Langley Advance Times reporter Ryan Uytdewilligen gave blood on Tuesday. (Ryan Uytdewilligen/Langley Advance Times)

Giving blood during the coronavirus pandemic

A first person account detailing a recent visit to Canadian Blood Services

Giving blood makes me woozy on a good day, so I was extra curious and extra pale when I went to donate last week amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

I wondered what exactly had changed because of the pandemic; could the nurses actually stay two metres away while jabbing me with a needle?

I was just starting to get comfortable with the regular procedures set in place, newly adapting to the fact you could fill out that nosy questionnaire from home to save some time.

Without a regular donor clinic in Langley, pop-up clinics make the process all the more adventurous and unpredictable – this time it was at Church in the Valley.

I showed up, Q-pass in hand, and was told to wait outside. There was a line, but we all managed to keep our distance and wait until our name was called one by one.

READ MORE: Aldergrove senior gives blood for 200th time, has ‘saved’ 600 lives

Upon entry, I was given a face mask to wear and told not to take it off at any point.

At the check-in table, me and the nurse were separated by a Plexiglas shield where she asked a number of COVID related questions and then proceeded to take my temperature – relying on me to operate the thermometer.

Because I checked in online to obtain the Q-pass and was cleared to donate, I was whisked away to the waiting area. Thankfully, due to the spacious entryway of Church in the Valley, chairs were appropriately spaced two meters apart.

The donation process is more or less the same; there’s still the same unpleasant finger prick.

Beds are put further apart however, and nurses wear masks and gloves while taking extra precautions as they facilitate the process.

After blood is successfully taken, I waited a little longer in my chair – which is carefully sanitized after leaving; the elongated wait time is so people are conjugating around the snack table.

Cookies and juice are still up for grabs, but you are able to take your treat to go.

I can tell you first hand, the whole process took the same amount of time as it regularly would have – even with COVID precautions in place.

Staff and volunteers remain friendly and never once did I feel unsafe, exposed, or too close to another donor.

People can find out more on the donation process during COVID-19 at https://blood.ca/en/covid19 or book an appointment here.

The next donor clinics will be held at Church in the Valley (23589 Old Yale Rd) on Tuesday, May 26, Willoughby Christian Reformed Church (17475, 59th Ave.) on Saturday June 6, and Blacklock Fine Arts Elementary (5100, 206 St.) on Sunday, June. 21.

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

blood donorCoronavirusLangley

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Townhouse fire in Langley

Crews called to scene Saturday afternoon

VIDEO: Langley-Aldergrove MP Tako van Popta hands out seedlings at Home Depot

Free Saskatoon berry and Red-twig Dogwood plants were offered up to shoppers Saturday morning

VIDEO: Friday night car show a no go at Surrey/Langley border

Vintage cares were turned away at 2800 block of 192nd Street due to COVID-19 precautions

Graduation 2020: Langley Fine Arts student celebrates amid social distancing

Emilie Colbourne submitted a photo of her daughter celebrating grad with her grandparents

Trudeau offers $14B to provinces for anti-COVID-19 efforts through rest of year

Making a difference in municipalities is a pricey proposition

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping the Aldergrove Star to continue its mission to provide trusted local news

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

Run for Water: Abbotsford man raises $100,000 running 100-mile marathon

Kevin Barata ran up and down Ledgeview Trails 32 times, exceeding elevation of Mt. Everest

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Most Read