Donating blood in the era of Covid-19

So, you want to help out by doing more than staying home? You can.

First of all, let’s be clear: you already are helping by practicing social distancing, washing your hands, wearing a mask, and following CDC and local guidelines. It may feel repetitive and not “enough,” but trust us, you are a hero to those who are most vulnerable. You’re a hero to grandmas, dads, and immunocompromised friends and family. You’re a hero to frontline workers asking you to flatten the curve. Never have we been asked to do so much for others by seemingly doing so little. And that’s enough.

But if you want to help in other ways? Then this is for you.

What if I told you there is a way you can make a critical difference in the fight to save our communities. What if I told you that you may already have that ability! You can, by donating blood, which is in critically short supply.

Undead Labs is partnering with the American Red Cross

For the months of June and July, we urge eligible volunteers to make an appointment to donate blood at a Red Cross blood bank.

Health check: this opportunity exists within United States only due to the many complex local and regional laws and guidelines for donating blood. Not in the U.S.? We still urge you to find out about donating blood by contacting a blood bank in your area.

We chose this partnership for a few reasons:

  • There is no known end date in this fight against Covid-19, and the Red Cross needs the help of blood and platelet donors to ensure blood products are readily available for weeks to come
  • It’s important to remember that blood is perishable and cannot be stockpiled
  • The need for blood is constant, and donors are the only source of blood for those in need
  • Summer is historically the most dangerous time of year for those needing blood because donations dwindle. This year is no exception; we expect to see fewer donations than ever, which is a real life or death risk to those in need

Blood saves lives, and you might be carrying around a life-saving supply.

Donating blood in March at a Red Cross blood drive

Is it dangerous to donate blood in a pandemic?

Donating blood remains a safe and essential activity for the community. Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control.

Health check: find out if you’re eligible here.

On a personal note, I donated for the first time at a Red Cross blood drive in April, and I’ll share more about that in a future post.

To ensure the health of staff and donors, precautions taken by the Red Cross include:

  • Checking temperatures of staff and donors before entering a drive to make sure they are healthy
  • Providing hand sanitizer for use before the drive, as well as throughout the donation process
  • Following social distancing between donors including entry, donation, and refreshment areas
  • Ensuring face masks or coverings are worn by both staff and donors.
  • Routinely disinfecting surfaces, equipment, and donor-touched areas.
  • Wearing gloves, and changing gloves often
  • Using sterile collection sets and an aseptic scrub for every donation

This is the time to take care of one another, and blood donation is essential to ensuring the health of those in our community.

Recovered from Covid-19? You’re in a unique position to save others.

If you have had and recovered from Covid-19, the antibodies now floating around in your platelets are extremely valuable. Platelets have a 5-day shelf life, making them the most in-demand and rare type of donation. Your antibodies can help speed the recovery and healing of people suffering from the effects of Covid-19.


Crisis is an opportunity.

State of Decay 2 is a game about surviving, together. It’s about working as a community to level each other up, to save each other.

In a crisis, we have the opportunity to see the best of humanity. We “look for the helpers.” Sometimes we can be helpers, working together, to save the world.

What next?

You’ve made it this far, thank you for reading! Thank you for looking for a way to make a difference and giving it your thoughtful consideration.

  1. Are you feeing healthy? Symptom free? Haven’t been around anyone infected or symptomatic? Okay good, keep washing those hands and move to step 2!
  2. Check your eligibility. Things have changed even in recent months, so if you think you aren’t eligible, maybe double check.
  3. Schedule an appointment with your local Red Cross blood bank. It’s super-fast to do online — just put in your zip code and search — or you can call 1-800-RED CROSS, or download the app (more on that in my next post).
  4. When you donate, snap a selfie and tag us on Twitter, and use the hashtag #SoD2BloodDrive to make sure we see it. Your donation photo may be featured on a future livestream and eligible for prizes! It’s a thank you from us for your meaningful action.

Look for more to come from us in June and July about helping save lives with the American Red Cross. In the meantime, would you share this post? Maybe someone you know wants to help but doesn’t know where to start. Help raise awareness about the need for blood donors.

Join us on our Monday livestream June 15, 3-4pm PT, with special guests to talk more about our partnership.

Together, we survive.

The American Red Cross name and emblem are used with its permission, which in no way constitutes an endorsement, express or implied, of any product, service, company, opinion or political position.