Bad air.*

(Holidailies Day #9)

(Not about farts. Sorry, guys.)

What do you know about malaria?

Me, not as much as I maybe should.

  1. It comes from mosquitos.
  2. It causes fevers and hallucinations (or is that the medication for it?)
  3. Malaria medications can make one really unwell.
  4. The disease devastates populations in the developing world.
  5. It used to be an issue in these parts and many men died of it while building the Rideau Canal.
  6. Doctors treated patients with advanced syphilis by giving them malaria to induce fevers (syphilis doesn’t like fevers)..
  7. Bill Gates released a bunch of mosquitoes at a TED Talk to draw attention to malaria and how sleeping nets can help reduce infection rates drastically.

And that was about it. Until this morning.

TIL: Global rates of malaria have gone down by half since the turn of the millenium. Mosquito nets, better health care, and target pesticide use have all helped.

How I learned this: Watching BBC World News this morning. This BBC Magazine article outlines a lot of the strategies and successes.

There will still be about half a million global deaths from malaria this year, but the successes of prevention programs are (obviously) really encouraging.

The second TIL (and it’s not even 9am!):
There are no mosquitoes in Iceland, so my penchant for the northern seas has another argument in its favour.

Mosquitoes are great pollinators for things like cacao, though, so we shouldn’t kill them all. But they are such bastards that it’s hard not to want to. It’s like a terrible relationship with someone who brings you flowers every week, but nags at you for hours, then shits on the floor.

Rest assured, that example does not come from real life.

Not mine, anyway.

Oh hey, do you want to do some good? Maybe help someone buy some mosquito nets? Consider investing in my Kiva campaign this holiday season.

My awesome friend Rachel (OF ALMOST THREE DECADES, oh god where does the time go) has been reinvesting the same $100 over the last five years, helping dozens of Kiva projects in the process.

I have one whole donor so far (me), so prepare for some hardcore guilt trips from one of the Princess of Passive-Aggression! WOO!

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