Unfair monkeypox labeling must stop before our image goes from Curious George to Typhoid Mary

opinion

Dear rude humans of the world:

As a monkey and a representative of the Global Foundation for Monkey Brand Management, I hereby request you immediately stop referring to the orthopoxvirus that has begun spreading around the world as “monkeypox.”

Your scientists gave it that name in 1958 when a pox-like disease broke out among monkeys at a research facility in Copenhagen. But we in the broader monkey community were never consulted, and now that this particular viral zoonosis is dominating headlines both domestically and abroad, we feel the monkeypox label is doing irreparable harm to our brand, which is, generally, “cute little fellas up in the trees, eating bananas and whatnot.”

We are cute. We do love both bananas and trees. And we are definitely not the face of some dreadful pox.

An international group of researchers said the world should focus on monkeys, rats and bats to identify and prevent the spread of the next pandemic.

So kindly knock it off.

We of course understand your concerns about the virus. A Massachusetts human tested positive for it last Wenesday after a trip to Canada, and cases have recently been showing up in Europe and other parts of North America.

Monkeypox is here and spreading: But the US is well prepared to handle the threat.

There are now presumptive cases in New York City, Miami and Salt Lake City.

But we monkeys aren’t to blame for this. Plenty of other mammals carry the virus. Back in 2003, according to your Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 70 people in the Midwest were infected with the so-called monkeypox virus. And do you know what animals they got it from? PRAIRIE DOGS!! And those prairie dogs got it from Gambian giant rats.

Saint Louis Zoo: These black-tailed prairie dog pups were born in 2020 at the Saint Louis Zoo.

But do you hear people talking about an outbreak of prairiedogpox or Gambiangiantratpox? No. It all falls on us monkeys.

Just look at some of these recent headlines:

►“Biden on monkeypox: ‘Everybody’ should be concerned, spread would be ‘consequential.’”

►“Monkeypox goes global: why scientists are on alert.”

►“Alex Jones’ Unfounded Claims That Monkeypox Outbreak Due To Covid-19 Vaccines.”

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How would you like to have your name show up in the same headline as conspiracy theorist Alex Jones? That’s like being associated with two different diseases!

This 2003 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions, left, and spherical immature virions, right, obtained from a sample of human skin associated with the 2003 prairie dog outbreak. SEE? Prairie dogs!

This unfair labeling must stop now before our image goes from Curious George to Typhoid Mary.

Look, we’re all primates here. I think we can come to an understanding without having to get any of our macaque attorneys involved. (They love flinging their own lawsuits at humans.)

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We acknowledge the virus was first identified in us. But the first human case didn’t show up until 1970, and respected publications like Scientific American now note that “the virus did not jump from monkeys to humans, nor are monkeys major carriers of the disease.”

SO WHY IS OUR FREAKIN’ NAME ON THE VIRUS?!?!

This would be like one of us catching a flu that a human named Steve also happened to have and then howling our heads off about an outbreak of “Steve flu” in the monkey community. Steve would not be pleased.

And neither are we.

April 2, 2021: A newborn Red Howler monkey, Shongo, holds his mother at the Planete Sauvage zoologic park in Port-Saint-Pere, outside Nantes.

So kindly find another name for this virus. Maybe just call it birdpox, since the birds never seemed to care much about you all defaming them with “bird flu.”

We appreciate your attention to this matter and wish you all the best in eradicating this latest pox on your people. 

Sincerely,

– Bongo, senior spokesmonkey for the Global Foundation for Monkey Brand Management

Marlette cartoon: Monkeypox?!?!

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