Missing blood

Do you donate blood? You should as it benefits everyone. I ❤️❤️ This link listing 14 reasons  to donate blood from CarterBloodCare.

This weekend, given the opportunity to speak to a group of people who help organize issues around giving blood at a national level here in Greece, and address many issues or should I say “barriers” we all learned from each other. The concept of the Amfiktionia (αμφικτιονία) was new for me and indeed a most positive community effort to bring key issues to the forefront (see site organization dedicated to Amfiktionia).

The National day of blood donation was June 14th and this year World Blood Donation day!

My presentation was about building volunteers, collective trust and health literacy.  Anyone doing anything related to relaying health information on crucial topics such as giving blood indeed builds community health literacy. A big “Bravo!” for all these hard-working people. Also, let’s not forget corporate sponsors that make these events possible — for this event it was Vikos – Βίκος refreshing water and softdrinks (note all of us were volunteer speakers 📍❤️).

There are many barriers including recent GDPR changes, and for blood donors (at least here in Greece) who have to do too much running around with paperwork to both donate and receive blood! There are rumors of political “interventions” but as one speaker Dr. Michalis Christakis (President of local municipality Kleisthenis) well said if you follow procedure and municipalities manage well there is no problem.

However I better understand the issues around a procedural problem of getting a blood donor card. Who has the time to “report” to the association of these problems ? This should all be easy and there needs to be quality control. The continuing problem — communication, organization, and legal or municipal  action if procedures and laws are not followed.  Make it easier.

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We need national  social marketing campaigns like the one by the British NHS above, else we keep “missing blood.” Other places around the world do great short “spots” that get people to donate blood like this family oriented one from Thailand (Donate Blood Save Lives)

One older cartoon (1985 clip) created by Bulgarians showing the elves as blood donors saving their beloved Snow White with the help of the prince of course! Let’s keep it flowing … please donate blood today.

Checkers versus Fortnite: strategy against “gaming”

Kids nowadays get easily hooked with on-line gaming that seemingly never ends. Games like Fortnite are free “strategy” games that are supposed to be played by 12-year-olds or older, but parents around the globe are complaining that even 8-year-olds are showing addictive tendencies.  There are good articles with recommendations (see here) and this game does not display blood but we need to be on alert and continue discussion with our child or teen.

Cognitive psychology studies prove that the brain increases its “energy” to the point that the child behaves aggressively and even has trouble falling asleep. It’s like “on-line cocaine”, a plague of our modern times. Parents are tired, their digital literacy (one of the health literacies) may not include understanding how problems about addiction start, mainly due to ongoing immediate gratification.

Many games have beautiful graphics, I must admit, and kids learn the English language better as they interact with their “friends” locally and globally.  Fortnite added character dancing so players can mimic (this is a good thing) for exercise.  But the negative aspects of firearms and shooting (the sound alone creates stress on the brain), screen time and staying up late at night affects health negatively . There are countless studies now that contribute to growing evidence that we need to do something about it, and this is not unlike the growing obesity problem.

If you don’t teach your kid to control it early you can literally lose your child to the virtual world.  Parents and other caretakers need to get control back in strategic ways and keep it fun so it’s sustainable.

So after trying to find a zillion ways to get my pre-teen off this potential addiction — including sports, movies, art, social events — I realized the biggest issue is the lack of patience. Music and bedtime stories may work but all this changes as “tweens” move to teens.

The other day my hairdresser told me about her client a single mother who has “lost” her 15-year-old to the virtual world of gaming and of course Fortnite and other online games make millions at the expense of our children’s health — mental, physical, and even spiritual. Our kids would rather stay in, not eat or drink, and they are constantly adrenaline ridden (and learning swear words) which in itself is dangerous to their body’s organs and our social interactions. Anger management for teens anyone?

So I took the step …despite the odds of losing interest to the fast-paced game I challenged my kid to a game of checkers. Yep that 12th century game that we all played as kids did it, and we even involved grandma! So this was a bit frustrating to relearn but it involves slowing down and thinking of the next move. And it involved inter-generational fun.

Be creative and rethink how you can re-teach others what they need to remember …simple strategy and patience, we all need that.

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