Hospitals are dealing with equipment shortages as the coronavirus brings more and more people into care. In response, artists and creatives are teaming up to donate essentials to healthcare practitioners. A few weeks ago, Ethan Garner, Burning Man-attendee and Harvard University professor donated protective gear after his lab was closed. This has inspired a country-wide movement in connecting friends with the Burners Without Borders organization to donate as much as possible.
It is uncertain as to whether Burning Man will take place this summer. However, the gifting spirit is still well and alive amongst the Burning Man community. The event takes place in the desert where dust and sand is the main element found along the way. Garner knew he’d be able to gather the community with the hopes of extra equipment being available to gift to the hospitals in need.
According to their website, Burners Without Borders promotes activities around the globe that support a community’s inherent capacity to thrive by encouraging innovative approaches to disaster relief and grassroots initiatives that make a positive impact. Following the 2005 Burning Man festival, burners got together to support and provide relief after Hurricane Katrina. Now, burners gather to respond to the current pandemic.
More than a dozen groups gathered via zoom to discuss the organization and process of gifting hospital essentials. “We wanted the [personal protective equipment] to be given to hospitals but in an orderly fashion,” he said. “You don’t want 50 Burning Man people showing up at hospitals dropping things off.”
The community is able to look at data on GetUsPPE.org, where those in need can find nearby facilities in need of supplies and how to drop off. This site also allows facilities to request supplies they need like face shields or masks. Anyone can go on this site as well and provide if they are able to.
“There were 2,594 donation sites listed on the website as of Wednesday morning,” Garner said, which is incredible to see the amount of readily available items in just a short amount of time.
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