The decisions being made today are far different than those they were planning to make in the post-covid summer of fun originally planned.
There are signs that people have learned many valuable lessons about narrative reporting on infectious disease outbreaks.
While many public health officials and media outlets bitterly clung to the assertion that “everyone is at risk” for monkeypox infection, a few outlets and disease specialists continued highlighting the link between sex-between-men and its spread.
The gay community is heeding the actual science. In an NBC report, members of the gay community describe the lifestyle choices they are now making in the wake of the outbreak.
The decisions today are far different than those they were planning to make in the post-covid summer of fun originally planned.
Over 100 gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people [GBTQ] responded to an NBC News online survey seeking to learn about how monkeypox has affected their lives. What this diverse cross-section of the community most had in common were missed opportunities. They wrote about sex they never had, dates they never went on and gatherings with friends they avoided.
All that avoidance, the respondents made evident, was enmeshed in a cat’s cradle of fear — of contagion, of pain and suffering, of lonely and potentially financially ruinous weeks of isolation at home should they contract the virus.
They spoke of a summer they had hoped would prove invincible but that for them has turned out to be anything but.
…Evidence suggests a recent tidal shift in sexual behaviors in responses to monkeypox. According to the American Men’s Internet Survey, which conducted an online poll in early August of 824 gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men, 48% reported reducing their number of sexual partners because of the outbreak, while 50% reduced hook-ups and 49% reduced partners met on hookup apps or at sex venues.
There has been a notable reduction in the number of monkeypox cases. For example, there has been a dramatic decline in New York City (an epicenter of the outbreak in the country).
Data from the New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene shows that as of Aug. 30, the latest date for which data is available, the Big Apple recorded a seven-day rolling average of 9 infections.
That’s an 82% decline from the seven-day rolling average of 50 recorded two weeks ago.
Since the outbreak began in mid-May, no state — or city — has recorded more monkeypox cases than New York, so a drop in infections could be a prediction of what is to come for the rest of the country.
“The good news is monkeypox is declining,” Dr. Roy Gulick, chief of the division of infectious diseases at Cornell University’s Weill Medical College, told ABC News. “Globally it’s declining and across the United States but being really led by the major cities and we’ve seen it right here in New York.”
Interestingly, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus recently reported a decline in monkeypox cases observed throughout North America and Europe.
Tedros made note of how monkeypox has quickly grown in prominence from being a little-known virus that was often only discussed within the context of countries where it is endemic.
With over 50,000 cases and 16 deaths due to monkeypox confirmed this year, Tedros said the number of cases has already exceeded the number of reported infections in the years since monkeypox was first identified in 1958.
“It’s encouraging to see that in some countries in Europe and North America we now see a sustained decline in cases, demonstrating the effectiveness of public health interventions and community engagement to track infections and prevent transmission,” said Tedros.
According to information from the European Union, reported monkeypox cases have seen a continued decline since peaking in mid-July.
Hopefully, the trend will hold, and people will continue to make wise choices. However, with colleges and universities beginning the fall semester, it may not. It depends on whether the science or the narrative is followed.DONATE
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