Essential Expendable Workers

White supremacist gangs

Julia Felton, “Pittsburgh bans traffic stops for minor violations,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, December 28, 2021, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-bans-traffic-stops-for-minor-violations/

Paula Reed Ward, “Disciplinary action initiated against 9 Pittsburgh police officers in tasing, death of man in Bloomfield,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, December 28, 2021, https://triblive.com/local/disciplinary-action-initiated-against-9-pittsburgh-police-officers-in-tasing-death-of-man-in-bloomfield/


Urban bears

Pittsburgh[13] might take note. Chesapeake Animal Services managed to leave the bears the fuck alone.[14]

Associated Press, “Mama bear, 3 cubs climb tree, take nap in urban Virginia,” December 28, 2021, https://apnews.com/article/oddities-environment-and-nature-trees-virginia-animals-c1ce8d849f0936f8af177eb3efbcedf4


Pandemic

The story of the revised COVID-19 quarantine guidance for asymptomatic folks, in which, despite skyrocketing case and hospitalization rates,[15] and despite increased concerns about medical worker burnout,[16] the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “shortened the recommended time Americans infected with the coronavirus should isolate from 10 days to five,”[17] is that 1) the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not believe people will comply with stricter rules;[18] and 2) so-called “essential” workers are, in fact, expendable.[19]

“We have seen relatively low rates of isolation for all of this pandemic. Some science has demonstrated less than a third of people are isolating when they need to,” [Rochelle] Walensky told CNN.[20]

The [Biden] administration’s top health officials met over Christmas weekend to discuss the trajectory of the U.S. outbreak, with several expressing fear about how high case levels might climb in the coming weeks, according to four senior officials briefed on the discussion. They worried the sheer volume of infections could mean that tens of thousands of police, firefighters, grocery workers and other essential employees would be out of work, making it challenging to keep society functioning, even though many of the infections would be mild or produce no symptoms, the officials said.[21]

If you are worried about spreading a highly contagious and deadly disease, you at least require workers to be tested before returning to work, which the new guidance doesn’t do.[22] If you are worried about the workers themselves, you pay them to stay home, whether through sick leave or unemployment benefits. If you aren’t worried about the workers themselves, but rather you are really worried about the economy, you make them go to work even if they’re infected, even if they might infect their co-workers, even if they might infect anyone else they may come into contact with.

“I absolutely don’t want to sit next to someone who turned Positive 5 days ago and hasn’t tested [negative],” tweeted epidemiologist Michael Mina, an assistant professor at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, calling the guidance “reckless.”[23]

A lot of what I’ve seen on my Twitter feed in opposition to the new advice amounted to name-calling. That’s not the way to persuade me. But it’s clear now my tweeps were right, that this latest guidance confirms that indeed, capitalism is a death cult.[24]

Yasmeen Abutaleb, Sean Sullivan, and Eli Rosenberg, “New CDC guidelines were spurred by worries omicron surge could lead to breakdown in essential services,” Washington Post, December 29, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/12/28/cdc-isolation-guidelines-rationale/

Quint Forgey, “‘This was the moment’: CDC defends altered guidance amid Omicron surge,” Politico, December 29, 2021, https://www.politico.com/news/2021/12/29/cdc-defends-new-covid-guidelines-526234


Work

Anneken Tappe, “America runs on bad jobs,” CNN, December 29, 2021, https://www.cnn.com/2021/12/29/economy/us-economy-bad-jobs/index.html


  1. [13]Mary Ann Thomas, “260-pound black bear trapped near Downtown Pittsburgh,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, December 22, 2021, https://triblive.com/local/200-pound-black-bear-trapped-in-downtown-pittsburgh-wednesday-morning/
  2. [14]Associated Press, “Mama bear, 3 cubs climb tree, take nap in urban Virginia,” December 28, 2021, https://apnews.com/article/oddities-environment-and-nature-trees-virginia-animals-c1ce8d849f0936f8af177eb3efbcedf4
  3. [15]Sarah Bahr and Mike Baker, “Another Christmas of Death and Distress in America’s I.C.U.s,” New York Times, December 25, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/25/us/covid-hospitals.html; Ariana Eunjung Cha and Jacqueline Dupree, “Omicron and children: Pediatric hospitals in parts of U.S. filling fast,” Washington Post, December 24, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/12/24/omicron-children-hospitalizations-us/; Ellen Francis and Meryl Kornfield, “New York coronavirus cases hit record high for second straight day as omicron upends holiday plans,” Washington Post, December 18, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/12/18/new-york-coronavirus-cases-record-rockettes/; Rong-Gong Lin, II, and Emily Alpert Reyes, “California braces for Omicron wave amid grim forecasts, concerns for hospitals,” Los Angeles Times, December 20, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-12-20/how-are-southern-california-hospitals-faring-with-covid-now; Philip Marcelo, Anne D’Innocenzio, and Bobby Caina Calvan, “Omicron is latest blow to pandemic-weary front-line workers,” Associated Press, December 24, 2021, https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-health-business-pandemics-london-7004e1f1b1847b9831623e6adcedb5f3; Luke Money and Rong-Gong Lin, II, “California COVID-19 hospitalizations up 25% in last week,” Los Angeles Times, December 28, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-12-28/covid-19-hospitalizations-up-25-in-california-in-last-week; Travis Tritten, “Pentagon Advises Booster Shots as COVID Cases Surge over Holidays,” Military.com, December 28, 2021, https://www.military.com/daily-news/2021/12/28/pentagon-advises-booster-shots-covid-cases-surge-over-holidays.html; Paul Waldman, “The red covid wave is here,” Washington Post, December 17, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/12/17/red-covid-wave-is-here/; WBUR, “Mass. hospitals welcome National Guard members, cancel non-urgent procedures as cases rise,” December 27, 2021, https://www.wbur.org/news/2021/12/27/covid-hospital-staffing-challenges-baker-patients; Ed White, “Hits ‘keep coming’: Hospitals struggle as COVID beds fill,” Associated Press, December 18, 2021, https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-health-detroit-nebraska-kansas-5e98f09c578a231be1411516e9dfff58
  4. [16]Sarah Bahr and Mike Baker, “Another Christmas of Death and Distress in America’s I.C.U.s,” New York Times, December 25, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/25/us/covid-hospitals.html; Philip Marcelo, Anne D’Innocenzio, and Bobby Caina Calvan, “Omicron is latest blow to pandemic-weary front-line workers,” Associated Press, December 24, 2021, https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-health-business-pandemics-london-7004e1f1b1847b9831623e6adcedb5f3; Brittny Mejia, “ICU doctors, nurses demoralized over ‘needless’ COVID-19 misery. ‘Patients are still dying,’” Los Angeles Times, December 24, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-12-24/covid-icu
  5. [17]Yasmeen Abutaleb, “CDC cuts isolation time recommended for people with asymptomatic coronavirus infections,” Washington Post, December 27, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/12/27/cdc-cuts-isolation-time-asymptomic-covid-infections/
  6. [18]Quint Forgey, “‘This was the moment’: CDC defends altered guidance amid Omicron surge,” Politico, December 29, 2021, https://www.politico.com/news/2021/12/29/cdc-defends-new-covid-guidelines-526234
  7. [19]Yasmeen Abutaleb, Sean Sullivan, and Eli Rosenberg, “New CDC guidelines were spurred by worries omicron surge could lead to breakdown in essential services,” Washington Post, December 29, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/12/28/cdc-isolation-guidelines-rationale/
  8. [20]Quint Forgey, “‘This was the moment’: CDC defends altered guidance amid Omicron surge,” Politico, December 29, 2021, https://www.politico.com/news/2021/12/29/cdc-defends-new-covid-guidelines-526234
  9. [21]Yasmeen Abutaleb, Sean Sullivan, and Eli Rosenberg, “New CDC guidelines were spurred by worries omicron surge could lead to breakdown in essential services,” Washington Post, December 29, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/12/28/cdc-isolation-guidelines-rationale/
  10. [22]Yasmeen Abutaleb, “CDC cuts isolation time recommended for people with asymptomatic coronavirus infections,” Washington Post, December 27, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/12/27/cdc-cuts-isolation-time-asymptomic-covid-infections/
  11. [23]Yasmeen Abutaleb, “CDC cuts isolation time recommended for people with asymptomatic coronavirus infections,” Washington Post, December 27, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/12/27/cdc-cuts-isolation-time-asymptomic-covid-infections/
  12. [24]David Benfell, “The capitalist death cult,” Not Housebroken, May 17, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/03/27/the-capitalist-death-cult/

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