As the U.S. continues to see record number of individuals contracting COVID-19, it is becoming more and more evident that our fight will not be just the virus itself. Self-quarantine, work from home practices, social distancing and all of the precautionary measures used to fight COVID-19 present other daunting issues for the American people.
According to an article released in the International Journal of Social Psychiatry titled “The outbreak of COVID-19 coronavirus and its impact on global mental health” COVID-19 has led to global increase in mental health disorders such as stress, anxiety, depressive symptoms, insomnia, denial, anger and fear. Though we are fighting the virus on the frontline, the virus itself is not the only thing we are challenged to overcome. Secondary disease developed due to lifestyle and condition change during COVID-19 is also lessening the quality of life of citizens.
The death toll for COVID-19 in the U.S. is projected to be 224,089 by Nov. 1, 2020 as reported by Reuters. This is on top of the other major causes of death in the US that are also increasing. Heart disease currently leading the way at number one, is now at risk to increase due to higher stress levels faced by individuals during the pandemic.
On Aug. 21, the CDC has also reported that influenza cases are higher than typically seen at this time of year. In a time that is uncertain, one thing remains concrete; we need a cure! The health and wellbeing of all Americans depends on it.
Convalescent plasma from those who have recovered from COVID-19 is desperately needed for the health of those who are fighting the disease and those who are not. All of our health has been impacted by COVID-19. Helping others to fight and end this disease is the greatest solution for all.
On Aug. 22, the FDA issued an emergency authorization for the use of convalescent plasma in treating COVID-19, which is expected to help increase the availability of the plasma to hospitals. Why is such a big authorization needed? Because we need to fight COVID-19 quickly!
Just five days after this emergency authorization, great news came form across the globe. On Aug. 27, over 1,000 members of a religious organization called Shincheonji Church of Jesus participated in donating plasma. This was carried out under the invitation of the health authorities in South Korea back on the 24th, asking Shincheonji Church to cooperate for donating additional plasma for the development of the vaccine.
Early this year, around 5,000 confirmed cases were found in Shincheonji Church members with most infections from the city of Daegu, while there were 11 deaths most of them recovered from the virus.
The Korean CDC released an official document expressing appreciation to Shincheonji Church (Chairman Lee, Man Hee) for “active participation in the collection of plasma as a group for the development of a coronavirus cure for the purpose of national health safety under the global crisis caused by the COVID-19.”
As a religious leader, Chairman Lee Man Hee, of Shincheonji, in July said, “This plasma donation is the work that needs to be done as citizens of this country and as true believers.” As we can see, he understands the true problem and need. This news ought to be celebrated and modeled everywhere. Working together to find those who can donate convalescent plasma is the something that we can all do to fight this disease together. Every state should model the example of this church and encourage others to give blood to find the cure. The health of all our citizens depends on it.
Shiminyi Moh, founder of StoneCity Health