The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

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

Back to Normal?
What a Joke!

Jun 21, 2021

The country is “getting back to normal” this summer, according to government spokespersons and the news. After nearly a year and a half of Covid lockdowns and other restrictions, mask mandates are being lifted. Restaurants and bars are opening to full capacity. Concerts and festivals are being scheduled.

But those of us who do the work have little to celebrate. No, we’re the ones left holding the bag, still paying the price while our officials pretend that it’s all over.

First of all, who says lifting the mask mandate makes it easier? How are we supposed to know, when we go into work, or into the grocery store, who is sick, vaccinated, and so on? Since they did a sad, ineffective vaccination process, in many places, the population is wide open to the virus. They’ve all but given up on vaccinating the population, doing nothing to truly reach all those who are not yet vaccinated. They’ve taken to saying that we may just have to accept that Covid will be with us forever, like the flu. Even while talking about the more contagious and more deadly variants we are facing!

Many workplaces say they are short of workers. Yes, because workers are still getting sick—or don’t want to take the risk of getting infected, especially when mask requirements are gone. So, supermarkets are packed, with checkout lines stretching down whole aisles for the few registers that are open and going out to eat is often disrupted and not that enjoyable.

Women have been especially hard hit during this time. Faced with closures of in-person teaching, and with zero childcare options, 2.3 million women left the workforce to stay home in the past year to care for and teach their kids and try to keep it together without a regular income. Many still can’t return, because trusted childcare is hard to find.

Many workers have not been able to pay their rent or their mortgage this past year. They limped along with an eviction moratorium in place—but those debts were not wiped away, and they are about to become due when the moratorium lifts at the end of the month. So, all of this on top of the bad situation workers were in even before the pandemic hit.

Finally, the $300 a week extra for unemployment compensation is slated to disappear—states are announcing that they will be shutting down those payments. And the federal program shuts them all down, in any case, by September.

When they tell us that we’re getting “back to normal” they’re telling us to accept all the ways that we are still paying for this intolerable situation.

Meanwhile, corporate profits and income for the wealthy has taken no hit, in fact it skyrocketed.

So, we need to make their normal our normal. They are living protected lives and investing their profits on grander and grander schemes. Maybe they will buy a yacht or even a whole country! In any case, they have money to burn.

We don’t have to accept these gross inequalities. The working class can set these billionaires on the run when we organize and fight. We are the ones who produce all of their wealth, and they can’t have it if we don’t give it to them.

Meanwhile, in the short run, we should put the lie to the BS they are talking and let the world know that we are not falling for their “back to normal” strategy.