Being a mosquito, most people wouldn’t automatically think that we give much thought to humanitarian organizations like the Red Cross. That’s where you’d be wrong. Mosquitoes are big fans of anyone that increases the human blood supply.
Sure, when the American Red Cross got started in the U.S. back in 1881 they weren’t doing delicious blood drives yet. But they were keeping our food supply up by giving people aid during disasters and training medical professionals that helped save lives. Every person that was trained in first aid or in a public health nursing program kept 19th century mosquitoes well fed. The only problem is they got so good they started patching up wounds before we could feast on them.
When WWII rolled around, people started thinking like mosquitoes and realized blood was an important commodity. The American Red Cross stepped in and did something we’ve only dreamed of doing. They started sucking blood out of people by the pint. Unfortunately, mosquitoes didn’t reap the rewards. That bloody benefit went to U.S. soldiers fighting overseas, the Allies and civilian war victims. All in all, the Red Cross was able to collect an impressive 13.3 million pints of blood during the war. To put that into a mosquito’s perspective, it would take 50,000 to 500,000 of us to drink just one pint of blood.
Fortunately, the American Red Cross didn’t stop their blood collection after WWII. Nope, instead they established the first nationwide civilian blood program. To this day, all around the country the Red Cross sponsors mouth-watering blood drives that collect 40% of the nation’s blood supply. The flies come for the cookies, and we come hoping we’ll get a drop or two of blood. We never do. The Red Cross techs are experts at getting their needles in and back out without ever wasting a drop. They’re so good we’re pretty sure the blood drawing method is based on mosquito biting techniques.
We’re glad that the Red Cross is also helping to change public perception of mosquitoes by controlling and treating diseases like malaria. Mosquitoes don’t mean to spread malaria, it just happens. As mentioned above, the last thing we want is for our human food supply to go down. Luckily, their educational and health programs also did away with the misconception that mosquitoes spread the HIV virus, and are helping people learn how to protect themselves against the real causes of the disease.
Yep, mosquitoes are big supporters of the Red Cross. We always have been and we always will be. Now, if we could just figure out how to chow down on the donated blood we’d be in business.
Image Source: flickr.com/photos/britishredcross