Blood is in the news… for a couple of reasons. The first reason is a recently-published Canadian study (which followed-up on earlier studies) that analyzed different blood types and how they relate to C19. In a nutshell, it’s slightly better to be type O and slightly worse to be type A… as far as likelihood and severity of C19. In no way should it alter anyone’s behaviour, because it’s not *that* statistically significant.
I happen to be one of these type-O people… O-negative, in fact, which makes me a universal donor. If any of you ever need some blood, hit me up – I’ve got lots, and can always make some more. Being O-neg, as many of my fellow O-neg people will tell you, means a phone call from the Red Cross every 56 days to go donate blood. I don’t go every 56 days, and I’ll admit I haven’t gone in quite a while… but I do go, and I enjoy my well-earned orange juice and chocolate-chip (not oatmeal-raisin!) cookie for doing so.
Here in Canada, apart from the cookies and juice, we don’t get paid to donate blood. I was interested to learn that in many parts of the world, you do. It’s not a lot, like around $30 per donation, but for some people that can make a difference, and there are people who depend on it. It’s a strange sort of welfare system.
Which brings us to the curious second reason; a plea from a university in the U.S. to its students… to not purposefully contract C19, with the intent of creating antibodies and then selling their plasma.
Convalescent plasma therapy (one of the treatments Trump received) involves taking the blood plasma of a person who’s had C19 and has recovered… but still has the antibodies floating around their blood. Injecting a C19-infected patient with that plasma should give said person’s immune system a good kick in the right direction. Indeed, early trials show a 35% better chance of survival when this is used in “optimal patients”.
It goes without saying that contracting C19 on purpose — any purpose — is not a great idea. That a university has to threaten its students with suspension or expulsion seems to speak to numerous larger issues: young people who think they’re invincible, starving university students trying to make ends meet, people seeking treatment options for friends or relatives who can’t afford it…
That last one is thought-provoking. Not everyone has access to medical care, but you might have access to someone you know who’s had C19 and has a compatible blood type. When it’s life or death, I guess you take what you can get.
I was going to end this with something like “It’s bloody time they do something about it” or “It’s a bloody shame what’s going on”, but instead… I have a joke… it has to do with Trump, and the sophisticated medical treatment he received… but I’m afraid nobody would get it.