Just Tell Me If I Should Care About Monkeypox
I can just imagine the reaction of the first doctors and infectious disease specialists to realize and confirm that there were cases of monkeypox spreading throughout the world, including New York City. It was probably not that dissimilar to the reaction most of us had the first time we saw any news coverage of it, an overwhelming energy of “now this s**t?” But, much like that one kid in your high school who suddenly started wearing a suit to class, monkeypox follows its own path. As a purveyor of timely news, the onus then falls on me to provide information and sense on the newest outbreak of the 20s.
However, I think everyone at this point is even tired of reading endless explainers and summaries of the newest physical or mental threat to our well-being, when, at this point, there’s only one thing we really need. In what feels like an absolute unending barrage of unpleasant news whizzing by our heads like we’re facing off against a phalanx of stormtroopers at the other end of the corridor, we just want to know when we really have to duck.
So, without further ado, here is a straightforward brief:
DO I HAVE TO GIVE A &$%# ABOUT MONKEYPOX: 3 QUESTIONS
- AM I GOING TO GET IT?
Monkeypox is not nearly as contagious as COVID or other airborne diseases. It requires extended face-to-face contact, or to be contracted through things like fluid exchange, absorption through mucous membranes. Many of the cases recently are hypothesized to have been passed sexually, especially between gay men, which I’m sure the insane modern right won’t go nuts with because they still don’t understand it’s about anal sex, not divine punishment. But anyways–if you’re a gay man with multiple sexual partners, you’re encouraged to be cautious. But in general, epidemiologists aren’t nearly as concerned.
- WILL IT KILL ME IF I GET IT?
The strain of monkeypox that’s been identified as part of this spread is a milder one, with a mortality rate of around 1%. In addition, that figure comes from less-developed countries where monkeypox is more traditionally seen. So generally, this strain at least doesn’t seem too deadly. It’ll be pretty f**king gross though.
- IS THERE A VACCINE?
The existing smallpox vaccine is 85% effective against monkeypox as well. However, the smallpox vaccine hasn’t been issued in a while, since the disease was wiped out by a collected, concerted vaccination effort over the 18th and 19th centuries. But I think I speak for everyone when I say: please god, don’t make us try to force the loudest family in Wal-Mart to get ANOTHER vaccine.
In summary, you probably don’t need to get overly worried about monkeypox news. Just the constant, vibrating anxiety that you already have from the last 2 years will be more than enough!