At least we hope it may be the last we need to make!
Half way through 2020, and in some ways that feels like an achievement in itself. As we (once again) mourned the passing of David Bowie watching his legendary Glastonbury 2000 set, we couldn’t help thinking 2020 had taken a look at 2016 and said “Hold my beer…”. While lockdowns are eased in some places, with varying degrees of success in keeping the virus under control, in others the pandemic continues to accelerate. And while we all wonder when or if life will get back to some kind of normal, or what a putative ‘new normal’ might look like, the only thing we can say with any certainty is that this thing is a long way yet from being over.
Despite all this, our business situation remains basically the same. Most products continue to be available either from stock or with short lead times (some slightly extended on occasion due to the continued impact of the pandemic on global medical supply chains). The exception to this is still PPE and hygiene products, many of which continue to be either unavailable or in short supply. We do now have limited stocks of masks, gloves and medical-grade hand sanitisers, but our policy of not restocking items such as surgical gowns and certain glove types remains in place (and likely will for the foreseeable future). Order limits also remain in place, and unfortunately we have had no choice but to raise some prices, since many manufacturers’ prices are now up to 5x their pre-pandemic levels.
These past few months have been difficult for everyone, for many reasons. For us here at MedFetUK, it has been intense. Just like many mainstream medical suppliers, we have seen a huge increase in orders and enquiries…and at the same time had to deal with huge challenges in both sourcing and shipping due to constrained capacity and disrupted global transport systems. We are very proud of our achievements in making sure our customers have continued to get what they need with minimal delays, and deeply grateful for all your support and understanding throughout.
Then of course there was the small matter of finding ourselves being asked (on multiple occasions) to supply PPE to frontline NHS staff at the height of the pandemic in the UK, and subsequently finding ourselves at the centre of a brief but intense media storm following a fateful series of tweets. We genuinely thought we’d get a few likes and maybe a couple of retweets as usual. How wrong we were…to date that series of tweets has been seen nearly 8 million times! And if we played a small part in pushing the UK government into sorting out the shameful situation which prompted them, we’re glad to have done so.
But here’s the kicker…frankly, we’re exhausted. From March to June we processed and shipped nearly three times as many orders as we did in the same period last year. We’re not complaining, because it is and always has been an honour to serve our community, and a pleasure to see our small business grow…but even factoring in the effect of the pandemic, we just didn’t expect it to grow quite that fast!
So, to give ourselves a chance to recharge our batteries and prepare for whatever the second half of 2020 throws at us, we’re taking a break. Don’t worry though, it’s just a short one. We will not be shipping any orders between July 17th and July 27th inclusive. The website will still to be open for orders, but any placed during this period will be processed and dispatched from July 28th. We will be available for customer service and enquiries, though response times may be slightly extended. Social media updates may feature cocktails and seafood platters.
So if you’ve been thinking about placing an order, we suggest you do it asap, so we can get it sent on its way to you before we leave for a well-earned (we think!) few days of R&R. Once again, we want to thank all our customers, friends and followers in our wonderful worldwide MedFet community for all the love and support you’ve continued to show us, and we look forward to coming back stronger and better than ever (we already have some very exciting plans!).
See you on the other side…