By the end of June 2020, GM Canada had delivered upwards of 650,000 facemasks to Health Canada. The masks were manufactured at GM’s car assembly plant in Oshawa, Ontario, as part of a 10-million at-cost mask order from the government of Canada. This is the story of the company’s nimble pivot – in just three weeks – from making cars and trucks to producing 50,000 masks a day to help protect against the spread of Covid-19.
During a previous professional incarnation I worked as an editor and writer at a large research and teaching hospital in Toronto. One of the most satisfying and reassuring aspects of the job was the opportunity, every so often, to glimpse how the treatments patients received helped transform their lives from illness to health. In more than a few instances, those treatments played a role in saving a patient’s life.