Goggles for Docs sends protective eye gear to COVID-19 frontline medical workers

Tulane University may be far from the slopes, but standard snow skiing equipment is being put to good use here in New Orleans. Dr. Marcia Glass, an associate professor of medicine at Tulane University School of Medicine, coordinated a donation from Goggles for Docs, a nationwide effort to deliver protective goggles to frontline workers caring for COVID-19 patients. CBS News interviewed Glass about the program.

“Your eyes are very exposed and that’s a way for the virus to jump immediately into your body and attack you,” Glass said. “We started out with these disposable glasses that were uncomfortable and weren’t designed for extreme PPE conditions.”

Glass quickly found the ski goggles to be better suited for a busy hospital. “These goggles are designed for extreme conditions, so they work really well in humidity,” she said. “After a while, you don’t even really notice you’re wearing them.”

The Goggles for Docs program has collected more than 41,000 sets of goggles since the program began in March. People are disinfecting and donating new and used pairs of ski, snowmobile and motorcycle goggles, and the protective eye gear is being sent to hospitals around the country. The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team is even encouraging its Olympic-level athletes to get involved.

“It’s been so incredibly moving,” said Glass. “People included these nice notes with the goggles. Like all these East Coast ski instructors and whole families sent notes that said, ‘Stay strong.’”

Goggles for Docs sent more than 400 pairs of protective gear to New Orleans – about $40,000 worth of equipment - and continues to collect more through a website established for the cause. For more information and to contribute, click here.