Everybody knows the things that are hard to get in the days of the coronavirus – a few of those precious items are toilet paper, hand sanitizer and high-quality protective masks.

Well, as for that last item, one Greensboro company is switching gears to help meet the need.

Corsicana Mattress Co. workers at 8425 Triad Dr. in Greensboro are part of that company’s new national effort to produce up to 70,000 masks per week to help fill the need brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The company plans to sell the masks (pictured above) at cost to those who need them through Corsicana’s e-commerce retailers.

Joshua Steinreich, a senior account executive with Steinreich Communications Group Inc., speaking on behalf of Corsicana, said the company is turning mattress materials into personal protection.

“The company is making two styles of masks,” Steinreich said. “One is made using cotton and non-woven materials while the other is sewn with a black polyester blend fabric.”

He added that those fabrics are ordinarily used in the company’s mattress manufacturing process.

“The shift in production to manufacture masks will help relieve the shortage of personal protective equipment brought on since the global outbreak of the coronavirus,” he said.

Private companies shifting production to meet the new needs created by the virus is a trend these days – similar to the way, during World War II, the private sector transformed suddenly and radically to contribute to America’s war effort.

In Greensboro, other companies have shifted gears as well to meet the needs created by the pandemic. Volvo Group Trucks of the Americas, for instance, has for weeks been making face shield components for Cone Health.

James Booth, the chief operating officer of Corsicana Mattress, said that company officials were somewhat astonished at the prices they were seeing for the much needed masks.

“We’ve seen the stories of price gouging with masks and other supplies, and realized we could produce masks at a fraction of the costs we’ve seen,” Booth said this week.

He called the spread of the coronavirus and the ensuing healthcare crisis “unprecedented,” and he added that his company is committed to helping people stay safe.

He said he’s very thankful for all the “essential workers and healthcare officials” right now, and he is also thankful for the company’s staff that’s making the quick change.