Lemons to Lemonade
By: Alex Weiss, CFP®
What a difference a year can make. When reflecting back on the start of February 2020 in comparison to now, things certainly turned out drastically different than what I was expecting. Little did we know that we were on the precipice of a global pandemic and I would soon be using the term ‘Zoom fatigue.’ Over the past 11 months since
the shut downs began, I have been doing my best to keep healthy and safe, but with some bad luck, I unexpectedly contracted COVID-19 prior to Christmas.
The fact that I tested positive came as an absolute shock. We were consistently careful throughout the pandemic and even more so during the weeks leading up to the holidays in anticipation of a case surge.
I was very fortunate to be included in a COVID at-home test kit study program, where I have been taking monthly at-home samples since August. When my kit arrived on December 21st, I decided to get it in before the holiday, which ended up being a great decision. To my utter surprise, the test came back COVID positive. To be certain, I took two more tests to confirm the diagnosis. Shortly thereafter, I began to experience symptoms. While hardly a fun experience, I managed to get through it, though I felt pretty rotten for about two weeks.
I had a lot of time on my hands when I was in isolation, which allowed me to think about how we can help others. We were already trying to do our part by social distancing, making donations and getting takeout from local restaurants as much as possible. At one point, I came across an article about folks who had recovered from COVID, donating their plasma to help struggling COVID patients beat the illness. I decided that this was something worth looking into.
Donating blood brings me back to my Bryant University days. The school organized two blood drives per year and if you donated, you were rewarded a free pizza. The best part was that the pizza was from the late night pizza place on campus– so it might as well have been a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory golden ticket. Every so often they gave us the option to donate plasma, and my college roommate (shout out to Stew) and I would take them up on the offer. Therefore, this process was not totally unfamiliar to me– I just have not done it in quite some time.
Now to donating the plasma. The Red Cross donation site in Dedham was close to my home, the people were very kind, and I felt very safe during the process. They had a nice TV set up for the donors (almost like in an airplane), which was great because the process takes about 2 hours. The Red Cross did not give me a pizza this time around, but I sure treated myself after for a nostalgic trip down memory lane later that day. Fortunately I can afford a pizza these days, and it tasted just as good!
Until next time…