It seems that the current virus situation is bringing out the best and worst of people, and companies too. I read that James Dyson has designed up a new ventilator – on 10 days notice – which can be manufactured quickly and at volume – and he’s donating 5,000 of them off the top. Labatts has started making hand sanitizer – the first 50,000 bottles are being donated to food banks, front line workers and partners in the restaurant and bar industry. It is heartening to see some companies jump in and help, and there are many other positive stories. As I type this, I’m hearing on the radio that Budweiser is donating $500,000 to the Red Cross.
At the same time, yesterday I heard Premier Ford call out a food company called Pusateris for price gouging, selling hand wipes for 30 bucks a box. The company, which is known for their high prices at the best of times, has apologized and called it an oversight. I wonder. Then there was the couple in BC, buying up pick-up truckloads of Lysol wipes from Costcos to resell at 4X the price. They are despicable, but I’m sure not unique. There will always be people willing to profit from the misfortune of their community, won’t there? I suspect this time around, people will have long memories.
One thing is clear. The virus is egalitarian. It doesn’t care if you are rich or poor or where you’re from. It doesn’t recognize borders, and we’re seeing that even the most privileged people are becoming infected. If there is one lesson for us, it’s that we’re in this together. Please be kind and helpful during this difficult time, and carry that on later, as our communities recover.