By: Cory W Berlekamp
Three professors and one student at the University of Findlay have donated 50 protective goggles to Jingzhou Central Hospital in the Hubei province in China.
“Jingzhou is a city next to Wuhan, the capital city of Hubei Province, which is the center of the COVI-19 outbreak,” said Dr. Yanting Guo, assistant professor of environmental, safety, and occupational health management at UF.
According to Dr. Fang Wang, assistant professor of communication, the donation was initialized by Sio Heng, a student in her interpersonal communication class. Wang has been a professor at UF for a short time, starting in 2019, so when Heng came to her for advice on starting a donation she put her in contact with Dr. Guofen Yu, professor of physics and chair of physical sciences. All four of them are from China.
According to Wang, Heng then went on to post about the donation on a Findlay Chinese community page on the app WeChat, that’s when everyone started getting involved.
After considering their options on what to donate, the group decided on protective goggles after hearing that there was a greater need for them.
“We found a supplier of respirators, goggles, coveralls and other safety supplies,” said Guo. “We decided to donate some goggles because we heard that the doctors and nurses in Hubei do not have enough goggles for everyone, and some of them have to use swimming goggles instead.”
According to Guo, the 50 pairs of goggles cost $6.95 apiece and with postage, it will cost $466 in total.
Though hopeful to continue with the donations, Wang and Guo are not sure when they can continue the donation because of the travel restrictions.
“We do hope to continue this effort if it is possible, but it depends on whether the supplies are still available for purchase, how long it takes to deliver the supplies,” said Guo. “Since all flights from [the] US to China are canceled, the shipping time is unpredictable right now.”
Along with the goggles, Guo wants to put together instructional videos in both Chinese and English on how to properly use the equipment they are sending over.
“I’ve seen several videos in Chinese social media demonstrating how to put on and take off respirator or facemask[s], but none of them are made by [a] safety professional,” said Guo. “Since our department is all about environmental safety and occupational health, we can use our specialty to help and all the faculty and staff of the ESOH department supported the idea.”
Until then, the group is thankful for the help they have received from the UF community.
“I would like to thank the great support from UF and the generosity of Findlay donators. I appreciate their empathy to people in China,” said Wang.