bad commute

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

A Spanish doctor says he was riding the metro in Madrid when he noticed a troubling scene — a fellow passenger was “completely riddled” with monkeypox lesions, “from head to toe, including his hands.” What happened next was equally troubling.

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

“I see the situation and I also see the people around me as if nothing will 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 he didn’t need to isolate, and to simply wear a mask.

“I tell him that the injuries all over his body are what are 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 brushed off Henriques, so the doctor turned to the other passengers closest to him. He asked a woman seated next to the infected man if she was not worried about contracting the disease.

“How am I going to [get] it if I’m not gay?” she responded.

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

Accenting this part of the story with a couple of well-placed face 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 a an 8-second clip.

While the current outbreak of the virus has been concentrated among gay and bisexual men, the fact that any straight people think they’re immune has everything to do with stigma surrounding the way it’s talked about.

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

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

Despite the medical community reiterating that monkeypox is not a gay disease, and is not an STI, stigma and misinformation seem to be spreading as fast as the virus itself.

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

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

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

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

Henriques has since shut down his Twitter account, and the translated version shared by another user has been deleted.

Unfortunately, stigma around monkeypox is still very much real.