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Letters—Don’t give in to the lie that the Covid pandemic is over

Those in power want us the believe that Covid is over. But with cases in the rise workers must fight back against this assumption
Issue 2797
A covid sign

A covid testing centre sign

I was about to set off to join the Stop the War Coalition’s demo against the war in Ukraine earlier this month when I got a message from my workplace WhatsApp group. A colleague alerted us that they had just tested positive with coronavirus.

A minute later another colleague messaged the group that they had tested positive. Then another. I did a lateral flow test and found I was positive too, with my second bout of the illness. I wasn’t going to the demo.

My workplace has taken the pandemic very seriously. Yet out of an office of nine workers, five of us came down with coronavirus last week. However, the pandemic is no longer headline news. The mainstream news has moved on.

Of course, events such as the war in Ukraine need to be covered, but the pandemic has not gone away. Data from the Zoe Covid study app, the largest community monitoring of Covid in the world, suggest there are over 250,000 daily cases of Covid in Britain. One in 24 people are infected.

Infection rates are highest across Scotland, London, and the south east and are on the increase among those aged 55 and over. In the London borough of Hackney where I live, the number of coronavirus cases rose by 30 percent.

There were over 1,085 daily cases in the first week after the Tories lifted the remaining coronavirus restrictions. On Thursday, 17 March there was a 47 percent increase in infections from the previous week.

That’s a record high in the number of cases recorded in one day. The coronavirus remains a very real threat to us all, with key workers most at risk of infection. Socialist Worker must keep up its coverage of the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

We cannot let the Tories get away with peddling the myth that the pandemic is “over”.

Sasha Simic

East London


War, the West and the oceans

Imperialist rivalries driving Nato’s expansion across Europe to Russia’s borders and Russia’s war on Ukraine are being replicated across the world’s oceans. Earlier this year, US-led Nato forces ran 12 days of naval exercises called Neptune Strike 22 in the Mediterranean.

This involved the enormous aircraft carrier USS Harry Truman,costing over £3.5 billion.

They had been in the Mediterranean since December to “reassure” Europeans.

Meanwhile, Iran, Russia and China recently held similar naval exercises across the Indian ocean. The US regularly sends warships into the South China Sea to imply it can go anywhere and do what it likes. The USS Harry Truman was in waters off Norway this month with other Nato ships and thousands of troops.

Britain’s ruling class is also guilty of this vast, polluting, dangerous waste of resources. In December 2021 the House of Commons defence committee said, “We’re going to need a bigger Navy”. Part of this is the submarine-based Trident nuclear missiles the Labour Party continues to support. None of this makes any of us any safer.

The constant pushing by imperialist powers at each other’s borders and squaring up to each other on land and sea is more likely to make tensions worse.

Sarah Ensor

Manchester


We shouldn’t shoulder the cost of rising bills

Gas prices were already soaring and they’re shooting up even higher with the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This is an imperialist war, and it’s going to be us workers that pay the bill. And it’s the most vulnerable who are going to be hit hardest—especially workers on low pay and benefits, who have to spend a high proportion of their income on heating.

Commentators say that if ordinary people just turn down their thermostat then things will be ok. All of this puts the responsibility on us for this crisis and lets the fat cats off the hook.

We need to build a mass movement to demand change, starting with nationalising the energy firms to bring down prices and carrying out a green transition.

Liam Condron-Farnos

Plymouth


Feeling the climate crisis in Australia

An Australian court has overturned a plea that requires the environment minister to consider the climate risk to children when approving fossil fuel projects. While the case admitted that climate change will have a massive impact on the lives of future generations it was still sadly dismissed.

Growing numbers of people in Australia are terrified about the impact of climate change. We are seeing once rare floods happening much more regularly. Floods in Brisbane and New South Wales earlier this year were much worse than they have been in many years.

The amount of rain that fell from the sky was just scary. It’s likely that when things dry out there could be wildfires again next summer because it keeps getting hotter.

Already children are thinking about whether they should move from the places they grew up in. Students are organising climate strikes in all the major Australian cities this week. Hope for climate justice must come from them, it would be dangerous to put any faith in the court system or those in power.

Jasmine Fischer

Melbourne


‘Nuclear war’ is extinction

Even as a kid in the 1980s I thought “nuclear war” was a misnomer. You cannot wage a proper war with nuclear weapons. Anyone who is pro‑nuclear weapon and over 18 should watch the film Threads.

Would anyone really want to go through the horrors of a nuclear attack and life afterwards?

S Burden

Essex


How do cops get away?

It’s outrage after outrage with the Met Police—what is it about them? I presume they think that they can get away with anything as they’re so pumped up with their own authority.

Keith Cacahuete

On Facebook


Tanked up on war fever

Keir Starmer’s recent little photoshoot with Nato tanks in Estonia last week shows that Labour has lost all of its principles.

David Seddon

On Twitter


Labour is anti-worker

After seeing Socialist Worker’s article about Coventry Labour council suspending a union rep, I want to say that Labour has always attacked workers.

Tony Blair and Gordon Brown did nothing to change anti-trade union laws when they were in government. Sir Keir is cut from the same cloth.

mcintosh73

On Twitter


Don’t forget long Covid

It is shameful that those in power are trying to say that the pandemic is over, especially when probably millions of us are coping with the effects of long Covid. I went from being a broadly healthy person to someone who hasn’t been quite the same months on. Even my memory has been affected. The pandemic is not over for us.

Bradley Macmillan

Colchester

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