The Fight Against COVID-19
COVID-19 is a global pandemic requiring huge efforts from health professionals, charities and entire communities.
The changes brought about by the coronavirus pandemic are unlike anything most of us have seen in our lifetimes. The social and economic impacts continue to be unprecedented. But amongst all the bad it brings, there is good in people’s responses – communities working together at all levels to find solutions and fight COVID-19.
It’s been clear since day one that individuals, companies, charities and authorities would need to work together. Just as examples, in our own communities we’ve seen groups developing new tech platforms and campaigns addressing some of the most pressing issues, like a lack of protective equipment for frontline workers and food supplies for those in need.
One of the most successful campaigns was set up by GoParity, an investment platform that promotes sustainable projects through access to new ethical opportunities. It was founded by a group of Portuguese promoters and small investors with the goal of helping ideas come to life.
Amidst the pandemic, the GoParity platform did their part and launched the StopCovid-19 fundraiser. Donations were used to buy medical equipment for healthcare centres, professionals and hospitals. Critical Software joined the campaign and donated three times the amount donated by employees in a collective effort to make a real difference in the battle against the pandemic.
Southampton Hospitals Charity
A similar campaign was established in the UK to support the University Hospital Southampton (UHS) staff who have been on the frontline of the fight against COVID-19. Critical donated to efforts to support the mental and physical health of all the staff delivering life-saving care against COVID-19. The funds raised through the appeal went towards meeting the needs of staff across the UHS, ensuring that everyone was able to keep their spirits up, stay healthy and make sure that patients are able to receive the best care possible. In addition, the funds will also form part of another initiative set up by the UHS to provide longer term support for patients and staff alike.
Personal Protective Equipment
With the goal of helping health professionals, the technology community made a collective effort to produce personal protective equipment (or PPE for short). FIKALAB, our innovation lab, has thrown itself into the challenge and has already made and delivered over 2,500 face shields to hospitals across Portugal – and to some individual businesses as well!
You can also be part of this movement. If you have a 3D printer, why not get involved and make face shields for healthcare institutions near you. Don’t have a 3D printer? No problem! You can also help by providing the materials needed to make face shields: A4 clear PVC covers, 0.15 to 0.5mm thick, with the usual 4 holes (888 cm distance) and buttonhole elastic band with 2 to 2.5 cm wide and 30 cm long.
Portugal’s Banco Alimentar Contra a Fome
Of all the struggles caused by the pandemic, the most severe could be faced by those who are already vulnerable. Since 1991, Portugal’s Banco Alimentar Contra a Fome collects food and delivers it to people most in need – whether they are homeless or simply families who are struggling financially. To help tackle the economic impact of the pandemic in some of the most vulnerable communities, Banco Alimentar has created an emergency food supply programme. We’re helping the organisation not only with food donations, but also with their efforts to establish a countrywide network to help distribute food. Learn more about how you can contribute to the cause here.
Society’s young people are also facing a host of new challenges, not least with disruptions to their education. Distance learning opens many doors when it comes to the future of schooling, but it also has its downsides. Not all children and young people have access to the technology that schools usually provide, such as computers and tablets.
In an effort to ensure that as many children as possible can keep up with their peers in these testing times, our colleagues have come together to donate computers, tablets and other equipment that is either unused or in good condition in order to help students continue to make progress with their school year.
Sometimes just offering to help where it’s needed can make a difference. Like so many willing members of the community, Critical Software has been in touch with government and healthcare authorities to let them know that we’re available to help where we can. This is a fight where victory doesn’t just depend on those incredibly brave and giving individuals on the front line – it depends on us all.
Stay safe. Stay healthy.