June 30, 2020
We received a notice several weeks ago that there was going to be a blood drive at a local church. Melissa brought it to my attention and asked if I would be willing to go with her. I have been hearing about the shortage of blood not just in our area but across the nation. The local news has also mentioned a number of drives that were forced to cancel. They were going to require masks and to disperse the donation stations around a large fellowship hall. I agreed and we made an appoint for after Melissa’s work.
I arrived early and sat in my car waiting for Melissa to get there. I noticed several people come and go over the 20 minutes I waited. They were all putting on masks to go in and taking them off as soon as they got outside. We went in together and signed in. We were given several laminated sheets of instructions and then asked to take one of the socially distanced chairs. After a quick screening history, I was asked to take any of the dispersed tables to give blood. A nurse then came over and set up the equipment.
During the 5-10 minutes it took to prep me, I carried on a casual conversation with the nurse. I mentioned what I had heard about the drive cancelations and asked if they were just starting up again. She told me they have been doing blood drives all through the crisis. The problem is they are finding it hard to get donors. The canceled drives have happened because the locations have closed or canceled a drive already scheduled. When I learned this, I was glad the church decided to schedule a drive.
THOUGHTS: One of the reasons we decided to give blood was the promise of an antibody test. One successful treatment has been giving the “yellow gold” plasma from people who have had covid-19 and developed antibodies. We have not had symptoms, but the news talks a lot about the high number of asymptomatic cases. I used to give blood several times a year while I was in college, then I moved and got out of the habit. My information says you can give every 56 days, or eight weeks. Perhaps I will find another drive in two months. If you can, work to keep the conversation going.