some simple device that is the difference between life and death, a ventilator or no ventilator. We could easily rally and have teams start producing each part.

    It needs that leadership; "this is what we're doing...."
    Well put! Yes, both leadership and a functional design that won't harm while in use. We have a ton of area colleges in my neck of the woods that have significant engineering schools, and while I don't know anyone who specializes in medical devices I might be able to "friend of a friend".

    And I bet many of you can do the same - reach out!

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    If anything like an "open source" ventilator design comes along, we'll need procedures on cleaning, assembly, and maintenance. All stuff to think about...

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    Donate blood

    No lawyers to get involved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    Donate blood

    No lawyers to get involved.
    I thought there was blood sucking involved (re: lawyers)

    Yes, a fine idea. Has anyone heard of whether the Red Cross is requiring CV testing prior to donation?

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    Should you make sure all your Oxygen tanks are full. And the non-medical grade can be donatated in a pinch?
    I do not see anyone stockpiling toothpaste or gasoline, yet.
    Bill D

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    I remember WWII. The key was simply the will to contribute. We took the war effort seriously- Yamamoto was right when he said the raid on Pearl Harbor awakened a sleeping giant and filled him with terrible resolve. A young man walking on a street in civilian clothes could expect people to ask why he wasn't in uniform. The best answer was "I just finished basic, Ma'm, and I have two weeks before I ship out." People accepted rationing and conserved. Women learned to rivet and weld because boys all around us were in the army. One neighbor didn't come back.

    Don't sell American manufacturing short. Everything isn't made in China. I watch things being made every day. Yesterday I installed a pair of solid state thyratron replacements in a Monarch 10EE and am about to go there to do a bit of tuneup. The manual Monarch still makes money in a shop with 7 CNC machines.

    Bill

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    I'm asking at U of T and McMaster engineering departments who the "guy" is who might come up with a design. I called it "Project Inventilate"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mcgyver View Post
    I'm asking at U of T and McMaster engineering departments who the "guy" is who might come up with a design. I called it "Project Invetilate"
    That's a good title can I donate an "n" ?

    Project Inventilate ~ before it's too late...

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    Another possible ventilator may be to use reprogamed/modified cpap machines

    As far as what can we do to help
    Wash your hands!

    Donate ppe if it is new and unopened

    Support the hospital staff
    Very often my wife goes 12+ hours without a meal.
    Call and ask first before sending food or anything for that matter and don't forget evening and night shift's!
    Trust me the last thing you want is a tired scared and hungry nurse working on you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cameraman View Post
    That's a good title can I donate an "n" ?

    Project Inventilate ~ before it's too late...
    lol yes, thanks....worlds worst typist

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    Stay home. No visitors. Every time you enter your house wash your hands.

    Even if you are sure you will survive, you should not risk being a vector.

    Share your shop's latex gloves with your neighbors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hbjj View Post
    ...
    Support the hospital staff
    .....
    That in spades. A low paid job now on the front line and taking fire.
    How scary it must be just to get out of bed and go to work.
    The enemy can not be seen, you do not have enough armor, you fear you will be overrun with good reason.......
    They need our support.

    As this gets worse we will be frustrated, pissed off and angry at our healthcare workers.
    Let us try to understand those out there trying hard to protect us even when their rules fly in our face.
    A very tough job right now, not sure I could take the pressure and endless worry for the pay.
    Bob

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    Looking in from overseas I'm sure that the USA is still capable of making immense strides in this new " war ". In the 1939-45 war once US industry got fully on stream it was only ever going to end one way. It's still a sleeping giant when it comes to innovation, in spite of what some of us might think about the younger generation. I just hope that the generosity shown at that time to the other beleaguered Allies is repeated today when solutions to this crisis are arrived at.

    Regards and keep safe you guys, Tyrone.

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