COVID-19 Mask Search 2.0

Around two weeks ago, I posted about a bit of software I wrote in Python. The goal of this project was to quickly create spreadsheets of businesses in a given area, such that they could be imported into a shared Google Sheet and used in order to organize volunteers at my medical school in their efforts to call businesses and ask for donations of personal protective equipmment (PPE; namely N95s/masks) for our frontline healthcare workers. Word quickly spread and I was soon flooded with requests from students at other schools around the country to help them with fetching their own PPE data.

I wanted to publish this update both to share the good this little bit of code has helped make happen (see the map above), but more importantly to share the latest version. This new release of the software contains essential updates: not only is it cleaner and easier to understand (I hope), but new functionality has been added in to further automate the fetches of data. Now, instead of generating one CSV file per locale+industry, the software accepts a list of industries/business types and a locale and then searches for each industry in the given locale, ultimately generating an excel spreadsheet with multiple pages: one for each industry with hundres of rows of businesses and their info such as name, phone #, address, and some other added metadata for volunteers to use for organization. After that, all you need to do is upload this excel spreadsheet to Google sheets and convert it to the Google Sheets format (File -> Save as Google Sheet). Share it with a group of volunteers and let the phone calls and PPE donations start building up. This work can really make a difference for those on the frontline desperate for the PPE they need to protect themselves from infection!

Example of a spreadsheet of business data uploaded to Google Sheets.