Workers Are Warriors in the Fight Against the Coronavirus

Nurses fit protective masks in a test tent at St. Barnabas Hospital in New York City. (Mischa Friedman / Getty Images)

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During a briefing on March 19, Donald Trump compared the fight against the coronavirus pandemic to a military conflict. “It’s a war,” said Trump said. He described himself as a “war president”. The analogy is well known. Both Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders also talk about the current crisis as an equivalent to war.

The metaphor is worth tracking. If we are at war with the corona virus, the front line soldiers are the workers who are risking their lives by doing essential services. First and foremost, it is hospital staff managed by doctors and nurses, but it includes everyone who is required to maintain the full infrastructure of the medical system.

In addition to hospitals, even blocked communities need an army of workers: the staff of grocery stores and pharmacies, the staff needed for the functioning of the supply chains (warehouse workers, truckers, deliverers), sanitary workers and countless other positions in blue color. As my colleague John Nichols notes: “The battle for the coronavirus curve is so serious and so demanding that the list of working class heroes grows every day.”

The war against the corona virus is already causing victims. The New York Post Reports Mount Sinai West personnel blamed the coronavirus death of 48-year-old deputy care manager Kious Kelly for the hospital’s poor equipment. Photos of nurses in the hospital using black plastic bags as home-made protective gear were spread on social media. “Kious didn’t deserve this,” said a newspaper nurse. “The hospital should be held responsible. The hospital killed him. ”

According to The New York Times“Previous research shows that healthcare workers are more likely to develop coronavirus than the average person and, if they get it, suffer from more severe symptoms. Many doctors are already rationing the protective gowns, gloves and masks that are necessary for their safety. ”

As a result, many doctors take extraordinary measures such as making wills and naming those who should take care of their children in the event of death. “There are a good number of people who will die here,” said Dr. John Marshall, chair of emergency medicine at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, told the newspaper. He added, “Health workers will be part of this number.”

It’s not just doctors and nurses who endanger their lives. There was a Series of cases Amazon warehouse workers who contract Covid-19. This problem puts a strain on the company because these workers are not on sick leave. You can take unpaid days off and keep your job. This is a policy that obviously puts workers at risk by creating an incentive for those who may be sick to stay at work.


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