After COVID-19 and quarantine, I’ll be donating plasma

Todd Maisel at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. (Photo by Greg Mango)

On Friday, I’m donating plasma to the New York Blood Center set up in Grand Central Station in Manhattan.

Just a few weeks ago, on March 20, I was informed that I was positive for COVID-19. The test was done at a city drive-thru and was a result of my call to the NYC Health Department on March 16 after a weekend of highly fluctuating fever, cough, runny nose and headache. Since that morning, I’ve been symptom-free – checking my temperature every single day.

I spent the 14-day plus quarantined, the worst symptoms being cabin fever. So I worked through it by focusing on the dreaded coronavirus, working the phones and getting in on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s press conferences, and live-streamed rallies on various topics. The war on COVID-19 was too important to sit back and watch television re-runs and other media outlets blanket the city with COVID-19 coverage.

While in quarantine, I lived by myself with two goldfish, my family sequestered out-of-state and away from me. Thankfully, they didn’t seem to get it or, if they did, never exhibited symptoms. But it was somewhat lonely at home in Brooklyn’s Marine Park – work was all-encompassing.

After ending quarantine on April 6, I immediately set to work, covering from the field the COVID-19 issues, determined to be back in the game – mask, social distancing and plenty of hand sanitizer at the ready. While there, I continued to monitor my friends and colleagues, some of whom became sick – much worse than myself.

One of my colleagues was sports photographer Anthony Causi of the New York Post, who succumbed to coronavirus this past Sunday at age 48. He left a wife and two young children.

I’m giving plasma, which will hopefully provide super-powered antibodies so that others may live. Plasma donors are needed apparently because lives depend on plasma protein therapies. Donating plasma in what will be a 90-minute process, is often called, “the gift of life.”

The plasma protein therapeutics industry supports donations in all of its forms. In this case, medical professionals believe it might save COVID-19 sufferers’ lives.

I got my appointment from the NY Blood Program at nybloodcenter.org/donate-blood/covid-19-and-blood-donation-copy.

I’ll let you know how it goes.