This traditional holiday season of peace, love, and joy has been shattered by senseless acts of incomprehensible violence. The mass shootings last week in Colorado Springs, Colo. and San Bernardino, Calif., as well as the earlier horror in Paris, Mali, Turkey and others remind us of the dark side of the human experience. Such aberrant behavior is so repugnant as to defy description. Yet with each horrible event, the positive side of human behavior comes forward. As one of our blood center colleagues Joe Chaffin, MD, at LifeStream in San Bernardino, located a mere half-mile from the scene of the shooting, recently wrote in a communication to ABC members:
“Our location was on police-mandated lockdown for three hours while shooters’ location was unknown, but we were still able to get multiple blood products out quickly to hospitals treating casualties from this horrific event. The staff here performed superbly under exceptionally difficult conditions … we saw an outpouring of blood donors and have a strong blood inventory at this time …”
We must mourn tragic events like these, yet at the same time, we must celebrate the good that surfaces in such trying times. The incredible spirit of the blood banking profession is awe-inspiring and the tidal wave of donors suggests that good outnumbers evil at least a million to one.
The blood banking community is dedicated, professional and when needed, courageous. Our donors are selfless and unceasingly altruistic, reflecting the most admirable attributes of humankind. While we are grieving those who were lost and affected by these senseless atrocities, I hope that you can see past the evil and celebrate the good in people, once again making this the season of peace, joy, and happiness. Let us rededicate ourselves to the important humanitarian work we do every day.
Christine Zambricki, DNAP, CRNA, FAAN; Chief Executive Officer;firstname.lastname@example.org