Wednesday, July 24, 2024
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Drop the dead monkeypox


IS anyone else as worried about monkeypox as I am – in other words not at all? They tried hard, didn’t they, the global public health fascists, but it’s all gone a bit flat. They persist, however, and now they are simply embarrassing themselves and have even elevated this viral non-event to the status of a notifiable disease and positing that, in addition to being spread by contact that is may also be airborne. The words ‘outbreak’, ‘spread’ and ‘cases’ continue to appear in the headlines, and it must be a source of immense frustration to the medical meddlers and nanny nurses at the WHO in Geneva that people seem to be taking it all with equanimity and are not queueing for vaccines.

Perhaps part of the reason monkeypox has not caught on is that the global health brigade has got itself in a bind. The outbreak clearly originates from a love-in at a gay sauna in the Canary Islands. But, reflecting the propaganda that surrounded the emergence of HIV/AIDS, and for the same reasons, we are all at risk. According to the Global Health Newsletter from Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Heath (where else?): ‘Public health agencies are working to communicate risks without stigmatizing sexual minority groups, especially as the virus may well be circulating outside of the gay community.’ The convoluted language used to avoid offence to gay men is sublimely demonstrated in NBC News as follows: ‘Experts stress, however, that it is the close physical contact of sexual activity that is the key factor driving transmission.’ In other words, not the sexual act itself. I would not advocate stigmatising anyone over monkeypox. The real point regarding monkeypox is that it is of no importance and does not matter.

To put the monkeypox outbreak into perspective first we need to understand what an ‘outbreak’ means. An outbreak, to paraphrase the ill-fated Humpty Dumpty, can be anything anyone wants it to be and can be declared after only a single case. Then we need to get the numbers into perspective. Monkeypox is endemic in West Africa and the Congo Basin. Who knew? But at the time of writing, outside Africa there are a confirmed 1,000 cases. Outside Africa (population just over one billion) there are six billion people. This means that less than 0.00001 per cent of the population of the rest of the world is infected with monkeypox, yet we know about it. Apparently monkeypox cases have ‘soared’ in the UK, reaching 300 at the time of writing. Yikes, that’s 0.0004 per cent; this is a perfect time to panic!

Reluctant as I am to patronise readers by drawing parallels between monkeypox and Covid-19, being sure that they are there before me, it is instructive to see what the global health activists have in store for us. With no deaths and hardly anyone being infected the similarities with the Covid-19 panic are uncanny. For example:

Genetic variants 

Asymptomatic spread 

Compulsory quarantine 

Track and trace 


Highlighting social inequalities 


Banning stuff 

However, monkeypox stubbornly refuses to get its act together, spread like wildfire and strike down a few folks in the prime of life. Without these essential features I doubt, despite the best efforts of those in the mainstream media, who continue to talk about numbers ‘swelling’ and ‘soaring’, they will wind us up like they did in 2020 and 2021. I hereby declare an end to the monkeypox outbreak and issue a request that we all just get on with life as if it had never happened.

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Roger Watson
Roger Watson
Roger Watson is a Professor of Nursing.

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