I was scrolling through twitter the other day and saw a tweet that made me laugh till my sides hurt. It said that the world probably wants to end but hasn’t really committed to it yet. I mean, I can’t blame the person who tweeted for thinking this way. With the worldwide floods, a fire in the ocean and a new virus coming up after a whole pandemic year, it sure does seem like Mother Nature is tired of us, especially when you consider that we now must deal with MonkeyPox! That’s right, a whole new outbreak is here o, and already it has moved from Nigeria to Dallas, Texas.
So, this new virus, what’s up with it? The gist is that it isn’t particularly new. It’s been around for nearly 60 years in laboratory monkeys and a little over 40 years in humans. It’s endemic to the African continent (predominantly west and central Africa) and has only ever spread to a few places outside the continent.
Maybe there’s no need to worry yet, as a friend said to me. After all, there’s only been about 50 confirmed cases so far in Nigeria. Meanwhile, these cases are the ones we know of o, hmm, there could be more. See ehn, I’m a very paranoid girl, Things like this keep me awake at night. I know some people like to waive these types of things off as unimportant, but I don’t. I see my anxiety over matters like this as such sort of ammunition. You know why? Because it keeps me on my toes. I have naturally been a germophobe. Not wanting to touch sand as a kid, or always washing my hands before I put anything in my mouth. I am proud to say that I have evolved to that girl that has been carrying a sanitizer in her bag long before we were in a global pandemic. I would wear long sleeves when taking public transportation so I could take them off once I get home. And I would wash my face and hands up to my elbows anytime I touch something. I would also sanitize every package and item before it gets into my house.
If you haven’t been doing all that, now is probably the time to start. Keeping great hygiene is. Hand washing prevents more than 58% of communicable diseases and generally just keeps you safer. Monkeypox is a variant of smallpox that was a pandemic in the 70s. Since a lot of our parents were born before then and were vaccinated for smallpox, their chance of getting this variant is slim but not zero.
As for the rest of us with no smallpox vaccine, our health is quite literally, in our hands. Washing our hands, keeping our social distance, sanitizing and masking up (duhhh) are the ways to prevent spread of diseases. And if you have any symptoms, isolate and find a Medical Centre equipped to take care of you.
Finally, this is a great time to tell you that vaccines are good and safe and help to protect yourself and others. We have been taking vaccines since we were little, and we aren’t stopping now. We’ve been taking flu shots since forever, so I promise, the covid vaccine isn’t some evil agenda. Can’t wait for my second dose in a few days so I can confirm my hot girl summer plans for Summer 2021!! Who’s with me?!