This text was first published in ifixit.com. We’re proudly re-publishing it on the SHIFT blog, because reparing, as well as reusing sh**t is intelligent and sustainable. You should do it whenever you can.
Repair is essential.
Before COVID-19 overtook the world, this was more of a rallying cry than a policy up for debate. But as governments big and small shut down more and more businesses and functions, they’ve consistently ruled that most repair businesses and centers are essential to keeping society moving.
To some, it might seem obvious. If you can’t drive your car or pedal your bike in an emergency, turn on your computer for work, or halt a damaging leak, you—and those who rely on you—are in bad shape. Utilities, crucial industries, and security operations all need parts and services. And hospitals are going to need all the help they can get keeping respirators and other crucial devices running—that’s why we’re rapidly gathering manuals for them.
But when we’re all told that we have to limit physical exposure to one another as much as possible, it might make you wonder why the bike shop is open while your favorite restaurant is closed. Or why your neighbor who works in IT is heading to work while you and yours are sheltering in place.
Repair keeps the nation’s essential critical infrastructure operational, says the Department of Homeland Security. Those who test and repair in healthcare, water, communications, and a half-dozen other categories need to work, and their work, it is implied if not stated, is worth the risk of exposure.