Like everyone else, Dan Cranston is waiting to see what happens next.

But Cranston, who owns a safety company in Sanford as well as a company which makes grilling accessories, has multiple family connections which have given him a perhaps unique insight into multiple aspects of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Cranston’s oldest son, Nick, works for the Moses Cone hospital network as the director of outpatient surgery. His middle son, Alex, works for a company in Hickory which has consulted for a number of textile company projects, including the production of specialized safety masks. And his wife, Leslie, works as a respiratory therapist in Sanford and Siler City.

“There are lots of Sanford connections in this story,” Cranston said.

Cranston’s son Alex works for the Hickory-based Manufacturing Solutions Center, which has helped to prototype a specialized safety mask containing extremely tiny copper filaments with antimicrobial properties. Cranston said he was fascinated by the thought that one of his sons was involved in the production of an essential item that will most likely be supplied to both his wife and his other son during the crisis.

He also said his two family members in the medical field have offered glimpses into the mindset of what healthcare workers are dealing with, even as the pandemic hasn’t exploded locally so far.

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“My wife was issued one N95 mask that she’s supposed to keep and clean after use,” he said. “That’s highly unusual. Usually they throw them away. It’s been tough for all of the workers, I’m sure. They all seem to kind of be bracing for the volume to pick up. And my wife’s been worried every day that when she comes home, she’s going to bring the virus home with her.”

Still, Cranston said there’s a level of comfort in knowing his family is working against the pandemic. He said he also takes some pride in the fact that both of his sons got a good education locally and are now putting it to good use.

“Both of my sons went to Lee Senior, and they both got a really good education,” he said. “I don’t take a lot of credit for it. They’ve worked hard. And I hope someone from Lee Senior can see what they’re doing and know that the school played a part in it.”

— Gordon Anderson