I’m writing because I realise a lot of people are upset and dismayed, maybe even a little ashamed of how slow HSBNE’s responses have been to the covid pandemic so far.
We were quick to follow government orders to shut down and make sure everyone was safe, but we haven’t really responded to the message that people want to make something: namely make a difference in this pandemic. So I’m proposing that I will take coordinating lead in this and to that end I have several proposals I would like to put forward:
Firstly, we use some of the digifab course funds that are sitting there to create a ‘working pot’ for the response. HSBNE would purchase filament and other necessary supplies from this pot and then claim any government refund to go back to it. Members would also be able to donate to this pot in order to buy materials to fabricate things needed for the response. Donations would go through the normal HSBNE account, labeled ‘COVID Fund’, so the treasurer can keep track of this. If there is any excess at the end of the pandemic, then I propose we donate it to Lifeline or another charitable cause that’s been providing support.
- Emily will handle buying and directing filament for PPE production.
Secondly, getting some of the tooling that is currently sitting idle on site and asking members to volunteer to babysit a machine in order to keep printing out necessary PPE gear. We would ask that members sign a care contract to make sure that tools are used for the purpose of a covid response and to make clear the responsibility and process in case of breakages or necessary maintenance.
We ask for volunteers who can or would like to take a printing machine to put up their hand.
We ask for volunteers who can or would like to take a sewing machine to put up their hand.
Thirdly, it has been brought to attention by @AntBee that the large laser cutter would be ideal for making medical smocks. However, the laser cutter is not in a workable state. It needs parts and programming. Therefore, I would like to coordinate with the landlord to have one, possibly two people to go on site to bring the laser cutter up to a workable standard. This pandemic is slated to go on for months, so even if it takes a long time to get the machine in working order it may be still useful in the months to come. I can’t guarantee that if we organise for this, that the landlord will approve.
- We ask for volunteers who would like to work on the large laser cutter to please put up their hand.
Fourthly, Ventilators. There hasn’t been a call out for any yet, but I would like to discuss how we could make some should the need arise. This would be handled in a similar say to 3D printing- we wait until there is a set of standards in an official call-to-arms. But we can look at some of the options floating around internationally and start to think about sourcing materials, how to fabricate safely and transport of any machines.
- We ask for one volunteer to put their hand up to lead this discussion.
I will also be putting this in an all-hands email to further the message on our response. Not all our members are online (or on top of their emails), so for those that have given us phone numbers, it would be good to get in contact and touch base with people. I realise cold calling is stressful for both the callie and the caller so I will write a short script for people to follow, if people approve of this idea.
- We would ask for volunteers to do cold-calling to put their hand up.
Lastly, these efforts could be co-ordinated or documented on the Forum or the Wiki. I’m happy to maintain a COVID wiki page and keep discussion to General on the Forum. If anyone has a better suggestion, please let me know.
In summary, my goals for coordinating this are:
- Correct models for printing/sewing
- Directing payment for filament or materials
- Directing any maintenance or necessary parts to get machines working
- Coordinate who is printing what
- Coordinate who is volunteering, and managing their workload
- Collecting/delivering finished PPE
- Documenting our progress