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Corona Plans to Double Production Size

Corona Plans to Double Production Size


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By 2018, the beer company hopes to produce at least 8.4 million barrels

Corona is in the process of doubling its plant in Nava, Mexico.

Good news for Corona fans: The production plant is planning to double in size to keep up with American demand, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Corona is produced at the Nava Brewery in Nava, Mexico — right by the Texas border. Besides doubling in size, the plant will receive four furnaces by 2018, increasing supply by 50 percent.

Constellation Brand owns Corona, Modelo Especial, and Pacifico beers. Corona shipments have increased almost 10 percent over the last five years, climbing to 7.8 million barrels — which makes it the fifth best-selling beer in the country. Modelo Especial comes in at a close ninth.

Bill Hackett, president of Constellation Brands’ beer division, told The Wall Street Journal that his biggest fear is running out of beer. This is why the company wants to expand and is even looking to break ground in California for a second brewery location.

With the expansion, Constellation is projected to produce at least 8.4 million barrels of beer by 2018, according to company executives. The second brewery could bring that total to 21 million barrels.

If you were ever worried that Corona was going to stop producing beer, you don’t have to be concerned anymore.


Corona Plans to Double Production Size - Recipes

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Online since 1995, CDKitchen has grown into a large collection of delicious recipes created by home cooks and professional chefs from around the world. We are all about tasty treats, good eats, and fun food. Join our community of 202,500+ other members - browse for a recipe, submit your own, add a review, or upload a recipe photo.

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Ontario's Back-To-School Plan Ignores A Glaringly Obvious Problem

I practically yelled this at my computer screen as I was reading the latest news about the school reopening plan in Ontario. Although the province says it won’t be forcing school boards to finalize the details before August, a key recommendation in its most recent guidelines is “cohorting” students—keeping them in groups of 15 or fewer students with the same teacher all day. Since classes are usually about double that size, this means the government is directing all school boards to at least start the year with a “hybrid learning” approach that will have children in school on alternate days, or maybe alternate weeks.

This was not what any parent wanted to hear. It was the last few weeks of school, when many of us were rallying our last shred of homeschool energy to try to organize gifts for the teachers or figure out socially distanced end-of-school celebrations. In our family we actually ceremoniously burned our long-abandoned (but still symbolically hung on the fridge) homeschool schedule. Are we supposed to cheerily make a brand new one in just a couple of months?

The government recommendations say cohorting is about “minimizing the number of students and teachers any individual comes in contact with, and maintaining consistency in those contacts as much as possible.” OK, fine, makes sense. This is in line with what hospitals and nursing homes do to reduce transmission and it makes contact tracing easier during an outbreak. It certainly seems more sensible than expecting young children to be able to physically distance or properly wear a mask all day long. But seriously, where do they expect the kids to go on the no-school days?

If kids are only in school half-time in the fall, many children will disperse to daycares and babysitters on their days off (instantly increasing their number of contacts several times over, and presumably negating many of the intended benefits of cohorting) and others will be at home with distracted parents or otherwise overwhelmed family members.

According to the guidelines, students will be assigned “curriculum linked work” and will participate online in “synchronous learning with their classmates” when they’re not in school. In other words, the province seems to imagine kids will be at home, with a dedicated screen per child, functioning high-speed internet and an adult available—and not busy working—to help facilitate all this high-quality remote learning. The assumption seems to be that families will manage this half-time schedule however they’ve managed since the initial shutdown began in March. But here’s the thing: most families haven’t been managing very well at all.

These past 100 days, we hunkered down. We carried on with little sleep and made impossible choices around potentially exposing elderly relatives to the virus so we could go to our essential jobs while they watched the kids. We let our children watch way too much TV, shooed them away while trying to appear professional in Zoom meetings, and turned our kitchen tables into ad hoc arts and craft stations. We accepted that teenage siblings might have to sacrifice their own schoolwork so they could help care for the younger ones. We worked triple shifts as employees, homeschool teachers and parents. We grieved, we raged, we cut back hours and lost jobs. We applied to CERB, sewed masks, pretended online fitness was fun and Instagrammed tiny moments of joy while we worried about finances and the future. We commiserated in group texts and on social media, and took turns being the one to cry. (But never in front of the kids, because This is hard enough already for the kids, we told ourselves, as we escaped into the bathroom to doom-scroll and deep breathe.)

And we did it. It was an emergency—what choice did we have? But we can’t keep on doing it indefinitely.

Telling parents to prepare to send children to school half-time, without providing a hint of a plan or funding to address the obvious problem of where children will go on the off days—and who will teach and care for them on the days they aren’t in a classroom—does not get to count as “a school reopening plan.” It means our government is essentially telling all the parents who are already at the very end of their ropes that the past three months have been fine. And that if we managed every day with no school, we can of course do every second day with no school. And if it means Mom has to quit her job, or Grandma might get sick while stepping in to provide child care, then fine.

But it isn’t fine. And it isn’t fair to parents, especially not to women who are statistically most likely to have to reduce work or quit their jobs to care for children. And it isn’t fair to kids either.

In their recommendations for the school reopening plan released this month, doctors from SickKids hospital were in favour of cohorting younger age groups as much as possible, but specifically advised against doing so “in a manner that compromises daily school attendance.” The SickKids guidelines have been criticized by some for too heavily discounting the potential risks of COVID-19 in children, but as a mom, I appreciate their emphasis on the physical and mental health impacts of school closures and inconsistency on young children’s development and wellbeing. Like many parents, I’ve been heartbroken to see how destabilized my children have seemed after the sudden loss of their wider social worlds: all the friends, the teachers they’d grown close to, the beloved coaches. My five-year-old has a worrying new fear of strangers and my eight-year-old is now prone to crying spells and angry refusal of our well-meaning attempts to help with schoolwork.

I understand that politicians, public health officials and school boards across the country are in a difficult situation. There’s no perfect school reopening plan that can 100 per cent ensure the safety and wellbeing of all students, teachers, staff and families. But parents deserve, at a minimum, a clear explanation (with scientific footnotes, if I had my way) of why groups of 15 young children are significantly better from a public health perspective than groups of 30, especially if there’s no funding to create more childcare spots, no budget or initiative to hire or redeploy more teachers to create smaller classes, and no guidance offered for how we’re supposed to keep children limited to their cohorts on the days they aren’t in school.

If the expectation is that children are at home on their off days, then we need a system of leave for parents of school-aged kids that provides income support and the right to return to work that is modelled on how we already support parental leave for parents who care for babies.

A real solution requires investing in more than just increased school sanitizing schedules and better technology. The province’s promise of funds for student mental health services and special needs support is a good start, but it’s a reactive, insufficient strategy. A truly responsible, proactive plan for the fall would include hiring more teachers and early childhood educators and working with municipalities to free up additional physical spaces, like community centres, that could be used for small-group learning. A truly ambitious, forward-thinking plan might involve experiments in outdoor education or other experiential non-classroom-based learning. If our government is actually concerned about children and families, it needs to invest now to avoid a cascade of further public health, education and economic crises in years to come.

Of course it’s hard for anyone to make concrete plans—policy-makers included—because data on COVID-19 transmission (especially by kids) is incomplete. Plus, infection rates vary by region, and we don’t know what case totals will look like in two months.

I know some will argue that half-time school is better than no school at all that something is better than nothing. But the government’s current policy rests on the offensive assumption that “the moms will just figure it out,” and I refuse to believe this plan is anywhere near the best we can do.

Editor’s note:

I hope you enjoyed reading this article from Chatelaine. Our team is working hard to create quality content that informs, inspires and offers an escape during this challenging time.

But making a magazine—and the stories we put online—isn’t free. Chatelaine is built on the hard work and dedication of our writers, editors and production staff. If you can afford it, buying a subscription to our print magazine is a great way to support the work we do—and our team would truly appreciate it. There’s an amazing subscription deal on right now, in which you’ll receive three print issues for just $5.

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Supporting the Fight

WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19 EXPLAINED)

What is Coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some of which cause respiratory illnesses in humans ranging from common colds to more severe conditions such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).1

'Novel coronavirus' is a new, previously unidentified strain of coronavirus. The novel coronavirus involved in the current outbreak has been named SARS-CoV-2 by the World Health Organization (WHO). 3The disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (or “COVID-19”). 1,2

  • 1 Q&A on coronaviruses. World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses. Accessed 28 Feb. 2020
  • 2 WHO Director-General's remarks at the media briefing on 2019-nCoV on 11 February 2020. World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/dg/speeches/detail/who-director-general-s-remarks-at-the-media-briefing-on-2019-ncov-on-11-february-2020. Accessed 14 Feb. 2020.

How does the virus spread?

COVID-19 can spread from person to person usually through close contact with an infected person or through respiratory droplets that are dispersed into the air when an infected person coughs, sneezes talks or sings. Droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who may be close by. Spread is more likely when people are within 6 feet of distance of each other.

COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community in many areas that are affected. This is referred to as community spread which means people have been infected with the virus and may then pass it on to others they come in contact with.

  • 1 Q&A on coronaviruses. World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses. Accessed 28 Feb. 2020
  • 2 FAQ: Spread and transmission. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://faq.coronavirus.gov/spread-transmission/.

Where has COVID-19 spread to?

As of November 3, 2020, 216 countries and territories have reported about 47.6 million COVID‑19 cases and 1.2 million deaths since China reported its first cases to the World Health Organization (WHO) in December of 2019.

What are the symptoms?

People with COVID-19 may have symptoms that range from mild to severe. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. But keep in mind that up to 40% of people infected with the virus may have no symptoms at all. For those who do become symptomatic, the most common symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

How to protect yourself from coronavirus

Practicing good hygiene is very important and is the best way to protect others and yourself.

When possible maintain at least a 1-meter or 6-foot distance between yourself and others. Since some infected persons may not yet be exhibiting symptoms or their symptoms may be mild, maintaining a physical distance with everyone is a good idea.

To help prevent getting COVID 19:

  1. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  2. Avoid close contact. Put 6 feet of distance between you and any person when outside your house.
  3. Cover your mouth and nose with a mask or cloth face cover when around others at all times.
  4. Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or use the inside of your elbow.
  5. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  6. Monitor your health daily and follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.
  • 1 Q&A on coronaviruses. World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses. Accessed 28 Feb. 2020
  • 5 How to Protect Yourself & Others. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html.

What to do if you suspect you are infected?

If you have a fever, cough, or other symptoms, you might have COVID-19. Most people have mild illness and are able to recover at home. If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider.

Keep track of your symptoms because things could get worse quickly. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), get emergency medical care immediately.


Contact Tracing

Resources and Expert Guidance for Tracing the COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID-19 Contact Tracing: A course from Johns Hopkins

The COVID-19 crisis has created an unprecedented need for contact tracing across the country, requiring thousands of people to learn key skills quickly. The job qualifications for contact tracing positions differ throughout the country and the world, with some new positions open to individuals with a high school diploma or equivalent.

USA Today: COVID-19 exposure warnings for iPhone, Android phones: apps still await widespread adoption

Six months after the arrival of the first COVID-19-warning smartphone apps built on a privacy-preserving framework from Apple and Google, they remain yet another coronavirus pandemic scarcity.

resource | November 25, 2020

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Monitoring and Evaluating Contact Tracing Programs

Contact tracing courses, metrics and tools from the Bloomberg School of Public Health.

resource | November 25, 2020

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: ConTESSA

An interactive tool that supplements the Measuring and Maximizing Impact of COVID-19 Contact Tracing Coursera course. This tool can be used to estimate the impact of a contact tracing program on transmission and strategize how to increase it.


Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Guidance and Resources

Workplace safety and health regulations in California require employers to take steps to protect workers exposed to infectious diseases like the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), which is widespread in the community. Cal/OSHA has posted the following resources to help employers comply with these requirements and to provide workers information on how to protect themselves and prevent the spread of the disease.

Cal/OSHA recommends the guidance, educational materials, model programs and plans, and other resources that are provided below, be reviewed with an employer's existing procedures to ensure that workers are protected.


Remarks by President Biden on the Fight to Contain the COVID-19 Pandemic

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you for taking the time to be here. Good afternoon. I’m accompanied by Jeff Zients, who is heading up our whole COVID team. And today, what I’d like to do is to upgrade — update you on where we are. Tomorrow, we’re going to begin the briefings that are going to occur on a regular basis with Mr. Zients and his team. So we’re bringing back the pros to talk about COVID in an unvarnished way. Any questions you have, that’s how we’ll handle them because we’re letting science speak again.

And so, I — I’d like to update you on the aggressive steps we’re taking to meet our goal of administering 100 million COVID-19 vaccine shots within — within a hundred days, and to ramp up the vaccine supply as fast as we can.

This will be one of the most difficult operational challenges we’ve ever undertaken as a nation. I’ve said that before, but I must say it again because we’re going to do — we’re going to do everything we can to get it done. But a lot of things can go wrong along the way.

And so, I’ve — as I’ve said in the past, we want to give credit to everyone involved in this vaccine effort and the prior administration and the science community and the medical sphere — (technical equipment falls to the floor) — for getting the program — I didn’t do it, I promise — (laughter) — for getting the program off the ground. And that credit is absolutely due.

But it’s also no secret that we have recently discovered, in the final days of the transition — and it wasn’t until the final days we got the kind of cooperation we needed — that once we arrived, the vaccine program is worse shape than we anticipated or expected. A lot of you who follow this — and nobody is — I mean this sincerely, the press is the smartest group of people in town you hone this stuff down, clearly — I think you found the same thing.

Even before I took office, I announced a new vaccine — a vaccination strategy which centers on federal leadership and execution for our whole country. And that’s why I directed my COVID team to go to work immediately, and how we could step up the vaccination efforts and the vaccinations.

I’m pleased to announce the first progress in that work today on day seven of my presidency. First, after review of the current vaccine supply manufacturing plants, I can announce that we will increase overall weekly vaccination distribution to states, tribes, and territories from 8.6 million doses to a minimum of 10 million doses, starting next week. That’s an increase of 1.4 million doses per week.

And you all know — if I may note, parenthetically — you all know — know that the vaccines are distributed to states based on population. They’re based on population. And so the smaller the state, the less vaccine the bigger the state, the more they get. And so this is going to allow millions of more Americans to get vaccinated sooner than previously anticipated. We got a long way to go, though.

The second thing: We’re increasing the transparency with states, cities, and tribes, and local partners when it comes to the vaccine supply. This is something we’ve heard over and over again from both Democrats and Republicans, state and local leaders: that they need a plan in order to what — they didn’t know what they had to plan on. They need to know what the order is going to be.

Jeff had a meeting with the governors on Zoom and — and others. And I think we’re getting this coordinated in a way that there’s increased cooperation and confidence.

But until now, we’ve had to guess how much vaccine to expect for the next week. And that’s what the governors had to do: “How much am I getting next week?” This is unacceptable. They — you know, the lives are at stake here.

From this week forward, God willing, we’ll ensure that states, tribes, and territories will now always have a reliable three-week forecast on what the supply they’re going to get. So they’ll know, three weeks ahead of time, what’s going to be there in the third week.

This is going to help make sure governors, mayors, and local leaders have greater certainty around supply so they can carry out their plans to vaccinate as many people as possible.

So, we will both increase the supply in the short term by more than 15 percent and give our states and local partners more certainty about when the deliveries will arrive. These two steps are going to help increase our prospects of hitting and — or exceeding, God willing, the ambitious goal of 100 million shots in 100 days.

But I also want to be clear: 100 million shots in 100 days is not the endpoint it’s just the start. We’re not stopping there. The end goal is to beat COVID-19. And the way we do that is to get more people vaccinated, which means we have to be ready, after we hit the ground [sic] — after we hit the goal of 100 million shots in 100 days.

Now, that means fewer than 100 million people getting totally vaccinated it means 100 [million] shots, and it means somewhere between 60 — maybe less, maybe more — million people will have the — because it requires two shots in many cases — not always.

So today, I’m directing COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zeints, here, to work with the Department of Health and Human Services to increase our total supply of vaccine for the American people. And we believe that we’ll soon be able to confirm the purchase of an additional 100 billion [million] doses for each of the two FDA-authorized vaccines: Pfizer and Moderna. That’s 100 million more doses of Pfizer and 100 million more doses of Moderna — 200 million more doses than the federal government had previously secured. Not in hand yet, but ordered.

We expect these additional 200 million doses to be delivered this summer. And some of it will come as early — begin to come in early summer, but by the mid- — by the mid-summer, that this vaccine will be there. And the order — and that increases the total vaccine order in the United States by 50 percent — from 400 million ordered to 600 million.

This is enough vaccine to fully vaccinate 300 Americans by the end of the summer, beginning of the fall. But we want to make — look, that’s — I want to repeat: It’ll be enough to fully vaccinate 300 [million] Americans to beat this pandemic — 300 million Americans. And this is aggregate plan that doesn’t leave anything on the table or anything to chance, as we’ve seen happen in the past year.

I’ve said before: This is a wartime effort. When I say — when I say that, people ask, “Wartime?” I say, “Yeah, more than 400,000 Americans have already died.” I think it’s four hundred eleven or twelve [thousand] have died in one year of this pandemic — more than all the people who died in all of — Americans who died in World War Two. This is a wartime undertaking it’s not hyperbole.

And as such, I directed the team to be ready to exercise all the authorities I have under the Defense Production Act, and expedite these vaccines. And we’re using the Defense Production Act to launch a full-scale, wartime effort to address the supply shortages we inherited from the previous administration.

We’re going to be working across the government, with private industry, to ramp up production of vaccine and protective equipment — the syringes, the needles, the gloves, the swabs, and the masks — everything that’s needed to protect, test, vaccinate, and take care of our people. Well, we’ve already identified suppliers, and we’re working with them to move our plan forward.

The biggest problem — I hope you’re all asking me by the end of the summer that, “You have too much vaccine left over. You have too much equipment leftover.” That’s not my worry. I hope that becomes the problem, rather than we somehow find interruptions in supply or access.

These aggressive steps to increase vaccine supply come on top of the steps we took last week to get more people vaccinated for free, to create more places for them to get vaccinated, and to mobilize more medical teams to get shots in people’s arms.

We’ve directed FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, to stand up the first federally supported community vaccination centers, and that work is underway. We’re working to make vaccines available to thousands of local pharmacies,
beginning in early February it’s a couple weeks off. And we — that will enormously expand our reach.

Last week, I also signed a declaration to immediately begin reimbursing states 100 percent for the uses of their National Guard to help the COVID relief effort, both getting people — getting the sites set up and even using some of their personnel to administer some of the vaccines. And I think it’s something Democrats and Republicans and governors alike have called for.

We’re also expanding testing, which will help schools and
businesses reopen safely and protect the most vulnerable.

And we formalized the Health Equity Task Force to ensure that equity is at the core of everything we do in urban and rural communities alike, to make sure those people most significantly damaged have — have access. Access. We have to change. We have move in a direction for those communities that are hard to get to.

But the brutal truth is: It’s going to take months before we can get the majority of Americans vaccinated. Months. In the next few months, masks — not vaccines — are the best defense against COVID-19. Experts say that wearing masks from now just until April would save 50,000 lives who otherwise will pass away if we don’t wear these masks. That’s why I’m asking the American people to mask up for the first 100 days. I’ve issued executive orders requiring masks on federal property and
interstate travel — trains and planes and buses.

One congressman pointed out — I could — well, he used a very, anyway, colorful term to say wearing a mask — “I tell him to kiss my ear I’m not going to wear a mask.” Well, guess what? Not very American. The fact is, you want to be patriotic you’re going to protect people. And new COVID-19 variants are — we are instituting new measures to deal with these individuals flying into the United States from other countries.

You’ve all hold — if you could hold a second — you’ve all heard about the strain — the British strain, the Brazilian strain, the South African strain. And they are — they seem to be more transmittable more easily. So, in addition to wearing masks, everyone flying to the United States from another country, we need to test before they get on that plane and self-quarantine when they arrive in America.

I’m going to close with this: I now have a national — we now have a national strategy to beat COVID-19. It’s comprehensive. It’s based on science, not politics. It’s based on truth, not denial. And it is detailed. It’s going to require Congress to pass the American Rescue Plan to provide funding to administer the vaccines, to ramp up testing, to help schools and businesses reopen, and to deliver immediate
economic relief to Americans who are badly in need of it through no fault of their own.

And our plan will take time. Progress from our plan will take time to measure, as people getting infected today don’t show up in case counts for weeks, and those who perish from those — from the disease die weeks after that exposure. You know, despite the best — our best intentions, we’re going to face setbacks, which I will always explain to you and acknowledge.

And let me be clear: Things are going to continue to get worse before they get better. The death toll, experts tell us, is likely to top 500,000 by the end of next month — February — and cases will continue to mount. We didn’t get into this mess overnight, and it’s going to take months for us to turn things around. But let me be equally clear: We’re going to get through this. We will defeat this pandemic.

And to a nation waiting for action, let me be clearest on this point: Help is on the way. We can do this if we come together, if we listen to the scientists. And as I said: Tomorrow, I say to the press, the entire team will be back in the business of — my COVID team — of answering all your detailed questions.

So, thank you very much for your patience. Keep the faith. We’re going to get this done. And I’ll always level with you about the state of affairs.


Coronavirus: Flour mills working 'round the clock' to meet demand

Grocery sales of flour were up 92% in the four weeks to 22 March compared to the same period last year, according to consumer analysts Kantar.

The National Association of British and Irish Millers (Nabim) says the industry is "working round the clock", milling flour 24 hours a day, seven days a week to double production - but is still struggling to meet demand.

At Wessex Mill in Oxfordshire, the family business is running at 24-hour operation for the first time in its 125-year history.

Record traffic to their online shop has also forced them to close it down and only open for 10 minutes a day.

"It's unprecedented," says Emily Munsey, who runs the mill with her father. "We've increased production about four-fold but we're nowhere close to meeting the demand we've seen."

After losing about 15% of their staff because they are self-isolating the business has even recruited local people who are out of work because of the lockdown, including builders and chefs, to replenish its workforce.

Alex Waugh, director general of Nabim, says the issue isn't being able to mill enough flour - but the lack of capacity to pack it into small bags for retailers.

Only around 4% of UK flour is sold through shops and supermarkets, according to the association. The majority is produced in bulk and delivered in tankers or bags of more than 16kg to bakeries or other food manufacturers.

However, since the coronavirus outbreak, Nabim says ordinary shoppers have been purchasing much more flour than normal - with existing stocks quickly used up.

Mr Waugh says packing lines are now running at maximum capacity but this is only enough for 15% of households to buy a bag of flour per week - and existing packing lines can't easily be adapted to produce smaller retail bags.

One option the industry is considering is the possibility of shops selling larger bags - as it is better equipped to produce in bulk.

However, Mr Waugh says that could be some way off and for now it's just a question of waiting for demand to reduce enough for stock levels to be rebuilt.

So why the sudden increase in demand?

As well as the public generally stocking up on non-perishable goods amid the lockdown, a rise in home baking also appears to be a factor.

At Wessex Mill, Ms Munsey says they have been overwhelmed by members of the public ringing up trying to source flour for recipes.

"We've had to get an extra person in the office and take down the phone number from our website because we were getting so many people who normally buy flour in the supermarkets ringing round flour mills," she says.

Online searches for bread and cake recipes have surged since mid-March, when restrictions on life in the UK first began to be introduced, according to Google Trends.

And BBC Food has seen record traffic since the start of the lockdown, including a 540% increase to its banana bread recipe - the site's most popular recipe at the moment.

Traffic to its basic bread recipe is also up 875% and as stocks have depleted a page on how to make bread without yeast or bread flour has seen a surge in popularity.

Katherine Rhodes, 36, is one of those who has turned to baking to keep her two young children occupied at home.

Living in a rural part of Essex, there is no shop nearby so making her own supplies was also a way to avoid leaving the house as much as possible.

Like others, she's had trouble getting hold of flour - but managed to source some from her local bakery.

"They put out a message on social media two days ago saying they were going to source flour direct from the mill and divvy it out to local residents," says Katherine. "The response was astounding," she adds, with the bakery overwhelmed with interest.

Zoe Lacey has also taken up baking to fill her time during the lockdown.

The 36-year-old had never made bread in her life - but when she couldn't find any in her local shop last week she decided to try making her own.

"It was the most delicious bread I've ever had so we're hooked," says Zoe, who is now on her fifth loaf.

"I managed to find the last bag of flour on the shelf last week so I'm hoping I'll be able to find more on my next shop - otherwise my bread journey might be over!"


Andrew Rehder, manager of 3M Co.’s respirator mask factory in Aberdeen, S.D., got the call from headquarters on Tuesday, Jan. 21. He gathered about 20 managers and supervisors into a conference room, where they sat, unworried, less than 6 feet apart. Rehder told them that a new virus was spreading rapidly in China and that 3M was expecting demand for protective gear to jump.

The Aberdeen plant had already ramped up production of respirator masks in response to demand from first responders battling wildfires in Australia and contending with a volcano in the Philippines. Now, Rehder told his charges, Aberdeen would shift to “surge capacity.” Idle machinery installed for precisely this purpose would be activated, and many of the plant’s 650 employees would immediately start working overtime. “We knew it wouldn’t be a two-week blip, it would be longer,” Rehder says. 𠇋ut I had no idea.”

This is 3M’s moment, one for which the staid, 118-year-old Minnesota manufacturing giant—the maker of Post-its, Scotch tape, touchscreen displays, and scores of other products—has been preparing for almost two decades. Coming out of the SARS epidemic of 2002-03, the company realized it wasn’t fully equipped to handle unexpected explosions of demand in the event of a crisis, or what it calls an “X factor.” It decided to build surge capacity into its respirator factories around the world.

Over the years, with X factors such as the Ebola panic and the H1N1 flu virus generating flash floods of demand, the company kept refining its emergency response. When the world started clamoring for respirator masks to help confront coronavirus, 3M was ready.

People everywhere are scrambling for ventilators, Covid-19 test kits, bleach, and toilet paper. But almost no item is as scarce𠅊nd as vital to addressing this medical emergency𠅊s the N95 respirator masks made by 3M, Honeywell, Medicom, and a smattering of other companies. Without respirators, doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel are at increased risk of contracting the affliction they’re treating.

China, where this coronavirus originated, also happens to produce half the world’s respirators. As the outbreak spread, the Chinese government halted mask exports and demanded that all in-country manufacturers, including 3M, crank up production. Shortages swiftly developed as Covid-19 cases appeared in Asia, Europe, and the U.S., forcing health-care workers to reuse old respirators and cobble together ersatz masks from materials bought at craft stores. In America, states are bidding against one another for masks priced as much as 10 times the usual cost of 60¢ to 80¢ apiece.

3M can’t save the day on its own, but it’s promising a remarkably large contribution. The company has in two months doubled global production of N95 masks to about 100 million a month, and it’s planning to invest in new equipment to push annual mask production to 2 billion within 12 months. On March 22, Chief Executive Officer Mike Roman said in a news release that 3M had sent 500,000 respirators to hard-hit Seattle and New York City, and that it was ramping up production of hand sanitizers and disinfectants as well. Two days later, Roman said 3M would work with Ford Motor Co. to produce powered air purifying respirators, waist-mounted devices that blow air into helmets that shield wearers. Honeywell is also increasing N95 production, saying it will hire at least 500 people to expand capacity at a facility in Rhode Island.

Although businesses globally have emptied out, more than half of 3M’s 96,000 employees are still showing up for work in its factories and warehouses. “It’s been amazing,” says Rehder, who’s in the Aberdeen plant seven days a week, usually walking the floor, which is now marked with yellow tape to keep workers from violating the imaginary 6-foot infection barrier. “People are very proud to work in a place that’s making respirators, especially with the need that’s out there now.”

Pliny the Elder wrote of sulfur miners in ancient Rome using animal bladders to fashion the earliest face masks. Leonardo da Vinci imagined a mask soldiers could wear as they flung poisoned powder at enemies. Over the centuries masks evolved to counter smoke, smog, coal dust, and asbestos fibers. During the 1918 flu pandemic, San Francisco health regulators recommended that people wear masks in public places.

The N95 respirator is so named because, worn properly, it blocks at least 95% of airborne particles from entering a wearer’s mouth and nose, while still allowing respiration through the microscopically porous shell. This design protects a person from medical and other hazards flimsier, looser-fitting surgical masks are intended to prevent the wearer from infecting others with expelled mucus, blood, or spit.

3M makes about two dozen versions of the N95, for different industrial and medical purposes. Generally they’re constructed from nonwoven materials—infinitesimal plastic strands blown together to form a random thicket that, under a microscope, “is going to look like pickup sticks,” says Nikki McCullough, 3M’s global leader for occupational health and safety. “If you’re a submicron particle, it’s quite the journey through there.” The filters can block invaders as small as 0.3 microns, or about 1/100th the thickness of a human hair. The virus is smaller than that, at about 0.125 microns, but it often travels within larger particles when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

3M started making dust respirators in 1972. Later versions became staples at construction sites, oil fields, coal mines, and factories, as well as at hospitals and disaster scenes. After the SARS outbreak sent demand soaring, Roman says, “We realized we didn’t have the ability to flex” production to adapt to the unexpected. “We had H1N1 after that, we’ve had forest fires and hurricanes, and all of those create a surge in demand.” So 3M set about rethinking the manufacturing process from one end of the supply chain to the other. Factories added assembly lines that would stand dormant until needed. Suppliers were put on alert. The company assembled emergency response teams that would leap into action whenever catastrophe beckoned: Harvey, Maria, the California wildfires.

Then came Covid-19. China’s respirator makers had largely shut down for Chinese New Year when the coronavirus started making headlines, leaving mask supply shrinking just as the need was poised to skyrocket.

�sically, we were at the point where we needed to start every machine up. It happened pretty much instantaneously”

The supply chain team at 3M noticed early. “We monitor our demand constantly,” says Charles Avery, global value stream director for 3M’s personal safety division. “We knew we could be in for an X factor.” McCullough, who has worked on respiratory protection for much of her 23 years at 3M, began to worry when she saw Singapore and other countries taking precautionary steps even before they had many cases. “We started realizing how quickly this was spreading,” she says.

3M had another built-in advantage: Unlike many companies that have moved production to low-cost countries, it sources the materials for its respirators near its assembly plants and serves customers reasonably close by. “We make respirators in China for the China market, we make respirators in Korea for a little more than the Korea market,” Roman says. Each plant can ship respirators anywhere—pretty important in a pandemic𠅋ut day to day, a plant doesn’t rely on distant vendors subject to tariffs or export bans.

In the U.S., the facility at Aberdeen, a city of 28,000, was built in 1974. The 450,000-square-foot factory and a sister plant in Omaha together produce 400 million respirators of myriad types annually. Within the next year, they will be producing many more.

When Rehder got that call from his bosses in January, he says, �sically, we were at that point where we needed to start every machine up. It happened pretty much instantaneously. That’s what this plant does.” The facility quickly organized offsite and online job fairs. Hires had to undergo training and pass a medical exam before starting work. The payroll now counts more than 700.

Rehder has also been bringing in new equipment to build additional assembly lines. The mask components are readily available because most of them, including the filters, are made in-house. The lines that assemble respirator cups, filters, nose clips, and nose foam are loaded with robots and other automation, while humans tend to packaging and other tasks that allow more easily for social distancing. No workers have yet gotten sick, Rehder says. At home, his wife has been patient—though, he jokes, “when we try to sit down and watch a movie and I get six calls in between, I get a couple of looks.”

Tamer Abdouni is a Beirut-based consultant who facilitates the trade of, among other things, 3M respirators. Usually he can buy them for $1.25 apiece and resell them for a dime more. Lately the best purchase price he can get is $7.25. Even if he were willing to buy at that price, he says, selling respirators at multiples of his usual price during a pandemic would tarnish his reputation.

𠇃M makes the Rolls-Royce of masks,” Abdouni says. “People are holding stocks of masks and waiting for them to increase in value before selling them off. This is becoming very unethical. This is a war on coronavirus, and I don’t want to be a warlord.”

In the U.S., too, prices for personal protective equipment are being driven up in what has become a grim marketplace. It’s unclear whether some distributors are withholding masks as demand rises, but states are clamoring for every mask they can scrounge and must compete against one another to secure them. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on March 23 that masks the state usually buys for 85¢ now cost $7.

3M says it hasn’t raised respirator prices and can’t control what happens after it sells its products to distributors. Roman wrote to U.S. Attorney General William Barr on March 24 to offer 3M’s help in rooting out medical device counterfeiting and price gouging.

With demand soaring, 3M’s respirator sales could nearly double this year, to $600 million, according to William Blair & Co. analyst Nicholas Heymann. The company, despite its $32 billion in annual revenue, could use the boost. 3M has frustrated Wall Street in the past year with reduced earnings forecasts, sharp downturns in key markets, and thousands of layoffs. The coronavirus outbreak remains a threat to the broader supply chain and economy, and it could ultimately “make it more difficult for 3M to serve customers,” the company acknowledged in a regulatory filing this week. It also faces potential liabilities of as much as $10 billion, some analysts estimate, over its past use of PFAS, a group of chemicals that shows some associations with cancer. 3M’s shares fell last year even as the broader markets were advancing.

In Aberdeen, Rehder has more pressing things to worry about. “I just think,” he says, 𠇊s we’ve continued to see things spread across the world, it’s put more responsibility on us to make sure that every day and every minute we’re making every mask we can.” —With Riley Griffin
 
Read more: Companies Revamp to Make Hand Sanitizer and Coronavirus Products


The farmers

It all went haywire March 16, when Gov. Gavin Newsom asked restaurants to close their doors. The food service industry, which supplies restaurants and bars, as well as schools, hotels, production studios and catering services, immediately tanked. As nervous shoppers flocked to grocery stores to stockpile food, retail demand shot up, but not enough to make up for all the lost demand from restaurants.

“It was just a crazy swing,” said Scott Grabau, president and chief executive of Tanimura & Antle, a Salinas-based lettuce producer.

Crops planted months before based on pre-pandemic demand spoiled without buyers. Billions of dollars’ worth of produce went to waste, much of it tilled back into the soil, said Cathy Burns, CEO of the Produce Marketing Assn., which represents produce companies.

Grabau’s company, which grows year-round in California and Arizona, stopped harvesting entire fields. He’s thinking about planting more iceberg and romaine, which grocery shoppers buy, and less of the boutique leaves used by chefs.

Grabau’s team has had to be more agile than ever, packaging produce to fit orders that customers keep changing on the fly. He’s constantly in communication with his employees in the field.

“It’s a walkie-talkie call that says, ‘Hey, stop doing this. This order increased, so start doing this instead,’” Grabau said.