Monday, July 25, 2011

The 3 C's of my Weekend: Contagion, Captain America, and Containment

As many of you dedicated readers can recall, (and by dedicated I mean Mrs. Witter, my biggest fan) last October I blogged about the 3 C's, Cholera, Choking, and Citizen's CPR. Well it turns out, I have been bit by the alliteration bug again. So today, I bring you another set of C's which stands for Contagion, Captain America, and Containment.

Why? You ask. Well let me ex

As I do every Sunday, I went to the movies with my mother (yes, I am a mama's boy) to watch Captain America (and yes, I am twenty-four years old, and obsessed with comic book movies, don't judge). While waiting for the movie to begin they showed a trailer for an upcoming filled called Contagion. As a fellow germaphobe who fears that every speck of dirt is out for my demise, I was completely terrified at the very thought of this movie. Watch the trailer here to know what I mean. But it gave me a slight sense of relief when I saw that in the trailer the American Red Cross was featured as a shelter for those who have not been affected by the disease. I began to think about it, if an epidemic was to break out, we do have procedures for that, and in fact we would be able to establish a shelter again those pesky germs. So should Hollywood become real life, rest assured clean freaks, the Red Cross would be there!

The second C in today's lesson, is Captain America. First of all, in my opinion, the Captain could totally take G.I. Joe any day, no contest! But really, who is more of an American than Captain America himself? Throughout the movie I was reminded of those countless volunteers who dedicated their time throughout the 1940's to provide aid and emergency communication messages to families of wounded soliders. It really inspired me and made me especially proud to be part of this amazing organization. However, the real awesome part came in the film (spoiler alert) when Captain America addressed an Asian man who was imprisoned by the evil Hydra, by saying "I guess we are taking all of them," to which the man replied, "I'm from Fresno, Ace!" 

I am never more surprised than when our little big city gets a shout out in a hollywood blockbuster, especially when everyone in the theater was laughing and cheering. I had to refrain from shouting, "Volunteer at your local American Red Cross right here in Fresno!" Maybe one should call me Captain American Red Cross... catchy right?

The final C stands for containment. Right after the movie, I received a call that a wildfire had begun in the Yosemite Lakes Park region and that the Red Cross would be opening up a shelter to the affected families. I immediately grabbed by Red Cross Shield and reported for duty. This being my first shelter I was very excited to see all of the action. Fortunately, only seven people had to evacuate the area and were given the okay to return home after four hours because the fire had been contained. But in those few hours, I saw what the Red Cross was all about. It was the compassion and dedication those volunteers had. Dropping whatever it was they were doing, and coming to assist those in need. It was truly incredible to see how all of the disaster planning paid off and how quickly our shelter operations were assembled, but more importantly the hard work of our volunteers. 

So there you have it, the 3 C' what have you learned from all this? Well, when pandemics occur, we'll be there; when service members need our aid, we'll be there; and when natural disasters get the picture. So what are you waiting for? Volunteer already!

Alex Villa