Human beings don’t like to think about tail risks, because pointing out tail risks calls the obvious path forward into doubt. NATO is winning in Ukraine, a winning team in a war doesn’t like considering the implications of nuclear war. People who point out tail risks are party-poopers.
Monkeypox is similar. It’s the easy option to say “23 people have died, cases are crashing, this is a nothingburger” and you might even prove to be right, but Orthopox viruses have killed 300 million people in the previous century. There is a distinct chance that we are currently incubating something that’s in the process of becoming similar to smallpox.
As I mentioned in early August, cases would have to come down soon:
As I have explained before, in Africa, where monkeypox doesn’t spread through gay orgies, the r0 was estimated at 0.93. It seems that it’s only in men who participate in gay orgies, where the r0 lies well above 1. And so what I would expect, is that in the coming weeks, Western nations see the breathing pause scenario: The number of new cases will decline, as the virus runs out of men who participate in gay orgies.
This has now happened. The problem is that a decline in new cases fundamentally doesn’t change the equation. As long as you keep getting longer transmission chains away from patient zero, you keep giving rise to variants with greater intrinsic transmission potential. Monkeypox is a generalist, its good at infecting a wide range of different species. As it spreads from person to person, it’s losing genes it doesn’t need, which allows it to replicate faster.
In fact, in the absence of the extinction of this virus, behavioral changes that lead to a decline in cases among gay men merely reserve this demographic as a reservoir to eventually spread these fitter variants currently coming into existence.
The other big problem is that you haven’t solved whatever it is that has now made the human population susceptible to this virus. You’re witnessing polio reestablish itself in major Western cities, along with a number of other pathogens that are suddenly reemerging. It’s hard to avoid the impression that the whole population has suffered some degree of impairment of immune function. If that was caused by vaccination and SARS-COV-2, then I would not expect it to get better anytime soon.
After all, the big question you need to answer is: How come there are two strains of monkeypox that left Nigeria and began to spread around the world simultaneously? Moreso than the virus, it’s our bodies that changed. And finally, we’re going to find out in the months ahead how it behaves when temperatures drop.
Because about 99% of cases were among gay men, you need to look at other demographics to find out how this pandemic is evolving.
So let’s look at the numbers from the WHO. As of 19 September, they reported 32125 total cases with available demographic data. 830 (2.6%) of those are female, 86 (0.3%) are children aged 0-4. Now we will look at 5 september. On 5 september they reported 27448 total cases with available demographic data. Of those cases 496 (1.8%) are female, 43 (0.2%) are children aged 0-4.
So in a period of two weeks, total cases increased by 17%, cases in women increased by 67% and cases in children 0-4 increased by 100%. Or to put it differently, during the last two weeks for which we have data we saw as many of the highest risk demographic catch this virus as during the whole preceding period.
I’ll be honest with you. I don’t trust that countries are going to be recording monkeypox deaths in children as monkeypox deaths. There are reasons to believe the first monkeypox deaths in children have already happened, but were covered up. There’s a protected caste in Western society, who have to be absolved from moral responsibility for anything at all cost. Whatever the fallout of their venerated lifestyle might be, Western society will attempt to minimize it and deflect blame.
If you can barely tie your shoelaces, you’re going to look at a graph like this and think the problem is over:
On the other hand, a person with an IQ above room temperature (example: me) would say:
With 99% of cases among a small demographic of highly promiscuous gay men, this was predictable. The real story is that we have had as many cases in children in the past two weeks as in the whole preceding period. And whereas two weeks ago, most cases under 4 were in Africa, most cases under 4 are now in the Americas. What I warned you about, that this virus is going to injure your children, is now beginning to happen.
When a fruit turns into a vegetable, that is the consequence of a decision. A child under 4 can’t make such a decision. They are victims, of other people’s decisions.
The same sort of decision that led to Canadian teenagers receiving wood class lessons from some freakish abomination with a massive midlife crisis, is now leading to young children being infected with a virus that will damage their brains and cause them severe pain.
I’ll have to end this update with the following warning: