As the Covid pandemic begins to wind down, at least in the minds of most Americans, a cynic might expect the establishment to use another outbreak to control the narrative. If that is the case, then they might have their chance.
In the European Union (EU), there has been an outbreak of monkeypox. In response, Belgium has imposed a mandatory 21-day quarantine for anyone with a confirmed infection. Monkeypox is related to smallpox in that an infected person develops lesions all over their body. It is far less lethal and contagious, however.
It can only be spread by close contact and in most cases in the EU, it is being spread by sexual contact. That has not stopped Belgium from taking aggressive action to stop the spread.
Monkeypox outbreaks are rare but coincidentally there was a table-top exercise using the disease in a simulation last year. Even more of a coincidence the simulation posited an outbreak on May 15, 2022. In reality, the first case of monkeypox was detected in the United Kingdom on May 7, 2022.
The United States is acting swiftly in response to confirmed cases domestically. It has purchased $119 million dollars’ worth of smallpox vaccine that will be freeze-dried for longer shelf life. According to the CDC, the smallpox vaccine works against monkeypox with an 85% effectiveness. Currently there are only seven confirmed cases in the United States but there are expected to be more.
What is unknown is how malleable a Covid fatigued populace will be to preventative measures. Two years of lockdowns, mandates, and the constant moving of the goalposts has resulted in a large portion of the population mistrusting the CDC.
If the monkeypox infections were to accelerate, or if it were to mutate into a more deadly or virulent strain, it is unlikely that health officials would be able to operate in the same way they did for the Covid pandemic given this reality.