Covid-19

Videos: Socialist commentary on the Covid-19 crisis

Watch videos giving socialist commentary on the Covid-19 crisis below. Many are subtitled. Click in the top right of the video, for the contents of the playlist, and to watch other ones. See Workers' Liberty's channel for other playlists and videos.

Covid-19: the end of the lull

In Britain as in other countries in Europe, detected SARS-Cov-2 infections have been rising slowly since early July, and now faster since points in August. In France, the rise has been much faster. In Spain, it has already fed into a rise in Covid-19 deaths, though so far only to a rate about 5% of the April peak. From mid-April through to early July, infection levels fell fairly steadily across Europe. The fall was not reversed, halted, or even visibly slowed by limited lockdown-easing measures across those months, notably the reopening of schools in many countries. The obvious explanation...

Schools: build health and safety committees

At the end of our first week back from school summer holidays a colleague of mine rang the parents of a Year 8 boy in her tutor group. The boy had done very well in school, and was clearly delighted to be back with his friends. So my colleague talked to the boy’s dad and told him how well the boy had been doing in class. The boy’s dad burst into tears. Presumably a mix of relief, intense long-term worry, and happiness, all coming to the surface at once. The kids really need to be back in class. That the Tories are saying it does not make it any less true. And the parents need to see their...

Universities return: fight for control!

The 2020-21 academic year is getting underway. Higher Education (HE) institutions that closed down and sent most of their students away in March, scrambling to move all teaching online, are preparing to welcome over two million people, mostly young, once more. Universities and colleges like many workplaces are allowed – expected – to reopen so long as they are “Covid-secure”. All insist that they are now that – for students, staff, and the surrounding community. They cannot afford to do otherwise! HE institutions are now basically businesses who must compete and make money to survive. They...

Conspiracy theorists out again on 19 September

Saturday 19 September is due to see another anti-mask, anti-lockdown, anti-vaccination demonstration in Trafalgar Square. MC’d by currently suspended nurse Kate Shemirani, a host of conspiracy theorists and “medics” of dubious qualifications and views will take the stage to denounce “enforced vaccination”, to call Covid-19 a hoax, or to blame it on 5G. They will be joined Jon Wedger, “police whistleblower” into “elite paedophile rings”. The “medics” include an osteopath, a holistic and homeopathic dentist, a lecturer in mental-health nursing, a “nutrition and wellness doctor”, and more than...

Should we still protest?

In Solidarity 562 we carried an article clarifying the law around protest. Despite the threats the police made to organisers of a 5 September trans rights protest (which led to it being cancelled), protesting was still legal. Then on 9 September Boris Johnson announced that further restrictions would be made so that no more than six people are allowed to gather socially. The change came into force on Monday 14 September. At the time of the announcement NHS campaigners were busy organising protests for 12 September, and were reassured that the new changes would not have taken effect by then...

Diary of a Tube worker: "If no one else bothers"

Mask enforcement has faded on the Tube since July. Now the company want to do something about it. TSEO (Transport Support and Enforcement Officers), who mostly work as revenue inspectors on the buses, are now being deployed across stations. They stand around, looking a bit meaner than the rest of us. They remind people to wear masks. Some listen, others just breeze past them. Unless people kick them out of the station they’ll still come through no matter what. We get reminded everyday to use the apps on our Ipads that allow us to record people travelling without a mask. It is probably easier...

Drivers hit Wagamama

On Thursday 10 September Deliveroo drivers in Sheffield took action against Deliveroo, by hitting one of their biggest clients, Wagamama, with an all-night boycott, wiping out that evening’s sales. They were striking over falling pay and unfair sackings. The drivers of Sheffield, despite the hardship many face as wages fall, and despite a recent influx of new drivers to the app, threw themselves into the strike in a show of wonderful solidarity. Picket line conversations were conducted in many different languages, as drivers made a point of rejecting orders from the targeted restaurant on the...

Virus: indict the Tories!

Of people who test positive for the virus and should self-isolate, only 20% or fewer are doing so fully. That’s an official estimate. No one knows what percentage of people who are identified as contacts of the infected — and may be infectious themselves, without having symptoms — are self-isolating. Most people asked to self-isolate get no or minimal isolation pay, so isolated properly is economically difficult or impossible. Of those who do self-isolate, many can do so only in overcrowded housing. However careful they are, they’re likely to infect others there. In New Zealand, the government...

Rebuild the NHS for winter

In mid-July, the government received a report commissioned by its Chief Scientific Officer which warned that July and August were likely to be a lull in the pandemic followed by new spikes over the winter. Even if this virus is not “seasonal” in the way some others are, the fact of people spending more time indoors in winter will boost infections. The usual seasonal rise of flu will make it harder to trace chains of SARS-Cov-2 infection, and put pressure on the NHS. The report urged the government to use the July-August lull to get preparations in place for the winter. At first, it seems, the...

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