BERKELEY (KPIX 5) — A family-run company in Berkeley has changed their daily operations to help Bay Area hospitals by creating protective face shields for healthcare workers on the frontlines of the fight against coronavirus.

This is a wonderful example of American ingenuity during a crisis. From recognizing the need, to concept and now a face shield prototype, it took only about an hour.

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Carl Bass and Chris Taggart own a private machine shop. The two retired successful software engineering executives now build whatever they want, and they brainstormed to come up with a new face shield design.

“So we tried to figure out and we realized, what if we just took a piece of plastic and hung it from a baseball cap? It’s worked out pretty well!” Bass said.

It is simplicity in its purest form–cheap, easy to make, and one size fits all. Family members are pitching in to help assemble the shields. They are free to frontline medical workers, like hospice nurse Sophie.

“I can wipe this with hand sanitizer or alcohol or even, I think I can even wash it with soap and water,” she said.

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The plastic shield can be removed from the hat and be used over and over if sanitized regularly. She’s getting enough for her entire crew.

So far, Brass and Taggart have given away hundreds of masks, assembled nearly 2,000 and have materials to make almost 20,000 if needed.

“Truthfully, I think in normal times, we wouldn’t be using Baseball Caps as protective gear. [But these are not normal times.] No, these are not normal times,” Bass said.

Bass intends to spread the word about the face shields, not the virus. If you need some face shields, email Bass at or contact him on his Instagram account,@PeoplesProtectiveEquipment. Also try searching the tag #Protection2thePeople on social media.

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There is also a GoFundMe page set up.