Things go from bad to worse after a doctor notices a man is “riddled” with monkeypox on a crowded subway

A Spanish doctor says he was traveling on the Madrid metro when he noticed a disturbing scene: a fellow passenger was “completely plagued” with monkeypox lesions, “from head to toe, including hands”. What happened next was equally troubling.

Dr. Arturo M Henriques broke the story in a series of tweets, which were translated and have since gone viral.

“I see the situation and also see the people around me as if nothing is going to happen,” he wrote.

The doctor said he decided to “become a Karen” (his words, not ours) and approached the man, who said his own doctor advised him not to need to self-isolate and simply wear a mask.

“I tell you that lesions all over your body are the most contagious,” Henriques said. “That I am a doctor and that he possibly did not understand all the indications of his family doctor…”

According to the World Health Organization, “monkeypox is transmitted to humans through close contact with an infected person,” primarily through “close contact with lesions.”

The man reportedly turned Henriques away, so the doctor turned to the other passengers closest to him. He asked a woman sitting next to the infected man if she was not worried about contracting the disease.

“How am I going to [get] if i’m not gay? She answered.

According to the doctor, the woman clarified that the “government said that it was the gays who had to take care of themselves.”

Punctuating this part of the story with a couple of well-placed palm emojis, the doctor said he decided to stop arguing and immediately got off the train.

After his initial posts gained traction, Henriques says he was interviewed by a local news station. His 15-minute interview was cut down to an 8-second clip.

While the current outbreak of the virus has been concentrated among gay and bisexual men, the fact that straight people think they are immune has a lot to do with the stigma surrounding the way they speak.

Closer to home, conservatives like Marjorie Taylor Greene have added to the confusion by blaming the whole situation on “gay sex orgies”.

Meanwhile, Tucker Carlson suggested calling it Schlong Covid instead of monkeypox. Very helpful, Tuck.

Although the medical community has reiterated that monkeypox is No a gay disease, and it is No an STI, stigma and misinformation seem to spread as fast as the virus itself.

“It is already spreading beyond the broader gay and bisexual or LGBTQ+ community. That’s why it’s incredibly important that we learn from our past and our history,” Colin Quinn, president of communities for added Health, recently told Newsweek. “I already said that we have our learnings in the HIV/AIDS playbook, and the lack of core messages that happened there created so much stigma… [We need] really learn from it.”

New York, California and Illinois have declared states of emergency over the spread of the virus.

TO UPDATE: The Spanish newspaper 20 Minutes reported that Dr. Arturo Henriques’ account is inaccurate. According to the newspaper, the man photographed by Henriques “denied that he suffers from [monkeypox] and has denied the story.”

He also shared that the “illness he suffers from is called neurofibromatosis, a disease he has suffered from birth and that causes injuries to his limbs.”

Henriques has since closed his Twitter account and the translated version shared by another user has been removed.

Unfortunately, the stigma around monkeypox is still very real.

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