PackTalk is a blog for the Healthcare Packaging Industry

Oliver & COVID-19: An Employee Perspective


Published on April 8, 2020

Anxious. Disconnected. Overwhelmed. Grateful. Inspired. Resilient.  

Like many of you, I am feeling all of these. Often within a few minutes of each other, and even at the same time. I am a full-time Oliver employee, working remotely right now, with two young children at home, a first grader and a fourth grader. They each have a distance learning plan at school, utilizing different technology. I am a mom, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, and a colleague. Navigating our new normal during COVID-19 has been challenging, and there have been many moments of laughter and tears. Some days are easier than othersI am accepting that and giving myself grace (I hope you are, too). 

Yes, life is crazy and unpredictable right now. But in the last month, I have had many moments of extreme gratefulness. Grateful for my health and the health of my family. Grateful for the dedication of the healthcare community, including my own sisters (a hospital nurse and a pediatric nurse practitioner). I have renewed appreciation for the hard-working teachers who continue to give it their all.  

While this situation has been hard, I still feel inspiredWe often hear that people show their true colors during times of hardship. I believe it, and here’s why: 

  • The healthcare community, including the doctors and nurses who continue to show up each day to care for the sick; plus, the orderlies & aides, and the janitorial staff for keeping these well-trafficked medical facilities clean.  

  • The medical device, diagnostics and pharmaceutical companies who are developing testing kits, vaccines, and medications to fight the virus.  

  • Essential workers like police and fire fighters, EMTs and first responders, grocery store employees, delivery drivers, and manufacturing professionals like our Oliver team. 

  • People who are reaching out and taking care of one another…whether that means checking in with a simple hello or helping care for an elderly (or sick) family member or neighbor.  

I have never been prouder to work at OliverWe are packaging COVID-19 items, including testing kits, swabs, and more. We have also had the opportunity to donate pouches to re-sterilize PPE like face masks for healthcare staff, and create new face shields for them as well.   

One of my favorite stories about Oliver happened last week. While waiting for our order of surgical masks to clear FDA approval (to be used by our manufacturing teams coming to work each day), the President of our Americas division and our Chief Financial Officer (plus many employee volunteers) came together to sew enough cloth masks for every production staff member at Oliver (2 masks each). We hear about servant leadership all the time, but to see it in action at this level…it is something I will always remember. 

Good news like this has helped me stay positive (for the most part) and maintain a perspective of gratitude. To that end, here’s something else that has helped: 

John Krasinksi’s #SomeGoodNews: Episode 1 and Episode 2 

Enjoy!  

Katie Scharff
Director, Marketing Communications | Oliver Healthcare Packaging

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