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How Testing Positive for COVID-19 Can Help You Fight the Pandemic

We are living in incredibly stressful times. Working from home is not only affecting our mental health but can make us feel incredibly powerless at times. Of course, we can all help fight this pandemic by wearing masks, staying at home and social distancing, but it is not uncommon to sometimes wish you could do more. Furthermore, getting infected with the virus despite all the precautions you took can feel incredibly discouraging. I tested positive for COVID-19 myself two months ago, which came as a big shock after all the effort I put into following the rules. Thankfully, I did not experience any symptoms or infect anyone else. Knowing that not everyone is so lucky, I wanted to see if there was something more I could do to help. When I read about convalescent plasma testing, I signed up right away, and I encourage anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past to do the same. 

The Canadian Blood Bank is looking for people who have COVID-19 antibodies and are willing to donate blood plasma for research into treating the virus. It is a non-invasive procedure, no different than donating blood. The registration is simple and only takes a few minutes, after which you will be called by the blood bank for further information. There are a few requirements for donating plasma, including being younger than 67 years old, having previously tested positive for COVID-19, and have been symptom-free for at least 28 days. I registered and am currently awaiting a call, so hopefully, I can start donating soon. I highly recommend everyone who is eligible to sign up for this study, as it is an easy, fulfilling way of contributing to the fight against the pandemic. And who knows, maybe our blood will lead to a new treatment being developed! 

Here is the link to the blood bank page with the information on donating blood plasma! 

Maaike is an international student from Curacao in her sophomore year at the University of Guelph. Originally from the Netherlands, she loves cats, grilled cheese and reading (and watching the movie adaptations!).If she could live anywhere, it would be on Broadway.
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