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Why You Should Donate Blood During the Pandemic

On July 22, 2020, I finally got the chance to donate blood. Although I have always wanted to donate, I never thought that I would be doing so during a pandemic. Here are some reasons why you should too:

There is a blood shortage.

Our nation is experiencing a blood shortage. The Red Cross aims to have a 5 day supply of blood at all times but right now, during the pandemic, they do not. Not only are the hospitals dealing with a blood shortage due to COVID-19, but they are also resuming other surgeries. As an incentive, if you donate between now and August 31st, you will receive a $5 Amazon gift card.

You may have COVID-19 antibodies.

If you have had COVID-19, the antibodies in your blood can be used for scientific research or given to patients in critical condition. This research can lead to a vaccine, or at the least, your blood can potentially save a COVID-19 patient’s life.

It is a way to give back.

As a college student without much money, giving blood is a great way to contribute to society. Giving a pint of your blood does not harm you and can provide substantial benefit to someone in a hospital.

You are young and healthy.

We are in the prime of our youth. Having a healthy body should not be taken for granted. Therefore, if you are a healthy adult, now is the time to donate. You never know when your health will prevent you from donating in the future, so now is your time.

You recieve a mini health screening.

While donating blood during the pandemic, the Red Cross will test your blood for COVID-19 antibodies free of charge. They also check for any other diseases that normally would be transmitted through blood. This is a good way to get an update on your own health, too.

You can donate for life.

Donating blood is a lifelong activity that you can do to give back to your community. As long as you are healthy, you can donate every 56 days. With the Blood Donor app, you can track your blood journey, blood type, and amount donated over time.

From my personal experience, the idea of donating during a pandemic can be scary. However, I can now say that it was not only safe but also comfortable. I had my temperature checked multiple times, everything was thoroughly sanitized, and everyone remained properly distanced. It was a quick and painless process that took less than an hour. I hope you consider scheduling your donation soon. For more information on eligibility visit this link.

Layla Ennis

Lafayette '23

Campus Correspondent Junior at Lafayette College
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