The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Pandemic on the Move

Nov 9, 2020

The election may be over, but the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. The U.S. continues to see record numbers of cases every day. While the fatality rate is lower than in the pandemic’s early stages, hospitalizations and deaths are again on the increase.

States in the Midwest like Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan have experienced recent spikes in cases. In Michigan, for example, the number of daily cases is running five times as high now as they were just two months ago. The number of daily deaths in Michigan, which were near zero in early August, are up to nearly 30 today. Hospitalizations have gone up four times since the end of August.

The ongoing pandemic is the result of a lack of intervention in the early stages to stop the spread of this highly contagious disease. The disease has spread to rural areas, which initially had escaped the pandemic. This threatens to create crises to come, given that many rural areas have only a few hospitals in the space of hundreds of miles, and many of those have low capacities for intensive care that COVID often requires.

Clearly, those in charge of hospital systems and supplies did not use the past months to ensure adequate numbers of hospital beds would be available. The availability of beds, staff, and supplies mostly relies on local, not national, decision-making. And so, while some hospitals have adequate PPE, staffing, and ventilators, others have not.

The politicians have fiddled around about providing additional economic stimulus and unemployment relief, and continue to compel essential workers to work under the danger of catching and potentially spreading the disease to others. Small businesses are pushed to try to stay open while facing a threat to their very existence.

The politicians have shown they’re incapable of solving this worsening crisis. The working class will need to continue to fight for even the most minimal care.