How can volunteers be of any use?

I have a question for nurses and doctors, or maybe for hospital administrators. Let’s postulate that some places (like Milan right now) will essentially be closed for business, and many people working remotely may find themselves with some free time and the desire to help. (Not commuting in to teach will certainly open up a few hours for me, and while initially, I’m scrambling to adapt my syllabus to remote learning, if this goes on for six months, or a year, or longer…)

When ICUs are overcrowded and running out of beds, will volunteers willing to be trained to help be of any use at all? (I have one friend who travels regularly to disaster zones to do relief work.)

Or will the chokepoint be more of a technical one — not an actual bed, I assume, which could be set up in other buildings at great need, but the equipment needed to monitor it? (Will fundraising help in that case, or would the equipment simply take too long to manufacture?)

How can the average person help you? I guess is what I’m asking.

(You may not know yet, but in case you do. I like to be prepared.)


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