and the sequel, "Hail Mary" https://www.amzn.com/1684334888
Available on Amazon.
The day before yesterday nobody had heard of monkeypox. Today it's all over the news that this rare disease, previously specific to Central and West Africa, has been spreading its way across England, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland Italy, Belgium, France, Israel, Australia, Canada and (gulp) the United States.
Oh please, please, please, not a new pandemic, not when COVID is gearing up for another wave of attack!
Is that possible? Could the planet really be hit with two awful pandemics at the same time?
Of course, just because this rare virus that's never occurred outside of half a dozen countries in Africa has recently shown up in a dozen countries across the globe doesn't make it a pandemic.
Anyway, according to the CDC website, the signs and symptom of monkeypox are fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and exhaustion.
But those symptoms are only the beginning. Within one to three days of the onset of the above symptoms, one breaks out in a rash of pustules - the CDC's word - often beginning on the face then spreading to other parts of the body. (If you look up Monkeypox on the web there are plethora of pictures of monkeypox-inflicted skin. I opted not to post them here. If you look up the pictures, you'll understand why).
Also according to the CDC site, "The illness typically lasts for 2−4 weeks. In Africa, monkeypox has been shown to cause death in as many as 1 in 10 persons who contract the disease." 1 in 10. That's ten percent. The world-wide death rate for COVID-19 is between one and two percent.
The latest word from the World Health Organization is that the outbreak of monkeypox appears to have been spread primarily among men who have sex with other men.
Not that this should be a consolation for those who might never find themselves involved in that sort of activity, as monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted disease per se, though it can be spread through bodily fluids. But it can also be spread through respiratory droplets (as in a cough or sneeze or shared breathing space), via a break (visible or invisible) in the skin, or through close contact with people, animals, or material infected with the virus.
According to Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former U.S. Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, “This is a virus that is super stable outside the human host, so it can live on objects like blankets and things like that.”
Over the weekend President Biden said that everybody should be concerned about the spread of monkeypox.
I wonder if there's any blood left flowing in my vaccine stream.