A Pox on Monkey Pox…

Johnny-on-the-Spot … by John Foster …

I had to figure the World Health Organization (WHO) would come up with this.

They’ll be renaming the monkeypox virus.


A group of scientists has raised concerns that the name could be “stigmatizing or discriminatory” since the perception of the disease is that it’s most-prevalent to people of African countries. The WHO is working with a panel of “experts” to come up with a new name as soon as possible.

As best as I can determine, there is no treatment specific for monkeypox, but we’re going to come up with a new name as soon as possible.

Interesting priorities if you ask me.

I can’t help but think this goes back to the start of the coronavirus outbreak.

Some called it the “Wuhan Flu” but that was pooh-poohed even though there were indications a lab in Wuhan, China is where COVID-19 came from.

Can’t upset the Chinese government even though the WHO website says the top 6 contributors to this organization with a $6.2B budget are Germany, Japan, the United States, Republic of Korea, the European Commonwealth and Australia.

I didn’t see Communist China listed there.

Must be political ramifications are stronger than financial purse strings.

This P.C. stuff really keeps me guessing.

When I was a kid growing up, we got the “Asian Flu” and “German Measles”.

We’ve all read how the “Spanish Flu” wreaked havoc around the world and impacted more American lives than than actual battle in World War One.

The WHO’s constitution claims the main objective of the organization is “the attainment by all peoples the highest possible level of health”.

But now it appears we can’t find a cure for something until we’re sure what we call it doesn’t offend someone.

Now monkeypox is not related to chicken pox, which probably makes the KFC people happy.

And, we know if you get chicken pox, you might be eligible for shingles later in life.

I’m surprised professional roofing organizations aren’t calling for a name that is not so stigmatizing or discriminatory for that ailment.

No, monkeypox symptoms are more like smallpox but milder and it’s rarely fatal.

It is a self-limiting condition with symptoms that last 2 to 4 weeks and most people get better on their own without treatment.

So, why have we called it “monkeypax”?

It was first identified in 1958 colonies of monkeys kept for research.

It was not detected in humans until 1970.

The WHO reports it’s not considered to be very contagious since it requires “close, physical” contact.

I’m beginning to wonder why we’re having this discussion in the first place.

Now, when I first heard reports on monkeypox, I feared we’d all have to take “The Last Train to Clarksville” because Mickey, Davy, Peter and Mike might be the carriers.

I also had thoughts regarding “Lance Link, Secret Chimp”, figuring “The Baron” might be the force behind this malady.

I also had deep suspicions of “Clancy the Great” the roller-skating monkey who came out in 1963.

You’d toss coins in his hat and he would roller skate towards you.

Clancy needed 3 D-cell batteries (not included, obviously) and they went in his right shoe. Sometimes you’d have to re-position the coin tossed in his hat to make good contact and “motivate him”.

If you pressed the red button on his left hand, he’d walk with you while moving his head from side to side.

Clancy came out 5 years after the lab monkeys were identified with the monkeypox.

I’m also recalling the Schylling small sock monkey which was grey with red and white features.

One of my cousins had one and I think she called it “Koogie”.

Then there was that “Barrel of Monkeys” that was loaded with lots of plastic creatures that you could turn into a big “monkey chain” by connecting their tails and feet.

Now, there’s also that cymbal-crashing monkey that we’re all seen but one of our daughters had a Zippy monkey that had red overalls and a rubber face.

That ‘toy” still freaks out my oldest grandson.

Perhaps that’s due to the musty odor Zippy acquired while being stored in the cool, damp basement of my in-laws.

So, while the World Health Organization commits itself to renaming the latest health headline-maker to a moniker than is less likely to cause someone’s undies to go in a knot, I’ll wonder what will be next.

From Wuhan flu to monkeypox in the headlines.

There’s currently no treatment for monkey pox but first, we need to re-name it.

in 1978, a rock band, formerly known as “The Detours” and “High Numbers” released a song in the summer of 1978.

Roger Daltry, Pete Townshend, John Entwhistle and Keith Moon, otherwise known as “The Who” asked the musical question, “Who Are You?”

“Who are you?

Who, who, who who?

Who are you?

Who, who, who, who?”

Well WHO, who are you?

More concerned with a name-change or “attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health”?

In the mean time, I’ll simply force fluids and keep my distance.

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