kete

“the Trump administration’s guidelines for “opening up America again” are so bereft of operational specifics that they’re like a cake recipe that simply reads, “Make cake.”

Georgia went all in on April 24, reopening gyms, restaurants, theaters, salons, and bowling alleys at a point when it had five of the 10 counties with the highest COVID-19 death rates nationwide, and was testing just a fifth as many people as it needed to. Texas, Alabama, Kansas, Arizona, Mississippi, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and others all reopened while cases were still rising.

“the U.S., ... despite having just 4 percent of the world’s population has 31 percent of its confirmed COVID-19 cases (1.5 million) and 28 percent of its confirmed deaths (92,000).

“after Georgia businesses revved back into action, more than 60,000 extra visitors poured in from neighboring states every day. Just a few travelers can spark substantial outbreaks in new places.

“contact tracers ... will call every infected person, talk through their needs, ask for names of anyone they’ve had close or prolonged contact with in the past two days, and call those contacts, too. “This really is the best tool we have to manage the pandemic until we have a safe and effective vaccine,” says Crystal Watson at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.

“The Affordable Care Act, which almost halved the proportion of uninsured black Americans below the age of 65, was most strongly fought by several states with large proportions of black citizens.

“Last year, when the Global Health Security Index graded every country on its pandemic preparedness, the United States ... on access to health care specifically, ... scored just 25.3. (Out of 195 countries, it tied with The Gambia for 175th place.)

“In almost every state, COVID-19 disproportionately infects and kills people of color—a pattern that Ibram X. Kendi has called “a racial pandemic within the viral pandemic.” Pundits have been quick to blame poor health or unsafe choices, without considering the roots of either. Racism in policing means that many black people don’t feel safe wearing the masks that would protect their neighbors. Racism in medicine means that black patients receive poorer health-care than white ones. Racism in policy has left black neighborhoods with less healthy food and more pollution, and black bodies with higher rates of diabetes, heart disease, stress, and what the demographer Arline Geronimus calls “weathering”—poor health that results from a lifetime of discrimination and disadvantage. “When America catches a cold, black people get the flu,” says Rashawn Ray, a sociologist at the University of Maryland. “In 2020, when America catches COVID-19, black people die.”

“These inequities will likely widen. Even before the pandemic, inequalities in poverty and access to health care “were concentrated in southern parts of the country, and in states that are politically red,” says Tiffany Joseph, a sociologist at Northeastern University. Not coincidentally, she says, those same states have tended to take social-distancing measures less seriously and reopen earlier. The price of those decisions will be disproportionately paid by black people.

“people don’t have health insurance, or can afford to live only in areas with poorly funded hospitals.... people work in poor-paying jobs that can’t be done remotely, have to commute by public transportation, or live in crowded homes....

“Leann Bertsch, who directs the North Dakota Department of Corrections, has argued that prisoners should be freed if they are over 50, have serious illnesses, or are within two years of parole or release. A bipartisan group of 14 senators has made a similar call for decarceration.

“Policies can also support people in protecting themselves. Essential workers earn low hourly wages and cannot afford to miss a shift, even if they have symptoms. “The only way to prevent them from going to work is to give them paid sick leave,”

“social solutions like paid sick leave, which two in three low-wage workers do not have, can be implemented immediately. Imagine if ... energy ... went into ensuring hazard pay....” https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/05/patchwork-pandemic-states-reopening-inequalities/611866/ by Ed Yong

I saw a reminder that the GA governor stole the election, and the reminder said to “remember this” in November. What does this mean—remember that your vote might not count? If the establishment repeatedly ignores the votes, shouldn't voters remember this all year long and do more than vote throughout the year? How to make the kind of impact you want to make through voting without limiting yourself to trusting a system that won't let you reform it...definitely will require group effort but not necessarily a “group” or an organization. When you get upset at politicians and you want to vote them out of office, a more certain approach is to inspire your fellow residents to make their feelings felt or even to take action, putting a stop to some injustice instead of waiting for some official to tell employees to quit the policy. The pressure of a majority is often enough to change policy and is more in line with people making their own decisions for the affairs that affect their lives. Mutual aid communities, gift economies, and consensus are the crucial flip-side of this activity. Representatives and parliaments are liable to make decisions against communities and in favor of business that ravages solidarity practices. They are part of a state that does not have to answer to the people it supposedly serves, so the governed class is actually powerless, contrary to appearances and claims.

CC-BY-SA 4 “Proactive Voting” by Kete Foy, 2020

Faced with the terror of being fatally sickened and spreading the virus to others, unemployment, starvation, and being sacrificed for the capitalist economy, workers are not being organized—they are self-organizing.

If food production, preparation, and logistics stop, all other workers stop by default.

With tourism on hold due to the Corona crisis and the grounding of many planes, this transport link to get food into the country is under stress.

As news of each local wildcat strike instantaneously circulates, other workers become inspired and launch their strike elsewhere. Like the children’s arcade game “whack a mole,” the global working class is popping up in one place and as capital and the state seek to whack it back down, pops up simultaneously in numerous places all along both up- and down-stream of the now fraying global supply chain.

emerging strategies of capital and the state for dampening the circulation of these struggles with the same intensity it seeks to dampen the spread of COVID-19. the role unions tied to capital and the state will seek to play in attempting to dampen and diffuse self-organized workers.

“universal basic income,” an idea that originated in US libertarian thinktanks as a way to gut social democratic social wages, shrink government employment, and attack public sector unions

capital and the state resorting to nationalization of both the financial and production sectors

These are my notes from Robert Ovetz, Ph.D. “The Working Class Pandemic in the United States,” pp. 53-67 https://www.academia.edu/42904761/Workers_Inquiry_Network_Struggle_in_a_Pandemic_A_Collection_of_Contributions_on_the_COVID-19_Crisis

and Angry Workers of the World “Empty supermarkets: The food supply-chain from a workers’ perspective” https://angryworkersworld.wordpress.com/2020/03/23/empty-supermarkets-the-food-supply-chain-from-a-workers-perspective/