STAY HOME is the good message being spread around the globe. Staying home saves lives, and you should most definitely do that, but if you’re eligible and able to donate blood, GO TO THE BLOOD DONOR CLINIC to save even more lives.
The need for blood doesn’t go away when pandemics strike. People canceling their blood donation appointments because they fear contracting the virus, or have contracted the virus, is another serious threat to healthcare systems across the globe right now. If you can, please, just do it!!
I did today, and yes, that is my arm in the article’s header image. Bandage of honor, baby! That tattoo has some special meanings and whatnot too, but that’s another story for another post, kids. Life is a big endless learning process, let me tell you.
I’m going to use today’s Blapril article to hopefully address all your concerns about the blood donation process, and maybe convince you to get out there and become a shining soul that helps the world get through these dark days?
Leaving your residence for any reason these days always comes with the risk of being exposed to the little relentless packets of RNA known as novel coronavirus. That’s just how it is. Blood donation centers are doing absolutely everything they can to minimize chances of spreading the virus to their clients.
From what I saw at the Canadian Blood Services location I visited today, they are doing one heck of an awesome job:
- COVID-19 Shall Not Pass. I wasn’t even allowed into their office without getting pre-screened. I had to sit on an isolated chair in the hallway, answer questions delivered by a lady who stayed 2 meters away from me the whole time, and then was handed a bottle of water as the doors were opened for me.
- There Are Apps for Everything. My country’s donation system has a neat phone app where I was able to fill out the required questionnaire beforehand. I was also able to self-sign in at a kiosk that had tons of hand sanitizer near it.
- Cleaning Kills Viruses. Blood donor clinics already have high levels of cleaning standards. The coronavirus hates being sanitized so the odds of picking up the little bugger there would be minimal on a normal carefree day (I miss those).
- Supervised Snack Time. My favourite part of the donation process, eating snacks and feeling good about myself after all the needles are gone, has changed drastically. The tables in the kitchen area were removed, there were only a few isolated chairs to sit on, and donors are no longer allowed to get their own snacks. I picked a seat, sat on it, was asked what kind of cookies and juice I wanted (Oreo and orange juice, in case you were wondering), and then a gloved staff member handed me the sweet stuff.
General Fear of Blood Donation
If you’ve never donated blood before, now is a super time to start! Having fresh blood in the system can help replace veteran donors who can’t make it under the current conditions.
Yes. Even if you meet all the eligibility requirements, I can fully appreciate the thought of having a needle jammed in your arm and your blood being drained is enough to chase you away.
Be brave, my friends. Lives depend on you.
As someone who has struggled with medical anxiety for most of her life, I totally get the fear of needles. My dad always loves to bring up how they had to chase young me around doctor’s offices to give her vaccinations. The idea of a needle piercing skin just makes your skin crawl. And that’s the key to overcoming that fear: stop thinking about it.
Distract your lovely stressed out brain with unrelated thoughts and meditation techniques. Think about the good you are doing. Imagine the lives your blood will be saving. Think of the glorious free cookies you get to eat after!
Blood donation is not a comfortable painless experience, I will not lie. But it’s not a blinding pain, either. It stings for a second when the needle enters your arm and you have to sit there very uncomfortably scared to move for about 10 minutes. Then it’s over and you get to eat cookies! Who doesn’t love cookies? And you would’ve earned those cookies for saving actual lives. That makes you a real life hero or shero!
Honestly, the most painful part is the hemoglobin test finger prick during the pre-examination. I keep banging it on stuff, and ow, the minor pain is barely noticeable. Do your research first, by all means, but the risks of blood donation are minimal and the benefits are numerous.
If you’re feeling powerless and hopeless as you watch the grim COVID-19 death totals and case counts explode, try to get out there and save some folks with the red stuff circulating in your veins. You can do it! I believe in you. Every bit of light puts a dent in the depressing darkness that’s swallowing the whole world lately.
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