Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/05/22/tale-two-pandemics
“Essential workers” are in many cases defacto sacrificial workers.
Joshua Collins is the Essential Worker Party candidate for Washington State’s 10th Congressional District’s open seat. Hopefully he will get enough votes to land one of the top two slots in the general election.
This day marks another deadly drift into the abyss of total chaos. Happy Birthday to me, 69 and going strong! Peace
We have to change this situation. We are the poster child of medical injustice and its not an accident.
The people who perpetuate this unjust situation are criminals and are guilty of serious crimes against humanity.
"Of course they don’t just happen to have these illnesses—this is the system: it’s decades of segregated housing, pollution, lack of access to medical care, and poverty in action."
Something else not mentioned that contributes to poor communities ill health is that many inner cities are food deserts, where quality foods are out of reach for many. And when you live on junk food, your immune system is then going to be more vulnerable to sickness and death. All by design of course, as seen in the shorter life spans of the poor.
You make a very good point. Healthy foods contain lots of phytonutrients which are essential to health, we’re now realizing.
Racism and socioeconomic stress, which is a quite similar kind of stress, (stress against a person for merely existing while poor)- are perhaps one of the worst - most unhealthy kinds of stress, and they kill people in large numbers. they just eat away at people, literally.
We’re subjecting people to ever increasing amounts of stress, because they remind us of failues we, as a society are failing to address
We created backroom deals that make all sorts of problems nearly impossible to fix, by governments, in order to create certainty for corporations, nullifying all of the duties to protect people that used to be the responsibilities of governments, replacing those responsibilities with their exact opposites - entitlements given to corporations to maximally exploit captive “markets” (the new name for groups of people, illustrating how all thats left is the rating of people by their relative ability to buy goods)
This power shift is leaving people totally vulnerable if they dont have money to buy a voice, bit by bit increasingly in all practical terms left unrepresented by more and more governments all around the world, (The US is leading this push to give the power to corporations - so we here in the US - the belly of the beast- have to be treated especially badly ourselves, in high visibility areas like health care, education, toxic chemicals to deny other countries of any argument that we treat our own people better while they are fighting off our attacks, say in ISDS courts… a new form of global economic givernance that is now set above nation-states, where people ourselves have no standing at all, we dont exist, except as markets)
This causes failures in so many important areas, unavoidable failures, and then we direct our weapons at those who remind us of these failures, trying to make them go away when they cant, except by dying.
Such kinds of stress are highly neurotoxic and immunotoxic,
Stress permanently impacts cognitive abilities and uses up the body’s repair capacities, literally ages people before their time. High levels of noise in the environment (or politics for that matter!) do too, quite a bit. Some substances may be neuroprotective in that situation but really, the only cure or this is to make fundamental changes in how we treat one another, we need a huge sea change in society that really doesnt seem likely to come unless a self examination comes that isnt likely to ocur without some work on the part of people to bring it about. That is being frustrated by widespread high tech censorship.
We need to know we are committing economic suicide by doing this, as it activates stress hormones, that permanently damage health in almost every possible way, so do racism or threats to any of the elements of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs that persist a long time. Stress can and does cause substantial increases in all cause mortality that persist for decades.
Pollution is also a major killer. We need to start treating the creation of these problems as crime as they are killers just like any other mortal threat.
There are many factors that create such a difference in outcomes of the illness. One that is rarely mentioned is serum Vitamin D levels, and higher blood levels of D are correlated with milder cases of COVID. Darker skinned people need a lot more sunlight to get their levels up than lighter-skinned people. And wealthier people will be more likely to take Vitamin D supplements, and have access to the outdoors.
Adam Smith, and the Rev. Thomas Hobbes, were not the first to observe a very important insight: that man’s natural condition is “impoverished” and “nasty”. Adam Smith devoted a book to studying how people manage to rise up from such poverty. He was followed by several other economic philosophers.
Some people-identity-groups figure it out faster than others. Some of those manage to get ahead while facing serious headwinds. Jews, for example.
This article by Robert Reich presents a snapshot of what is happening. Totally expectable. Nobody has yet found a disease or virus that principally targets the better off and the White. (Except maybe the self-suicide of affluenza and affluence-related-conditions.) Reich then engages in the progressive fashion of blaming our not-progressive society for those things that occur everywhere, except in the utopia of Reich’s dreams.
I have an idea that I’ve been trying to get the medical establishment to look into, in COVID-19 for what seems like an eternity. Since January.
Its already an exceptionally safe substance, as its a food. Its a stilbenoid.
Last week I read a comment in a community paper from a woman who is definitely sinking in the leaky boat. Her words almost screamed from the comment box, "you don’t understand, we have to go back to work. “People,” she said, referring to everyone she knows, “can’t pay their bills, have lost their health care and don’t know how they are going to put food on the table.” I thought, “wow, her pandemic experience is vastly different from my experience.”
It has not escaped me that I can work remotely from the safety of my home because others are in harms way, working to bring me the things I need. The UPS truck stops at my house everyday, sometimes twice a day. We buy wine by the case, coffee by the case, dog food in 50 lb bags and even 25 lb bags of bird food to indulge my two month old hobby.
Before he became a rebel hero, Mitt Romney said that 47% of this country was not entitled to food, shelter or health care because they did not earn enough money to pay taxes and I found that to be painfully ironic since his family spent $77,000 a year on food, shelter and health care for one frickin’ horse who was exempt from paying taxes because he was a frickin’ horse. I could not imagine anyone as out of touch with humanity as Mitt. Yet here I am, working for an organization that “distributed” 10,000 N95 masks to hospitals at no cost, feeding birds. The truth is, I did not distribute anything. Someone else, who most likely earns significantly less money than I earn, took the risk of transporting the masks to the front line. I wrote the check, safely sheltered in my home, from a desk nestled against a window, where I watched a woodpecker at the base of a tree, eat crumbs dropped by a chipmunk, who devoured the food I left for the woodpecker in a feeder, tacked to the tree where the woodpecker made his home.
I love Robert Reich and I agree with his every opinion.But IF those in the leaky boat can see no future for themselves except jumping out of the leaky boat into the toxic sea to serve those on the yacht. IF the woodpecker is content to leave the protection of his home to eat the crumbs left by the thieving chipmunk, how do we go forward? I am ready for this fight and I will go out swinging against income inequality. But how do you convince a slave that they are a slave and not privileged to wear knockoffs from the dollar store, and eat discards from their owners’ kitchen?
I am still stuck in North Carolina on March 3rd, among people who voted for two senator representatives who claimed that the people in their state did not deserve to live on $600 a week of unemployment benefits afforded them in the CARE Act, and who also decided that 20% of their state without health insurance did not deserve ACA. On March 3rd, the people of North Carolina overwhelmingly said no, we don’t want a revolution, we do not want health care, we don’t want to earn a living wage, we don’t want to fight. They decided to sit, unprotected, at the base of the tree and eat crumbs dropped by the chipmunk.