Trying times bring out the best in some people. It’s not whether, but how they can help. Then, they mobilize. Not for recognition or gain, but because it’s right.
Raj Chhadua, PharmaD, RPh is one such person. He and his four partners in ReNueRx Pharmacy are doing their part in the battle against coronavirus.
Liquid Gold (AKA Hand Sanitizer)
Raj is in a position to help flatten the curve of the spread of COVID-19 on two fronts. As a managing partner of ReNueRx Pharmacy, he’s able to make recent history’s liquid gold–hand sanitizer.
As a pharmacist, he knows that the people on the front lines are in the greatest need. And, as a 12-year resident of Frisco, he responded immediately when the Frisco Fire Department reached out in need. When those who keep us safe cannot work because they’re ill, we’re in trouble. Raj and his team stepped in to help by donating 20 gallons of hand sanitizer each to the Frisco and Plano Fire Departments.
You’ve probably seen articles about distillery-made sanitizers. Raj is quick to point out the value of these solutions:
In a time of crisis, you have to have something (as a sanitizer). It’s better than nothing. But, as a first responder, you need a 100% guarantee that what you have is going to work.
Compounding pharmacies are held to stringent standards. Per the Appropriate Standards of Practice, compounded hand sanitizer must be made with specific ingredients and in specific ways to ensure effectiveness. As some of the people most likely to come in contact with visibly-ill COVID-19 patients, first responders count on that effectiveness to keep them at work and to keep the community safe.
“This is a big deal.”
Raj and I first spoke on March 22nd. That’s important for a few reasons. Firstly, the nation has since largely woken up to the severity of the coronavirus pandemic. On the day we spoke, however, there was still reluctance on many fronts to take serious measures to slow the spread of this illness.
Even then, though, Raj knew we were up against a powerful foe. All he said when I asked whether a strong response was merited was, “this is a big deal.”
Typically, the pharmacy can get these supplies the next day. This time it took more than a week. As soon as the supply order arrived, pharmacists KP Patel and Alanah Myers compounded the hand sanitizer and the donation was ready for pickup.
Thirdly, this shows the toll these urgent needs of mass quantities of material and equipment are taking on the supply-chain and the public. Look at the side-effects of panic buying, for example.
Let’s say ten people buy all the toilet paper available in a store. Other people have to go to other locations in search of TP. Let’s say some of those people are members of especially vulnerable populations. Now all those folks have to risk more exposure in order to get supplies.
At the health-care provider level, shortages of critical supplies are impeding the ability to give adequate care.
Pharmacists are often overlooked as first responders but, by definition, when a health crisis hits, they are just that. How many times have you consulted a pharmacist while grocery shopping to decide whether to follow up with a visit to your doctor?
In the coronavirus pandemic, they fielded many of the first calls about symptoms and presumed illness. So Raj knew something was coming back in January. He had a clear perspective as a practicing pharmacist and as president of the Texas Pharmacy Association.
When Raj got the call from the Frisco FD, he knew what he wanted to do. He decided to not only provide the sanitizer but to donate it. Raj notes those saved funds can be spent on PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), testing supplies, or anything else needed in this fight.
Our first responders of all types are stepping up as they do every day. All of these heroes work to keep us well and worry-free each and every day. Equipping them with this desperately needed resource might keep them safer while they keep our citizens safe.
These hard-working heroes need every advantage when fighting invisible foes. They also deserve gratitude for doing all they can to keep us safe. All we have to do to help is one, simple thing.
ReNueRx Pharmacy made these donations out of a desire to give back and hoping to inspire generosity and kindness in others. Raj makes it clear that he feels obligated to use the knowledge and resources at his disposal to serve his community. This donation was not an option, but a personal requirement.
When asked how others can contribute to flattening the curve he says without pause, “stay home.”
That’s it. Donate what you can, if you can, of course. Support local businesses with curbside or delivery orders, definitely. But social distancing is key, so Raj’s urgent advice remains, “stay home.” That is the one thing Raj and many others say will put an end to the spread of COVID-19.
Alleged cures can be found across social platforms and in dozens of chain emails sitting in your inbox right now. Raj offered advice, too. Don’t get your medical advice where you get your memes. If you have questions about your health or are symptomatic, call your healthcare provider. There is a lot of information available from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), too.
These are certainly trying times.
However, these times also reveal profound human decency and compassion, like that of the ReNue Rx Pharmacy team. The strength of human spirit, resolve, and resilience is on display everywhere you look.
Lifestyle Frisco is here to keep you informed and entertained while you stay safe, stay healthy, stay Frisco-strong, and stay home. It’s the easiest way for to support the heroes on the front lines of this battle. Heroes like Raj Chhadua and other first responders who are going about their days looking out for us, the way heroes do.