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The U.S. blood supply is so low, blood banks are offering donors VIP Jets tickets or Krispy Kreme donuts for a year

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Here’s one way to roll up your sleeve and make a difference during this pandemic Giving Tuesday.

America is facing a critical blood supply shortage this winter, largely thanks to COVID-19-related closures canceling blood drives, as well as the wildfires in the West and hurricanes and severe storms in the south further disrupting donations.

The AABB (formerly the American Association of Blood Banks), America’s Blood Centers and the American Red Cross recently issued a joint statement warning that the country’s blood centers have reported “significant declines” in collections this year.

Someone in this country needs a blood transfusion every two seconds, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). While the spiking number of COVID cases and hospitalizations across the country has dominated headlines this year, that doesn’t mean that all other medical emergencies have stopped. People are still undergoing surgeries and organ transplants, for example, which require blood supplies. And donated blood is a lifeline for people including the victims of car crashes and other emergencies, as well as cancer patients who may need blood products to boost their immune systems.

Read:There are many reasons to donate to charity this Giving Tuesday — but here’s a little added tax incentive

Yet the Red Cross, which supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood, told MarketWatch that more than 50,000 blood drives have been scrapped since March as the pandemic forced schools, businesses and community organizations to close, which has impacted more than 1 million blood donation appointments. And Red Cross Blood Services must collect 13,000 donations a day to meet the need of the hospitals and patients it serves.

America’s Blood Centers warns on its website that 15 of its community blood centers have just a one-day supply or less.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also called on New Yorkers to give blood during a Giving Tuesday press conference, warning that the city’s blood banks only had enough supplies to last three days — less than half of the target of maintaining seven days’ worth of blood. The Big Apple is hoping to bank another 25,000 pints of blood by New Year’s Eve — and the city is sweetening the deal for donors by dangling prizes in front of them, such as the chance to win a VIP tour of the Empire State Building, “coaches’ club’’ tickets to a New York Jets football game, and a year’s supply of Krispy Kreme donuts.

“The current blood supply is down to just a few days — just a few days,” de Blasio said. “This is really a very, very urgent situation.”

While canceled blood drives have represented the biggest hit to many blood banks’ supply, the fear of contracting the coronavirus has also kept some from giving blood.

Health officials have encouraged Americans to continue to donate blood throughout the pandemic. U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams has said, “You can still go out and give blood. We’re worried about potential blood shortages in the future. Social distancing does not have to mean social disengagement.” Both the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have also released statements urging healthy individuals to donate blood if they can. Even if you are sheltering in place, you can leave home to do “essential” things such as buy food, pick up medications — and donate blood.

What’s more, the American Red Cross is testing all blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies, as the convalescent plasma from whole blood donations that test positive for the coronavirus could be used to treat current COVID-19 patients who are seriously ill.

Opinion: We might get back to normal even before a vaccine by using this century-old method to treat COVID-19

If you have questions about giving blood during the pandemic, this article breaks down what you need to know about giving blood during this pandemic, and also dispels some common myths — no, you won’t be tested for the coronavirus when you donate, for example. This is where you can get tested, and what you can expect.

If you are interested in donating blood, the following organizations can connect you to a local blood-collection site to schedule an appointment. What’s more, some centers can arrange to call your mobile phone when they’re ready for you to come in, to minimize your time in the waiting area.

AABB: aabb.org

America’s Blood Centers:americasblood.org

American Red Cross: redcrossblood.org

Armed Services Blood Program:militaryblood.dod.mil

Blood Centers of America:bca.coop

And if you’re looking for other ways to give back during the holidays, here’s how your Giving Tuesday donations can help the COVID-19 vaccination rollout.





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S.E.C. Commissioner Hester Peirce on the outlook for crypto regulation, and whether this will finally be the year we see a Bitcoin ETF.





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My husband doesn’t get along with my son. I brought most of the wealth into our marriage. How do I split my estate?

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Dear Quentin,

How do couples typically handle their estates in a second marriage? My husband and I have been married for seven years, and it is the second marriage for both of us. I have one adult child from my previous marriage; he has no children.

I brought the majority of our wealth to our marriage, including almost $1 million in my 401(k) and a nice home that is almost paid off; otherwise, we have no debt. My husband and I bought a second home together. We work hard to fund our new 401(k)s, and own a successful business together.

I am turning 65 this year, so estate planning is long overdue. My husband is five years younger than me, and we are both in very good health. We have two issues facing us: I see our retirement as living very comfortably on the monthly income generated by our 401(k)s, pension, Social Security, etc., and leaving whatever may be left to my son.


‘The other issue is that my husband no longer gets along with my dear son at all, and feels no obligation to get along with him.’

I am not interested in scrimping, but I want to be able to have enough money to last us until age 90 (or beyond) by not touching the principal. My husband is more interested in dipping deep into our savings, and living it up in retirement while we are young enough to enjoy it.

The other issue is that my husband no longer gets along with my dear son at all, and feels no obligation to get along with him, to the point that neither one wants anything to do with the other. As far as he is concerned, my son doesn’t meet his expectations, and so deserves nothing from me and certainly nothing from him.

I want my estate planning to be fair to both my new husband and my son. How do people typically handle this type of quandary? I think that I need to create some type of trust to pass on my share of our estate to my son. My pre-marriage assets involved my son as I pursued my graduate degree through night school and worked long hours throughout his childhood.

Second Wife

You can email The Moneyist with any financial and ethical questions related to coronavirus at qfottrell@marketwatch.com.

Dear Second Wife,

Don’t allow your husband’s feelings toward your son to influence your estate planning.

Your relationships with your husband and your son and your own plans for retirement are all fair game when making decisions about your estate, but your husband and son’s fractured relationship is their business, not yours. You worked hard for this money, and your son is your legal heir. Any effort by your husband to spend all of your savings and fritter away any inheritance that you intended to leave to your son should be resisted at all costs.

You have worked too hard your entire life to compromise your plans for a comfortable retirement where you have money set aside for long-term medical care insurance, unforeseen emergencies and/or your son. If you jointly own your home, you can leave your half to your son in your will, and specify it can only be sold after your husband passes away.

If you own the home, you can give your husband a life estate. Your son would pay capital-gains tax on the value of your home when he sells it, and not when you bought it. You could also make your son the beneficiary on your life-insurance policy, and/or gift him a certain amount of money per year to see how he manages and spends that money.

Figure out what is fair to yourself first before moving on to what is fair to your husband and your son. It’s OK to put your needs first. I caution against your dipping into savings at a rate that is beyond your own risk tolerance.

Ultimately, you are entitled to leave all other separate property to your son when you die — and, along with a financial adviser, set up a trust with that in mind for you, your husband and your son. Not necessarily in that order.

The Moneyist: ‘I cut his hair because he won’t pay for a haircut’: My multimillionaire husband is 90. I’ve looked after him for 41 years, but he won’t help my son

Hello there, MarketWatchers. Check out the Moneyist private Facebook
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 group, where we look for answers to life’s thorniest money issues. Readers write in to me with all sorts of dilemmas. Post your questions, tell me what you want to know more about, or weigh in on the latest Moneyist columns.

By submitting your story to Dow Jones & Company, the publisher of MarketWatch, you understand and agree that we may use your story, or versions of it, in all media and platforms, including via third parties.



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These money and investing tips can help you make a place for crypto in your portfolio

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Don’t miss these top money and investing features:

These money and investing stories, popular with MarketWatch readers over the past week, can give you a better understanding of bitcoin and other cyrptocurrency, and help you figure out if digital currency has a place in your portfolio alongside stocks, bonds and other traditional assets.

Sign up here  to get MarketWatch’s best mutual funds and ETF stories emailed to you weekly!



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