Low-Tech Solutions Playing a Role, Too

PTC senior analyst Carrie Sullivan has recently been devoting her spare time to sewing surgical masks for local hospitals.

All across America, women and men handy with needles and thread are now sewing homemade surgical face masks to donate to local hospitals. Homemade masks are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention only as a “last resort” and ideally used along with a face shield.

However, widespread shortages of medical-grade face masks have prompted hospitals to request the home-sewn masks as a contingency for having no safeguards at all.

Carrie Sullivan, a senior analyst at Onshape/PTC, has been making masks for her hometown Southern New Hampshire Medical Center. For fabric, SNHMC gave her surplus t-shirts that celebrated the hospital being named one of the “2018 Best Companies to Work for in NH.”

I wish I could be buying real masks for the hospitals instead,” Sullivan says. “But this will do. I am just happy to be doing something.”

Efforts like Sullivan’s, the snorkeling mask adaptors, and the high school student crowdsourcing may be unnecessary when big industry solutions eventually come into play. However, perhaps all the projects and innovations forced by COVID-19 will have a lingering impact. Maybe more of us will want to keep learning new skills when the crisis is over.

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