You have to look quite hard to find it, but there is some good news out there. And it’s all about the power of transferable skills.
Many companies are starting to adapt their business model and approach to help in the fight against coronavirus disease (COVID-19). These include some very large businesses, some changing tack quite dramatically. Spanish fashion giant Zara has switched to sourcing material to make hospital gowns and masks. Nivea has started manufacture of medical-grade disinfectants. Givenchy and Christian Dior – as perfume makers, experts in alcohol processing – are making hand sanitiser.
As requested by government, UK automotive and engineering businesses are turning attention to the manufacture of ventilator machines. Alongside partners and competitors, Meggitt is hoping to lead production of tens of thousands of ventilators to treat coronavirus patients who develop respiratory problems as part of the infection. Firms including McLaren, Airbus, Jaguar Land Rover, and JCB are also offering to lend factory production facilities, and expertise, to help the cause.
These are not profit-driven, opportunistic moves. Notably, Scottish beer firm BrewDog is using its Aberdeen site to manufacture something very different from its normal product range. The snappily named BrewGel: Punk Sanitiser will be given away free.