Browsing: Coronavirus

Coronavirus

Coronavirus and the World-Economy: The Old is Dead, the New Can’t be Born

This is from  After US Hegemony by Ravi Palat and re-published with permission. An important contribution to the wide ranging debate now taking place in the wake of the pandemic “The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a variety of morbid symptom appear ” Antonio Gramsci, Selections from Prison Notebooks.  The novel coronavirus pandemic has struck the world-economy in a way no other crisis had done before. Earlier pandemics—like the Spanish flu of 1918—struck a world which was far less integrated than today and supply-chains did…

Coronavirus

Has the government ordered 100,000 body bags as part of its Covid-19 preparations?

This article has been written by someone who needs to remain anonymous and who has information that the government has placed an order for 100,000 body bags. Is this true? And if it is true what does it tell us about how the government sees the disease spreading? It also raises another question which is why are non-essential workers still being forced into work often against their will? We live in a world obsessed with measuring, grading and assessing. Every action and thought can now be appraised and a numerical value assigned. This is how the algorithms that drive social…

Coronavirus

Capitalism doesn’t have a handbrake

A further report from Maria Maza in Spain. Things are getting more and more difficult as days pass by. We are seeing the Government implementing measure after measure as events are coming. No emergency protocol whatsoever on any western country, but witnessing it in my own country is heartbreaking. To give them their due, they’ve been ruling for just two or three months, and a considerable number of the ministers had no previous experience on governing and face a corrosive campaign of hate and lies from the racist and authoritarian far-right. Plus this is overwhelming to all countries. Some of…

Coronavirus

Lessons from the onset of the Covid-19 crisis in Greece

This is an important report from Panagiotis Georgakopoulos , head of the intensive care unit at the hospital of Patra for many years. Panagiotis was also head of the national organisation of public health prevention policies during the Syriza government. Starting from Achaia region… The first case of Covid-19 infection in Greece was identified at the end of February and concerned a young woman from Thessaloniki who had recently traveled to Milan, Italy. The second case of Covid-19 infection involved a 66-year-old man, who had recently traveled to Israel and Egypt, and firstly visited a private doctor in Amaliada city,…

Coronavirus

Organising to fight the Coronavirus: the Labour Party and mutual aid groups

Shaun Dey opens a discussion on the left While the Government has continued to pursue a horrific policy in dealing with the coronavirus of prioritising the economy over the people (and ending up protecting neither), I’ve also seen a lot of criticism of the Labour Party over the past few weeks, with many people saying they should be doing much, much more. I’ve also seen other people asking what the Labour Party can realistically do given that they’re not the Government. So this is just a few thoughts to start a discussion – I’m not a member of the Labour…

Coronavirus

A Letter from Italy

Hi there: I’m a US-American living in Italy. One of my best friends here is an ICU nurse. We’re not one of the most-effected regions, but still a lot of people are dying—mortality rate in Italy is between 5-7% and there are over 500 cases in my tiny region alongside 40 deaths. Each day, authorities send trucks around fixed with loudspeakers telling people to stay inside or face serious penalties. There are no buses on the roads, no planes overhead, nor people on the streets. I haven’t left the house for over 7 days. Let me be clear, I…

Coronavirus

A letter from Italy

Eleanor Finley writes from Italy – report from March 15 Dear comrades, Here is my update from Italy. Good news first… – Life under lockdown is intense, challenging, but also often quite beautiful. We are getting exercise, playing music, making art and sharing food. There’s a strong sense of social solidarity and things feel especially cheerful when the sun is out. – Provisions like paused mortgages and bills payments are helping ease the anxiety of lost work. Life will go one when this is over. – Our region, Friuli Venezia-Giulia, is still faring okay considering the circumstances. As of today,…

Coronavirus

A warning letter from Barcelona

Carmen Lee in Barcelona writes: “Hello all, I am writing to you from my fourth day in coronavirus quarantine, here in Barcelona, Spain. This is a message to everyone- family, friends, former colleagues, peers and teammates back home (or wherever you are in the world). Please take this virus seriously. I want to share with you what is happening here now, what the consequences are of a delayed response. I hope this will help you to understand that all jokes and toilet paper memes aside, your action needs to be taken now. A week ago here in Spain, we only…

Coronavirus

Coronavirus, Trump and the world economy

by Jonathan Neale How will the covid-19 outbreak effect the world economy? Donald Trump was flying back from India on Air Force One when the stock markets began to go down two weeks ago. He stayed awake, furious, the whole way. By one account, he was up for 48 hours straight before he finally spoke publicly on Wednesday. He gave a speech in which he said both that the coronavirus was a Democratic ‘hoax’, and that his administration was doing a brilliant job in containing it. This reflected his dilemma. For electoral reasons, he had to talk down the threat…

Coronavirus

Notes on the plague

Mike Davis on Coronavirus. COVID -19 is finally the monster at the door. Researchers are working night and day to characterize the outbreak but they are faced with three huge challenges. First the continuing shortage or unavailability of test kits has vanquished all hope of containment. Moreover it is preventing accurate estimates of key parameters such as reproduction rate, size of infected population and number of benign infections. The result is a chaos of numbers. There is, however, more reliable data on the virus’s impact on certain groups in a few countries. It is very scary. Italy, for example,…

Coronavirus

Coronavirus in Italy : a report from the frontline

This is a translation by an Italian epidemiologist Silvia Stringhini of a report of the situation facing health care workers in Italy at the moment. The report is by Dr. Daniele Macchini who is working on the Intensive Care Unit at Bergamo hospital. Both Silvia and Daniele are keen to stress the seriousness of the situation the Italian health care system is facing and for everyone, whether in Italy or elsewhere, to wake up to the threat that Corinavirus poses. Corinavirus is not flu. Silvia writes:  ‘I may be repeating myself, but I want to fight this false sense of…

Coronavirus

Coronavirus and community activism

  How can we centre community organising and mutual aid in response to coronavirus? by Jonathan Neale Medicare protest outside Hahnemann Hospital in Philadelphia. Image rights: Holly Otterbein, Twitter. Some of the environmentalists and leftists I know tell me not to be fooled by the mainstream hype about covid-19. Others are pleased that the lockout in China has reduced pollution. Some say the real issue is not the disease, it’s racism. I want to suggest a different way of responding to epidemics. Communities I was an HIV counsellor in the UK between 1988 and 1994, before we had the retroviral…