The editorial trifecta this month focuses on taking care of yourself and your community.
Our blood banks, i.e. our local hospitals, have limited blood on hand. The American Red Cross notes that the facts are:
Blood is needed every two seconds.
About one in seven people entering a hospital needs blood.
Blood is always needed for treatment of accident victims, cancer patients, hemophiliacs and surgery patients.
Blood cannot be manufactured.
Only 37% of our country's population is eligible to give blood, and less than 10% of those who can donate actually do donate annually.
Did you know that giving blood also can benefit the donor? In addition to knowing you have helped others, you might be helping yourself. Donating blood stimulates blood cell production, so effectively in fact that you can give again in 90 days. You also get a mini-checkup when being screened at the donation site.
Call for a care wave.
We’ve long passed the 20-day mark for 90-degree days in 2021 -- the most since 2012 when the region recorded 31.
We can’t end the heat wave, but we can combat it with a care wave. Check on elderly neighbors -- share a glass of lemonade, offer to mow their lawn early in the morning or late at night, make sure their AC is working or they have some respite from the heat. Watch out for young children unknowingly pushing themselves toward dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Time for an ice cream break.
Helping others (and yourself) stay cool now will warm your heart when cold winter returns.
Practice pandemic protocols
We should have been doing it all along: washing our hands, covering our cough, staying home when sick. If the pandemic has taught us nothing else, this much is clear.
Now the Delta variant is prompting a COVID-19 resurgence, so masks -- which the unvaccinated still should have been wearing in public indoor places -- are strongly recommended even for the fully vaccinated.
Put them on. If not for yourself, then for your neighbor to show you care and for medical providers to reduce their burden.
Get vaccinated. If not for yourself, then for the vulnerable to lower their risk and for the school children to increase their chances of having in-person learning all year.
Let’s beat back this virus by practicing common sense.