[U] We Must Ever Keep Charity In Mind — Even In Tough Times… Donate Blood.

Our blood supply, in the US, is almost all derived from volunteer donors.

Plese consider donating — if you are healthy. See here:

. . . .Many states, including Washington, California, Kansas, Pennsylvania, the Carolinas, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, are now calling for blood donations. At the same time, some states are closing schools and other sites that typically host mobile blood drives; even prior to the coronavirus, some events had been canceled. In Massachusetts, the Red Cross announced last September it would no longer be hosting blood drives in the central and western parts of the state. Obviously, this makes it even harder for people to donate.

Even in the best of times, less than 10% of the U.S. population donates blood in a given year, although 38% are eligible. And these are not the best of times. Other than donations, there is no way to maintain a sufficient supply of blood. It cannot be manufactured, and no substitute for it has yet been invented. What’s more, it’s perishable. Red blood cells last 42 days, and platelets only five. Regular replenishment of the supply is imperative. On top of that, the blood banking industry was already facing major challenges before COVID-19; the U.S. supply chain is now undergoing major economic transformations. This includes increased competition among blood service organizations.

Our blood supply chain is stunningly complex. It requires altruistic donations, collection, testing, processing and distribution to hospitals and medical centers. All along the way, the coronavirus can disrupt any of these essential steps. If donors are ill, they cannot donate; if the staff is ill, they cannot collect, test and process. If our health care workers are compromised, they cannot transfuse. . . .

To avoid shortages, the American Red Cross is encouraging healthy, eligible individuals to schedule a blood or platelet donation at Redcrossblood.org. Donating blood is safe, and there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted by blood transfusion. This was also the case for other major coronaviruses, SARS and MERS-CoV. . . .

Do be excellent to one another — even those you’ve not yet met. . . consider donating — I will this coming week. Update: Nationwide, the Red Cross won’t hold blood drives — until next week, on a wise flattening strategy. But it is at least one concrete thing you can do.

नमस्ते

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