By Bailee Rowles
It is March 2021, the one-year anniversary of when COVID-19 was declared a nationwide pandemic by the World Health Organization. Twelve months have passed and everyone is still affected by that declaration. For many, there does not seem to be an end in sight. However, making a change to help those who have been struggling throughout the pandemic is impossible.
As more individuals are exposed to COVID-19 and experience symptoms, increasing demands are asked of hospitals, which has been a growing problem over the past year. Hospitals have been overwhelmed by the fast-spreading virus, and any help has been greatly appreciated by our healthcare workers, be it donations or spreading awareness. However, another great way to support your local hospitals is by donating blood.
The need for blood in U.S. hospitals is constant, whether the country is in the midst of a pandemic or not. Dealing with COVID-19 has only increased the strain on hospitals, meaning a blood donation is even more appreciated. Due to social distancing and the cancellation of blood drives, many hospitals struggled to maintain an adequate blood supply during the first several months of the pandemic. However, as this virus has become our country’s new normal, blood drives are able to take place again, though by appointment only. Locally, Menno Haven will soon be hosting one in Chambersburg.
As mentioned, the blood drive is being held by appointment only in order to maintain social distancing and COVID protocols. However, setting an appointment is extremely easy. Sign up here: https://www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/donation-time. The blood drive is being held on March 30, 2021, and appointments can be made from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The drive will be held at 15 South Main Street in Chambersburg, about one mile from Wilson College. The blood drive is in the Franklin County Visitors Bureau, and walk-ins are not permitted due to COVID protocol. There is no fee, simply schedule your appointment online to save lives and help hospitals!
Blake Perry, a freshman at Wilson, plans to donate blood at Menno Haven’s upcoming drive. Perry has given blood several times before and she’s looking forward to donating again for the first time since the pandemic began.
“I’ve always liked giving blood. It doesn’t hurt too much, and it helps out a lot,” says Perry. The last time she was able to donate was at a blood drive held by her high school last year before the pandemic was officially declared a nationwide emergency. Registering to donate blood was simply another part of Perry’s schedule that was thrown off by COVID-19.
“It feels good to get back to doing something that feels normal to me,” Perry says, “And, you know, it really doesn’t take long or bother me much. If you aren’t sure how to help out, this is definitely an easy way to.”
In Perry’s opinion, registering through Red Cross is fast and easy and she suggests everyone think about donating blood during this drive, or a future drive.