Covid isn’t over: organise for the long haul

Submitted by AWL on 27 July, 2021 - 5:57 Author: Martin Thomas
Sick worker

As of 26 July, the Covid case count in England is tentatively turning down. The hospital count, and the death count, will keep going up at least for a while.

Google Mobility Trends suggest that for now many people continue to be covid-cautious despite the restrictions-easing on 19 July. Traffic at workplaces and on public transport remains more below norm than, for example, in Germany, which continues legal restrictions. By now vaccination and previous infections must have made individual (relative) immunity widespread, dampening virus-spread.

The government’s bluster about “Freedom Day” may escape immediate punishment. Cases may bump back up only slightly, then decrease for a good while. I don’t know. In any case the labour movement must remain mobilised.

Dangers from still-high rates remain. For sure, some bosses will press workers to drop precautions and flout isolation rules. Workers’ control of workplace safety!

Summer needs to be used to prepare for autumn and winter conditions, with more time indoors; for the risk of more infectious variants emerging or vaccine effectiveness fading; and for a possible spike in flu and other viruses suppressed in winter 2020-1. We can best prepare by:

• Better ventilation

• Full isolation pay for all

• Funding for NHS pay and for the NHS to recover

• Taking social care into the public sector with NHS-level pay and conditions for the workers

• A drive to improve housing and end overcrowding.

World Covid case and death counts are still rising, and are higher than at any time in 2020. Vaccination rates lag, at 0.4 per 100 people per day worldwide; 0.04/100 in Africa; 0.02/100 in Bangladesh.

Requisition Big Pharma, to allow spread of technology and an emergency drive to produce and distribute vaccines worldwide!

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