The N95 masks being donated by Nintendo are in high demand across the country following shortages at multiple hospitals and other medical facilities.
We may have our qualms with Nintendo from time to time, but now isn’t one of them. The gaming giant has generously donated over 9,500 N95 masks to the Eastside Fire & Rescue, a group of firefighters and emergency responders in Washington State. They operate inside the eastern part of King’s County in Washington, which houses the city of North Bend, the home of one of Nintendo’s North American production facilities.
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, N95 mask supplies across the country are running dangerously low. Multiple hospitals and medical facilities across America are facing shortages of the protective supplies necessary to keep health workers safe.
So far, help has been much appreciated. According to a press release from Eastside Fire & Rescue, Nintendo has been “putting smiles on the faces of everyone Nintendo touches.” Officially, the donation was carried out by Nintendo representative Jerry Danson. According to Danson, Nintendo originally had the masks “for emergency preparedness planning.” However, with the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic, the company decided to donate the masks. Eastside Fire & Rescue will be distributing the masks to “address immediate needs, including the City of North Bend.”
— Eastside Fire & Rescue (@EastsideFire) March 24, 2020
This is the most profound action taken by a gaming company amidst the ongoing pandemic. Most large developers and publishers have focused their actions towards their own workers. Square Enix for example, is allowing its employees to work from home. And yes, while Nintendo is only donating masks to a county where it has a production facility, those masks will also be going to other cities and towns.
Nintendo’s action here serves as a litmus test for other companies. This is a threat that cannot be battled with inward action. If more large companies take action like Nintendo has, the Coronavirus pandemic could end sooner rather than later.