Thalia's aerosol box in design and in practice.

Thalia Capos Importing Masks, Manufacturing Boxes to Fight Coronavirus

Chris Bradley, CEO of Thalia Capos, located in Pleasant Hill, California, felt that he had to take action to help in the U.S. effort to fight coronavirus. So, the company started by importing N95 masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) from one of its suppliers. After negotiating some regulatory hurdles, Thalia had 10,000 masks in transit and was planning to increase that to 50,000 masks and other PPE per week going forward then distribute all of this to hospitals in need.

Thalia then moved on to manufacturing aerosol boxes that better protect doctors and nurses as they perform endotracheal intubations on patients with the coronavirus.

Speaking to Music Inc. on April 6, Bradley said he arrived at the idea to manufacture the boxes the previous week. "I had to lay off all my employees and was looking for things that we could do to potentially become an essential business and help out these medical workers who are risking their lives for all of us," he said. "One of my friends, Gary Tamkin, who is an emergency room doc, came to me with the box and it just seemed like a perfect fit for our manufacturing capability because we have a lot of lasers and I could instantly see that we could make a high volume of these boxes in a short period of time.

Bradley outlined the level of danger involved for doctors and nurses when a patient with coronavirus is intubated: "An intubation is basically blowing mist and then you have water droplets and everything else from the patients," Bradley said. "So it's creating this aerosol experience that you want to protect yourself from." Bradley started with open-source designs of the box available online and then improved upon these, creating a better viewing window for doctors and nurses using them. Thalia also uses plastic wrap on the box to provide an extra layer of protection.

Thalia had already made 70 boxes and was in the process of determining how best to ship them. The company had already placed some of the boxes in local hospitals and meanwhile had moved to sell them online.

"What we noticed was nurses and doctors were just buying these out of their own pocket using their own credit cards, not the corporate credit card," he said. "We realized they just wanted the protection and didn't care if they had to pay for it. So we launched a GoFundMe page so that we could raise money through donations.

Click here to learn more about the box and make a donation.