This is just the beginning.
I had so many other essays to write. Our potential theocracy of a country, the rise of newsletter culture as traditional journalism dies, you know, light fare.
All of my thoughts and opinions on anything That Might Be can get tossed in the brain trash, because the entire world paradigm is shifting. The global health crisis we are living through is accelerating long needed discussions and laying bare the real concerns of the elite. Class war is looming thanks to Covid-19.
Here Comes the Class War
It’s a mask-off time for the Republicans. There is no denying now that they are a death cult. This administration is openly suggesting we sacrifice a percentage of our population in order to “get back to normal”. Unfortunately for them, normal is gone. But we can see what they value, and it isn’t their fellow humans.
It’s the market, and capital. Stocks are more important than human lives, that is the administration’s view. Governors across the country are calling for shelter-in-place to slow the spread and attempt to avoid a collapse of our healthcare system. The President is talking as if the nation just has a bad cold and we’ll all be back to work in April. The worst human in the world is in charge, his moves to save the wealthy’s assets are transparent and ghoulish.
It’s frightening to be thrown head-first into a problem that shouldn’t have existed. Our President was calling this virus a hoax when he could’ve been replicating what other countries were doing. We could have been preparing by manufacturing ventilators and masks, building new hospitals. Instead of drive-thru testing we have young adults dying in their kitchen waiting to get tested.
Let this radicalize you rather than lead you to despair.@prisonculture
Meanwhile, progressives like Sanders are raising money for mutual aid funds, pushing for cancellation of debt and moratoriums on rent. Universal Basic Income is no longer just a Yang Gang talking point. People are now realizing how much of our society is dependent on our labor. The systems in place are slipshod at best, predatory at worst and they are falling apart when we need them most.
Medicare For All is more dire than ever. Many are realizing the horrible conundrum of having no healthcare because you’ve lost your job due to a health crisis. Those who are experiencing homelessness cannot practice safe social distancing. Our fellow Americans currently incarcerated are in grave danger. Prisons and jails lack adequate sanitary supplies during normal times. Their rights are already so restricted, and now they are making hand sanitizer for slave wages.
Looking to the future there are so many unknowns, and that in itself is anxiety-inducing. What is certain is that America is only at the beginning of this crisis. Unemployment has already skyrocketed. Many of the businesses immediately affected can’t suddenly open their doors on Easter like Trump wants. Hospitals are out of supplies, there aren’t enough beds or ventilators available. Grim news is constantly bombarding us.
Instead of helping cratering industries like bookstores and restaurants, we are going to bail out the airlines and cruise ship industries. CEOs and executives will see the most relief. Meanwhile, “essential” services like grocery workers, mail delivery and healthcare are shouldering a terrible burden. Many of them are getting sick, because they are on the front lines.
In a just world, they would receive hazard pay. Co-workers of those who have fallen ill would not be faced with heavier workloads or fear of being laid off. Their health and safety would be paramount to ensuring our society’s future. Companies would be making decisions based on what the majority of their workers (the ones who provide their value!) believe is best. But that’s socialism, and our country would rather fucking die.
The failure of our government to take this crisis seriously has impacted every single aspect of our lives. Yet the burden is still on the working class to keep the threads of capitalism as tightly strung as possible. The rich must be able to carry on as normal, at any cost. This is the America we live in. It’s difficult to accept as we are all in a constant state of anxiety over a deadly illness, made worse by our paycheck to paycheck lifestyle.
Class differences are heightened during a crisis. There is a stark difference in the daily lives of celebs singing Imagine from their pristine mansions, and those of us still at work, hoping desperately hand-washing can save us.
Access to the test itself is emblematic of our class divide. Elite and showing no symptoms? Results in less than a day. Working class and coughing? Call us back when you can’t breathe.
Those at the wheel are desperate to save a crappy ship, whose slow leak has now imploded. Its inevitable sinking cannot be reversed by the frantic shoveling of water off the deck.
Capitalism was always going to take us down with it. Those that benefit from the system will defend it with their life. The question is, how many of the working class will get out alive?
Hey Media. Li’l Help Here?
Reliance on mainstream media will only feed the same old narratives. They have shareholders to answer to also. Twitter checkmark folk who claim to care about civility will apply the same smashed logic to fixing the market at all costs. A society under anything but capitalism means losing all their privilege and that is a reality that cannot be legitimized.
If the media were to cover this crisis accurately, we’d be seeing more coverage advocating for decarceration. There would be critical looks at how potential deaths of millions of Americans is currently on the line, all for a line shooting up on a graph. Editorial boards would be calling for Trump to be impeached and actually removed. Advocating for a general strike would be mainstream and not just a topic of leftist podcasts. The media has failed to properly address the threat of this administration for years now. That isn’t going to change, even as things crash and burn. Even as thousands are likely to die.
There’s no way you could write an apocalypse novel about 2020. So many of the details would get struck in the first draft for being too wild. Tito’s Vodka has pivoted to making hand sanitizer, after telling people through their social media that their vodka is not appropriate for sanitation purposes. Tesla and Google are donating their reserves of N95 masks because there are shortages everywhere. Celebs and athletes are contributing to Go Fund Me’s for arena workers and others who have no safety net after immediate layoffs.
Another troubling aspect of this time is information overload. The constant updates on a developing crisis can easily hide how our government is turning Authoritarianism up to 11. Death-cult-led states like Texas make abortions illegal and the DOJ wants Constitution-shredding emergency powers like indefinite detainment. Authoritarians revel in chaos because their seizing of control becomes justified. An overwhelmed and terrified public will overlook or miss these power grabs until it’s too late to do anything.
In Spain, bodies are being brought to ice rinks because morgues are full. This is a nightmare we haven’t begun to see all sides of. Nothing is going to look better in two weeks. New York City is rapidly following in Europe’s footsteps. Yet as the Gray Lady reports on the latest horrific news, there’s no sense of urgency to remove the inept wannabe autocrat in office who has American blood on his hands.
Now that Congress has passed an anemic relief bill aimed at large corporations they plan to immediately go on break during a national emergency. They are happy to delay mortgages for homeowners, but no one is talking about relief for renters. The hardest hit will likely have to wait months for paltry checks that will barely make a dent in their ever growing debt.
Trump continues to push for the country to “get back to work” as soon as possible, even before Easter. We cannot continue to treat his administration as merely inept. They are purposefully putting lives at risk, knowingly sentencing Americans to death to tick up a few more points on a graph.
To Trump, this virus has one goal, and that is to keep him from getting re-elected. Every move he makes is with this in mind. A malignant narcissist views a global health crisis as a personal vendetta. There is no thought of consequences for the average American, only the businesses he personally must shutter and market value he’ll lose.
The way he has responded to governors pleads for supplies shows how he is treating this emergency as a personal transaction. If governors don’t praise him, they will not get the ventilators they seek. Trump will wipe the blood on his hands off on Cuomo and Whitmer’s shirts. This isn’t about lives to him, it’s about reputation.
Only We Can Save Us
Now is the time to community-build. We must join with our neighbors to work with each other to get what we all need.
No one knows how long the health crisis will last. We should absolutely not panic buy, but grabbing a bag of rice if you can, some cans of beans each week is a good idea. Check in with your local food pantry, your neighbors. You never know who in your community is unable to procure for themselves.
It’s emergency prep like any other disaster, that most of us still don’t plan for. As the climate plunges further into crises, having supplies for earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes will be crucial to survival.
There is no answer but a general strike to attempt to receive adequate care from our government. This society runs on the sweat and tears of our labor. We deserve its care when things are this dire. Our government is not up to the job. It is filled with either ghouls or gormless compromisers. All (except for maybe 5? of them are beholden to corporations, not the people they work for. Maybe if we all refuse to pay rent the landlords of the world will see that collectively we have more power than they do.
As more and more of the essential working class falls ill, our situation becomes critical. What do we do when all the nurses and doctors are sick? How does business continue if truck drivers and USPS mail carriers can no longer make deliveries? We face either a complete meltdown of capitalism with many deaths and much suffering, or a dismantling of capitalism as we come together to take care of each other.