Madison County businesses are stepping up in different ways to serve in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

David Rich spends most of his days making corn whiskey and aging bourbon. This put him in a unique position to produce hand sanitizer in a time when many shelves have been emptied by hoarders during the coronavirus pandemic.

“A lot of distilleries nationwide are doing this,” Rich said. “The government body that regulates distilleries sent out some information about how to do it and lifted some regulations and I hope I can make this stuff easier to find for some people.”

Along with toilet paper, hand sanitizer has been one of the better-publicized shortages worldwide.

Rich has several clients. His hand sanitizer is available to the public at Canton Discount Drugs, Mississippi Discount Drugs and Mosby’s Drugs Store in Canton. He also has several larger clients he is supplying, including 5,000 units for United States Post Office.

Finding some of the ingredients has proven tough, but there is one Rich has in supply, alcohol.

“I have plenty of high proof alcohol but some of the other stuff has proven hard to get a hold of,” Rich said. “Right now this is pretty much what I am doing all day.”

At the end of his current supply, he expects to have produced close to 500 gallons of the stuff.

Canton pharmacist David Berry said that their number one priority has been assuring that their supplies of medicine keep up with their high-risk customer’s demands. Diabetes medication has been a top priority.

Few private companies have mobilized efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic like Ridgeland-based C Spire.

C Spire customers were pleased over the weekend with text messages telling them that the company was providing an extra 25 gigabytes of data to all customers as long as everyone was being advised to shelter in place.

But where they have really contributed is telehealth. The company’s C-Spire Health application, which was already being used by UMMC clinicians to treat a wide variety of minor, non-emergency conditions such as cold flu, nausea, ear infections and migraine headaches, has been transformed into a tool focused solely on combating the spread of the virus in Mississippi.

Until the pandemic is under control, C Spire Health is only serving those with fevers, coughing, respiratory issues and other symptoms related to the virus. The app is not designed to replace a user’s normal primary care physician.

Patrons do not need to be C Spire customers to access the app. Internet access is required, however, and the app works only through mobile phones at the moment, not tablets or laptops.

We applaud these businesses and others as they step up and innovate in a crisis to serve.