Stepping Up and Making a Difference Against Coronavirus

This blog was a collaboration between Liza McGraw, Jeannie Talbot and Heidi Gilmore.

According to The New York Times, as of April 8, the number of cases of coronavirus worldwide now surpasses 1.4 million across 177 countries. Here in the United States, the number of cases is at least 418,185 and climbing.

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, we started searching for positive news and found it in the people and organizations who are helping - and making a real difference. Beginning with the doctors, nurses and first responders on the frontlines caring for highly contagious patients, along with the cleaning crews who are disinfecting hospitals, offices and public areas to help keep others healthy. These people are right in the midst of the virus, saving lives and protecting us. In business, we see collaboration and innovation happening across industries. Companies around the world are doing their part to bring products or services to market to help lessen the spread of the virus, supply items desperately needed by hospitals and others on the frontlines to save lives, or develop tests for and even find a cure for coronavirus. General Motors switched from making cars to using its massive supply chain to manufacture ventilators for hospitals. Johnson and Johnson has a vaccine under development that might be ready for human trials by September. Even schools are using 3D printing technology to create personal protective equipment (PPE). It is terrific to see global companies, local companies and individuals pull together to help beat coronavirus.

This is a big shout-out to everyone who is helping in whatever way they can, whether they are individuals or a business. We highlighted a few companies doing terrific things, many of whom are CloudBees customers.

  • Abbott Labs has developed a coronavirus test that can tell if someone is infected in as little as five minutes. Abbott is supplying 50,000 tests a day as of April 1, according to John Frels, vice president of research and development at Abbott Diagnostics. A swab taken from the nose or the back of the throat is mixed with chemicals that cause the virus to release its RNA. The mixture is inserted into an Abbott Labs system that can identify select sequences of the coronavirus genome and at the same time ignore genetic material from other viruses.
  • Banco Santander has created a fund to provide critical equipment and materials in the fight against the pandemic. The fund is initially expected to be worth at least €25 million. Contributions will be focused in areas that require immediate attention, including the production and purchase of medical equipment, protective clothing and other necessary supplies to treat people affected by the virus, as well as donations made to relevant entities and authorities.
  • BBVA will use a donation of €25 million to battle coronavirus, helping health authorities and social organizations in the countries where it operates, while fostering scientific research. This week, BBVA will deliver an initial batch of medical equipment, respirators and surgical masks that it sourced from China and worth approximately €3 million to Spanish health officials.
  • Cisco has pledged $225 million in cash and services to the global COVID response. The funding, which includes $8 million in cash and $210 million in products, will be given to several groups including the United Nations Foundation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and the World Health Organization’s coronavirus activities. Cisco is helping to provide online access to over 2.2 million people so far, and Webex, the company’s video conference and online collaboration tool, has facilitated virtual response meetings for governments in countries such as France, Canada, Germany, Colombia and others. 
  • DBS has partnered with Chubb Insurance Singapore Limited to offer its five million customers in Singapore complimentary insurance coverage for illnesses related to COVID-19. The COVID-19 Hospital Cash policy is 30-day free coverage providing a daily cash benefit for hospitalization and a lump sum payout for ICU confinement.
  • Duke Energy is discontinuing service disconnections for unpaid bills, waiving late payment fees and fees for returned payments for millions of electric and natural gas customers across its service territories until the national state of emergency is lifted. The Duke Energy Foundation has also donated $1.3 million to support hunger relief and help local health and human services agencies across its service territories, including those providing meals to children and families impacted by school closures.
  • Eli Lilly has thousands of medical employees within its ranks. It is collaborating with other Big Pharma partners by launching or expanding volunteer programs for medically trained staff to help fight COVID-19. Lilly is staffing a free drive-through testing facility at its Indianapolis headquarters. As part of its in-house testing, Lilly is using its research labs to analyze the drive-through tests and also samples taken in Indiana health care facilities, including nursing homes and emergency rooms.
  • FedEx stood up a special operation (in one weekend) to help quickly move COVID-19 test specimens from over 50 drive-thru testing centers in 12 states. This mission was led by the White House, Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with the goal to enable quick processing of test specimens. FedEx dedicated 28 flight legs, as well as specialized pick-up and delivery operations to the effort. They will continue to provide support seven days a week as more remote testing centers come online across the country.
  • LogMeIn launched a new site for Emergency Remote Work Kits offering free access to several tools for health care providers, educational institutions, municipalities, non-profit organizations and current LogMeIn customers. LogMeIn is also partnering with Direct Relief, a humanitarian aid organization by matching the contributions of both its employees’ time and resources towards COVID-19 relief efforts.
  • Moody’s has funded a $1 million program of charitable donations and support. Moody’s is extending support to existing philanthropic partners to help small businesses and education systems and bolstering its employee volunteer programs. Moody’s will provide $550,000 of funding for humanitarian aid to alleviate food insecurity, bolster healthcare systems, purchase medical supplies and support research focused on containment and treatment. Funds will also be distributed to organizations involved in direct relief work. Moody’s is also offering its research and views on the credit and economic impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) for free via a dedicated website to the general public.
  • The New England Patriots used their team airplane, in collaboration between Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and Bob Kraft, owner of the Patriots, to deliver 1.2 million N95 masks from China for healthcare workers in the United States. Bob Kraft funded $2 million of the cost - about 50% of the total - to make the round trip from Boston to China and back again. 300,000 of the masks were immediately shipped to New York - epicenter of the pandemic in the United States.
  • Plex is offering its Live TV feature free to all users for three months, through June 30th. Getting tired of being inside, self-isolating? You just might appreciate the Plex offer if you’ve run out of on-demand shows to watch while you’re stuck at home.
  • Rogers Communications announced a suite of policy measures in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, waiving roaming charges for Canadians overseas and suspending service cancellations for customers who can’t pay their bill. Rogers will also be waiving long distance fees and working with Microsoft to offer Microsoft Teams and Office 365 free for the next six months. With the new normal of everyone working from home, until the end of May Rogers is also suspending all data caps on home internet plans.
  • Samsung is offering free phone cleaning and sanitizing in Samsung services centers across 19 markets. The sanitizing service will use UV-C light to kill the germs on your smartphone - even those that are not Samsung brand smartphones - free of charge. 
  • Tinder is making its Passport feature free for all users through April 30. People around the world are feeling isolated as they practice social distancing and, in some countries, are told to stay in their homes. Passport allows people to pay to swipe abroad wherever they want. Tinder’s technology enables people to share, learn and listen to those that are experiencing this same situation in different geographies during an unprecedented period of isolation.
  • Western Union launched a worldwide coronavirus relief drive, offering a dollar-for-dollar matching pledge of up to USD $500K fundraising for supplies, equipment and frontline medical treatment.

We salute the individuals and companies who are working hard to make a difference - there are many more beyond this list! 

Additional Resources for Coping With COVID-19