Across the country, third-generation entrepreneur Mike Miller ’84 of Minneapolis-based textile manufacturer Airtex Group/Acme Made pivoted his manufacturing operation at his Minnesota facility. The company was founded during the 1918 flu epidemic as a bag manufacturer, and for decades, its sandbags defended the Midwest from countless mighty floods. In April, he redeployed his workforce, going from making home textile products such as window treatments, pillows, throws, and products such as cases and bags, to sewing gowns, nonsurgical face masks, and face shields. The company says the gowns are disposable level 2 isolation gowns and are made using recycled medical-grade materials.
The North Carolina infectious disease doctor, Sellers noted an outbreak in nearby Raleigh in mid-April, saying that he felt like he spent all day going from one set of PPE into the next. His group, Raleigh Infectious Diseases Associates, saw 10 new COVID-19 patients, and he personally saw five of them.
“I remember just putting all the PPE on in the emergency room and thinking, ‘Wow, this is a historic thing that we’re involved in, and it’s going to change the way that we practice medicine and how any of us interacts with each other.’ That was a crazy time, suiting up for five different patients in five hours.”
For health care workers using the PPE, every ounce of extra protection could literally be life or death. Each time Sellers, the infectious disease doctor, wears the PPE, he’s carefully saving patients. Each time he carefully takes it off, he’s saving those around him, including the two adorable little reminders of his day’s vigilance. When he gets home, their innocence and sweetness are just the right medicine.
“Sometimes, I just need to go home, decompress, and do Cosmic Kids Yoga with my daughter. That can really help a lot.”
For the two Sellers children growing up during a global pandemic, that’s what will have to count as a playdate for the time being. And when the shower door opens at the end of the day, what emerges isn’t a frontline hero so much as a mom or a dad — and sometimes a yoga partner.
*This proposed program has not yet been reviewed or registered by the New York State Education Department. This proposed program has not yet been revised or approved by ARC-PA, the accrediting body for physician assistant programs.