The pandemic rages on — and it’s only getting worse.
Again, after a harrowing and deadly spring, there are about a quarter of a million new cases of COVID-19 reported each day; about 3,000 die each day of the disease; and the numbers are only going up. Hospitals are once more at, or nearing, full capacity. And once more, the people who need masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) most — the frontline workers in the hospitals, in the grocery stores, etc. — are facing shortages.
Vaccines are in the wings, and already being rolled out across the globe. And yet in the U.S., no vaccine has yet been approved for use against Covid-19, and it will take months to distribute across the chaotic infrastructure of the American political and healthcare “systems.” We already know that the rollout will be wildly unequal, benefiting the rich and well-connected first and foremost. And even when the vaccine is distributed, it faces doubts — for example, because of the attempts by the Trump administration to use the vaccine as an election prop — and because of the memory of horrific abuses of medicine perpetrated on people of color — like at Tuskegee.
The capitalist economy is still convulsing. The coronavirus shutdowns of the spring are returning. Millions upon millions have been fired and furloughed. And the working class and oppressed — the “essential workers” being praised by the bosses and their politicians — are already feeling the first blows of an eviction crisis that has only started to arrive, as 19 million people can’t pay their rent. The politicians have again and again delayed the full force of that crisis with eviction moratoriums, but those are set to expire at the end of 2020, and certainly can’t be renewed forever. And yet corporations are posting massive profits. The stock market is booming.
Meanwhile, the Democrats and Republicans squabble over the next aid package. The latest offer — without a penny for direct stimulus to average people, and only a few crumbs for the unemployed, but plenty of money for the super rich — was shot down. Joe Biden’s priorities now, at the height of the pandemic, are more masks, vaccines, and — reopening the schools. He echoes Trump and the Wall Street Journal, pushing to make sure that kids have someplace to go so their parents can be forced back to work.
But the struggle of workers and the oppressed is far from dead. We have seen healthcare workers go on strike for better pay and safe work conditions. We see workers at Amazon fighting for unionization, and the revolt against police violence continues — in Hackensack, in Philadelphia, in Ohio.
At Left Voice, we know it’s crucial to amplify and connect the voices of that struggle.
Teachers: share the stories of the chaotic opening and closing of your school, and of the struggles to stay safe and win power against the bosses and the state!
Healthcare workers: share the stories of the dangers you face, and your organizing to fight back!
Service workers: share the stories of your fight to make ends meet in a pandemic and economic crisis, and the ways you’ve found to mobilize!
Renters: tell us about your fight in the pandemic to maintain secure housing, and what struggles you have had to wage against landlords and courts to evict you!
Activists and organizers: share your stories about your efforts in helping workers and the oppress fight back!