Hand sanitizer and other cleaning products are normally easy to find, but since the COVID-19 pandemic, they have been hard to come by. Many stores have limited quantities of these items, or are completely sold out.
In response to the shortage of hand sanitizer, a team from USD’s chemistry department has created a small bulk supply of homemade sanitizer.
Bruce Gray, a research associate for the chemistry department, said the original idea behind making the hand sanitizer was to protect the chemistry team from the potential spread of the coronavirus.
“We realized we had the raw ingredients at our disposal to make our own hand sanitizer and incorporated it into our protocol to keep the typical contact surfaces disinfected,” Gray said in an email interview with The Volante.
This supply is available free of charge to the USD community. For students who need hand sanitizer, they may visit the front desk at the Muenster University Center and bring their own clean container. Since there is a limited amount, this supply of hand sanitizer is only available to USD faculty, students and staff.
Gray said the chemistry department wants to do their part to help out the USD community as much as they can.
“It is really encouraging to see our community come together and help each other like this during this challenging time,” Gray said.
For the rest of the Vermillion community, hand sanitizer is available at another place in town. Valiant Vineyards, Vermillion’s winery, is also producing homemade hand sanitizer and cleansing wipes. Although the winery is closed to the public, they are doing their part to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aside from providing wine-making products and services to those in need, Valiant Vineyards used their own blend of ethanol and aloe vera for hand sanitizer and wipes, which are available for purchase through email order. A 34 ounce jar of sanitizing wipes is $8.45 and a six ounce jar of hand sanitizer is $6.95. Since Valiant Vineyards is closed to the public, all orders must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about how the USD and Vermillion communities are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit usd.edu/covid19.