Pandemic and a Blag of Blood

Pandemic and a Blag of Blood

As several months of snow accumulate under my feet, my challenging experience with the extreme cold made me reminisce about the warm tropics of my hometown. It’s been two years since this pandemic started, unfortunately, persisting with its terrible consequences. I contacted my family, friends, and relatives in Indonesia to ask how they were doing. I remember a friend in the thalassemia community. I wonder how she is doing, too; it has been a year since we last talked.

Hearing back from my dear friend did not bring much joy. Her text messages carry a sense of dismay; I could hear the weariness in her voice. Those with thalassemia struggle to survive through the pandemic not only in maintaining their health but also in getting blood transfusions from donors. The recent increase in COVID-19 cases led to a blood shortage because people are worried about going outside to donate blood at the blood bank and prefer to stay home. This is devastating for people with thalassemia who need regular blood transfusions to maintain their quality of life. It’s sad to hear that the burden of looking for a voluntary donor rests on them, either from friends, family, or acquaintances; even if they do find a donor, whether they will indeed receive blood remains uncertain. Hopefully, this pandemic will end soon, and the blood issue for people with thalassemia will be resolved.


There are so many people impacted by this pandemic worldwide. We are struggling to fight the spread of this coronavirus in our everyday life. But thalassemia communities are doubly impacted and face additional challenge to maintaining their quality of life.

About the Artist

Karolus Wangi,  Philadelphia County
Published:  March 14, 2022