Wed. Mar 3rd, 2021

William J. By Koli, The Associated Press

One year into the coronovirus epidemic, Americans are painfully aware that overcoming diarrhea is a marathon, not a sprint.

Enter Dave McGillivray, who knows one or two things about endurance events – and logistics.

The race director of the Boston Marathon, which holds up to Gir, has been tapped by the state of Massachusetts to conduct mass vaccination campaigns at Gillette Stadium and Fenway Park.

Caught in his day job by the epidemic, he is part of an emerging group of event organizers and other unconventional logistics experts, who are using their skills to help the country vaccinate against COVID-19 as much as possible.

“It’s amazing how our event management skill set can be implemented to run a large-scale vaccination site,” said McGillivray, who has been directing the marathon – with its many moving parts – over three decades. for.

The push for a creative workaround comes in the form of virus cases nationwide, lines on testing and vaccination sites and temporarily flaring government websites, which crash under the digital weight of millions of desperate appointments.

Comparing this to the “wartime effort”, President Joe Biden announced this week that the US was making deliveries to hard-pressed states and providing enough doses for vaccination to 300 million Americans by late summer or early fall. Expects

In Washington state, Starbucks and Amazon are being pressed into service for vaccination operations and logistics support, and a union representing food and commercial workers is helping staff in the effort.

In California, Disneyland – heavily affected by the global health crisis – is hosting a mass vaccination effort, as does Six Flags Magic Mountain, about 60 miles north.

After a computer glitch at a COVID-19 test site in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, led to traffic jams, the mayor called a local Chick-fil-A fast food restaurant manager for help with drive-through conditions Was expecting his experience in management help. It did: Manager Jerry Walkowiak solved it and reduced the waiting time from one hour to 15 minutes.

Other states are helping dentists, optometrists and even veterinarians get shots in people’s arms.

Anna Nagerne, an expert in information management and logistics specialist at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, says it’s a consideration for concert promoters and even wedding planners such as those accustomed to multitasking and meeting tight deadlines Makes sense.

“It’s a matter of evacuating the flow of people and crowd management and outside and security,” Nagorn said. “Those who work in the operation are impassive with vision and expertise. It is a win-win situation for all. “

There is, of course, a preponderance for strange bedflow in a national crisis. During World War II, American toymakers manufactured parts for military aircraft. Now more unusual involvement is likely that Biden enacted the Law of Defense Production Act, 1950, which gives the president broad authority to mobilize the resources and production of private companies.

In the US and internationally, the military has also played a role, with mixed roles.

Gustave Perna, a four-star army general overseeing the Operation War Speed ​​campaign by the Trump administration to manufacture and distribute viable vaccines, publicly apologized last month for “misinformation”, including being delivered in the early stages Was with the states regarding the number of doses taken. Of delivery.

Britain has also tapped its military for vaccination ops.

Brigadier Commander Phil Prosser said this month, “My team is used to building supply chains and speed in the most difficult and challenging conditions.”

Road race organizers are a natural fit for vaccine distribution, said Gene Kannac, executive director of the Road Runner Club of America, which approves thousands of road races and triathlons.

She wrote on her Facebook page, “Race directors are people who need to do this job quickly and in an orderly manner”. “There are skills in the event industry that are being underutilized and should be accessed as part of the much-needed mass vaccination process.”

McGillivray says he is grateful not only for using his marathon expertise to help eradicate the epidemic, but because the state immunization contract has become a lifeline to his company, DMSE Sports, Inc., Helping to maintain.

“We almost went out of business,” he said. “The epidemic stopped everything. Now what we have done is definitely our biggest mission – to save lives and keep people healthy. “

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This content may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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