With so much depressing news about Covid-19 circulating these days, any good news is much welcomed. The other day, I was greeted by some needed good news when I opened my email. I’m a firm believer that humanity is more good than bad, though sometimes, it is hard to keep the faith. CamRanger helped to re-enforce my belief. CamRanger is stepping up to help the medical community protect themselves from infection by Covid-19. Yes, a company that produces remote controls for your camera is fighting Covid-19.
CamRanger has announced that they are working with their Asian supplier, who normally produces their CamRanger fabric pouches, to provide N95 masks to the US medical community. I asked Dave Pawloski, the owner of CamRanger, how the idea came about, and he told me his wife, Mellisa Ryckman, has been following the Covid-19 situation rather closely, especially since her sister is an ER doctor. Dave and Melissa started talking to other medical professionals and realized the manufacturer of their CamRanger fabric pouches had the skills and tooling that could be used to manufacture N95 masks. Dave informed me the masks do not use the same material as the CamRanger pouches. Instead, the manufacturer is using their expertise to produce the masks, which are the much-needed N95 version and not the surgical masks most people have seen.
The manufacturer was already gearing up to manufacture the N95 masks but didn’t have a connection in the US to provide them to. This is where CamRanger stepped in by making the connection between the manufacturer and the medical community. Dave started talking to the manufacturer about a week and a half ago, when they placed a small order that was sent directly to Melissa’s sister, who is an ER doctor, to share with her colleagues. Melissa’s sister and her colleagues provided feedback on quality and fit. The medical colleagues liked them so much they were willing to pay for them out of their own pocket. But Dave and Melissa would not permit this to happen. As Dave told me: “We didn’t think it was right, as they are already sacrificing so much.” So, Dave and Mellisa went ahead and ordered 10,000 masks, paying for them out of their own pocket.
The initial order of 10,000 masks is going to Michigan, Ohio, and Wyoming with Melissa’s sister, Dr. Audrey Adkins, helping to distribute them in Michigan. And the family connection does not stop there. Dave told me his father-in-law, a retired pulmonologist, is helping to distribute the masks in Ohio. CamRanger aims to help smaller communities that do not have the resources or attention that the larger communities have to secure these much-needed masks.
Dr. Adkins explained to me how important it is to keep the medical community healthy, not only for their patients but also for their families. Each medical professional also has a family at home that they have to be concerned about being infected if they bring home the virus. Having the proper personal protection equipment, PPE, such as the N95 masks, helps reduce the stress these professionals are feeling, even if it is just by a little bit.
CamRanger didn’t have to take this step to help the US medical community. After all, it is not a large corporation with vast resources, yet they chose to use some of their resources and knowledge to help others. The medical professionals who will receive these much-needed masks probably have no idea who CamRanger is or what they usually produce. They probably will never know that CamRanger helped source this mask for them. And that’s OK. However, the photography community should know, and we should thank CamRanger for their efforts. You can help CamRanger and the US medical community by purchasing a CamRanger 2, which will result in 100 more masks being supplied to hospitals and doctors. If you are wondering what a CamRanger is capable of, you can read my review I did several months ago. Or you can contribute to their efforts without purchasing a CamRanger. And if you don’t want to contribute financially, you can help by spreading the word of their beautiful efforts by sharing this article, so others know of their caring efforts, and perhaps they will contribute.
Unfortunately, people have claimed CamRanger is trying to profit off of the Covid-19 situation with their offer to donate 100 more masks for each CamRanger2 they sell. This accusation is not valid. First, the initial 10,000 masks were purchased by CamRanger and have already been distributed. Second, the offer to donate 100 more masks for each CamRager that is sold is above the first 10,000 masks is a way for CamRanger to raise more money to purchase more masks. And third, you don’t have to buy a CamRanger2; you can donate money to CamRanger, and they will do all of the work of procuring, receiving, and distributing the masks. Dave told me: “We had a very small number of people accuse us of hoarding life-saving medical supplies and only releasing them in small amounts when someone buys a CamRanger. This is completely false. We will be making at least one more order and want to be able to drastically increase that order. Our goal is to make it much larger.” CamRanger isn’t stopping with procuring the masks themselves, and they are sharing their information with other doctors, nurses, hospital admins, and even hospital CEOs, so they can purchase them from CamRanger’s Asian manufacturer.
In times of need, it is comforting to know that people do care about each other and will find ways that they can assist. There are many people and organizations out there that are all doing a little part to help others. So, if you can, why not do a small part too. Either consider supporting the beautiful efforts of CamRanger or perhaps some other organization with their efforts. Or maybe you have an idea or are already doing something to help. If you are, let us know in the comments below and help me keep my belief that humans are more good than bad.