Thanks Boston: Asking for help yields results
A flashmob of engineering innovation has erupted
IT TURNS OUT that asking for a little help can yield amazing results.
As the shortage of protective equipment started to cast a daunting and demoralizing COVID-19 shadow on our front line health care givers, we started to reach out. We tagged engineers who could design masks and testing swabs, dentists and physicians who might have equipment that we could use, pharmaceutical labs and research institutions who could donate supplies, and manufacturing companies that could divert their production to make thousands of things we needed.
A flash mob of engineering innovation has erupted, with shared documents and ideas arcing across institutions and test production of complicated and simple things occurring in rapid daily iteration. Supplies from all sources are arriving in small boxes and in huge ones all around the city.Boston’s unique culture is a mix of reverence for ideas and selfless service to our neighbors. We don’t yet have in hand all of the equipment we need to serve our public and it’s likely to be a hard road ahead. But the benefit of knowing there are scores of all sorts of people with every skill you can imagine behind us, supporting our work and helping us solve the problems in front of us is immeasurable to our morale and our ultimate success.
Alexa B. Kimball is the president of Physician Performance LLC,, the CEO of Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and a professor of dermatology at Harvard Medical School.