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

Home for the Holidays … and Sick

Jan 1, 2024

Millions of people traveled home for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, and it seemed like everyone was sick.

Well not everyone was sick, but many were. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that there was a 16% jump in people testing positive for flu the week before Christmas and estimated it had killed 4,500 people so far this season. About 15,000 people in the U.S. were hospitalized for COVID-19 with about 1,000 dying from it every week. In addition, Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) infections had risen sharply in some parts of the country.

There are reasons for this—most importantly the decline in vaccinations. CDC says only about 42% of adults had gotten flu shots by the first week of December, down from 45% a year before. Only about 18% had gotten an updated COVID-19 shot. And only 17% of adults 60 and older received new shots against RSV.

Many working people and their children haven’t because they can’t afford them. For example, COVID-19 shots were free last year, but this year they are not.

So, while top government officials are claiming that everything is looking up for working class people, in fact, this is not true. So, millions more working people are getting sick, and thousands more are dying.