WEST HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 03: Brent Boschetti (L) receives a dose of the monkeypox vaccine at a pop-up vaccination clinic opened today by Los Angeles County Department of Public Health at the West Hollywood Library on August 3, 2022 in West Hollywood, California. California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency on August 1st over the monkeypox outbreak which continues to grow globally. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Monkeypox Declared Public Health Emergency in the US (Here’s Why Dudes Are More Likely to Get It)

No sooner than we started to see the light at the end of the dark tunnel that was the Covid-19 pandemic than another deadly virus comes along, threatening to kill our buzz and damage our bodies. Though monkeypox has a ridiculous name, there’s nothing funny about this illness that has been found in 87 countries around the world and which the World Health Organization declared a “public health emergency of international concern” two weeks ago. (The American government likes to take its sweet time before doing anything about anything, apparently.

“We’re prepared to take our response to the next level,” US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra said today during a briefing. “We urge every American to take monkeypox seriously and to take responsibility to help tackle this virus.”


Monkeypox manifests a dozen lovely ways, from fever, chills, fatigue, muscle aches, and swollen lymph nodes to rashes and raised lesions. To add insult to injury, it can make your genitals and anus painful, too. But don’t worry; it’ll be gone in two to four weeks. Yikes.

There have been over 6,600 monkeypox infections in almost every state in the U.S. so far – except Montana and Wyoming, for whatever reason. One thing is clear: men are more likely than women to contract it. Why? Or rather, how? By having sex with other men.

HHS reps said that the “vast majority” of those testing positive for monkeypox had male-to-male sexual contact, and the WHO has urged men who have sex with men to reduce their number of new sex partners “for the moment.” (We suspect it’s going to take longer than that to contain the virus.)

There is a vaccine for monkeypox, but given how freakin’ long the Covid-19 vaccine rollout took (and now how long the next round of boosters for people under age 50 is taking), don’t hold your breath on public health entities protecting you anytime soon.

Oh, well. If another pandemic is on the way, at least we’re all experienced at coping with all that entails. Bring on the quarantine 15, debilitating loneliness, and extended celibacy! There will at least be another round of stimulus checks, right?

Cover Photo: Mario Tama / Staff (Getty Images)