So I was wondering when and how the universe would speak to me again and they did today indirectly, randomly, serendipitously which is the universe’s preferred way of communicating with me and frankly my preferred way of hearing from them–that direct thing was way out of pocket. They spoke to me during my run in Riverside Park this morning through an oncologist at Johns Hopkins on a podcast. You will need to listen through to the very end of this excellent, hopeful, informative, at moments devastating and heartbreaking 38 minutes Radiolab report to hear Dr. Tatiana Prowell’s message from the universe.
This Radiolab episode is on the science behind immunity sharing, something called “convalescent plasma transfusion,” a century-old procedure that could very well help us bring this pandemic under control sooner rather than later, before too many of us have to die. And you, or someone you know, will very likely play a role in bringing this miracle about. Through Dr. Prowell the universe explains why this method will work–symmetry, the beauty of the essential, the deep truth of what it means to be alone, the deeper truth that we are not alone–things the universe holds dear.
I will warn you, however, that there is a harrowing moment when Dr. Prowell describes the true existential horror of what this virus will cause humans individually and collectively. The universe, as we know, is not an entity of sheer goodness. Remember when they spoke to me in Costa Rica they told me the universe is “tipped” toward joy–that is not exactly a panacea. The universe is also cruel and ironic, or as a character in The Tiger King describes it: “There is a God, her name is Karma, and she has a sick sense of humor.” But I believe in my heart that the universe ultimately has our back, and at the end of the podcast they tell us a very universe-y thing: an answer to our latest existential challenge is within, both literally and metaphorically. Our own blood plasma. Simple, elegant, obvious. I urge you to listen and then I urge you to act.
If you have recovered from Covid-19 and want to donate plasma, national and local donation registries are gearing up to collect blood.
To sign up with the American Red Cross, a national organization that works in local communities, head here.
To find out more about the The National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project, which we spoke about in our episode, including information on clinical trials or plasma donation projects in your community, go here.
And if you are in the greater New York City area, and want to donate convalescent plasma, head over to the New York Blood Center to sign up. Or, register with specific NYC hospitals here.
If you are sick with Covid-19, and are interested in participating in a clinical trial, or are looking for a plasma donor match, check in with your local hospital, university, or blood center for more; you can also find more information on trials at The National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project.