Monkeypox may prove the cost of woke restrictions on acceptable observations.
As local media sources have started to track instances of monkeypox in our area, I’ve wondered how many Rhode Islanders know that it is mostly (although not entirely) a venereal disease spreading mostly among gay men. Except, as Rod Dreher points out, that’s not a fact to which we’re permitted to react:
Scott Gottlieb, former FDA commissioner, writes in the NYT that monkeypox is about to become another huge public health failure. His reasons for that grim conclusion are sound, but not once does he mention that the authorities could easily and effectively respond in part by shutting down gay sex clubs. Gay men cannot fail; they can only be failed by public agencies.
The contrast with our still-recent experience with COVID is striking. Dreher makes it concrete in the person of Luisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, who oversaw a tremendous shutdown of economic activity for COVID but won’t impose limits on the Southern Decadence Festival in light of monkeypox.
Of course, the two epidemics may be pointing to the same problem. A major reason the COVID response was so invasive is that we didn’t allow ourselves to distinguish between groups of people whose demographics put them in different risk categories. Either we all must suffer or no precautions may be taken.
This imperative may backfire on progressives in the long run. After all, if we’re all going to be restricted and freed without distinction, the boundary for acceptable behavior for everybody will constrict.