Wednesday, March 18, 2020

SARS-CoV2 Chickens Coming Home To Roost

caitlinjohnstone |   It’s interesting how the virus which might knock down the most powerful government in the world behaves so much like that government: dominating world affairs and killing the most vulnerable members of the populations it attacks. Nations which are being smashed with US sanctions have already been watching their frail and elderly die of inadequate medical care and malnutrition, and now with the coronavirus they’re experiencing those same exact effects squared. Which is why places like Iran are being hit so uniquely hard. America is like if COVID-19 was a country.

Also interesting is watching people react to the way so many of the corporate and government policies which have been causing ordinary human beings to suffer great pains are now simply being canceled all around the world in response to the pandemic. This Slate article documents a number of the changes which have been made just in America, like how for people being thrown in jail for minor offenses, “San Antonio is one of many jurisdictions to announce that, to keep jails from being crowded with sick citizens, they’ll stop doing that. Why were they doing it in the first place?” Or how “Trump has instructed government agencies who administer loans to waive interest accrual for the duration of the crisis. But why on earth is our government charging its own citizens interest anyway?”

We’re seeing immense burdens lifted from people with an easy “Oh, that’s making the pandemic worse? Okay we’ll stop that then.” And we’re seeing people react with fully justified indignation with, “Well why were you doing that to me in the first place??”

And the answer is very simple: because until now, your suffering wasn’t exacerbating a virus which does not discriminate on the basis of class. Politicians and billionaires are just as capable of losing their lives and loved ones to this virus as anyone else, as the CEO of Universal Music Group just learned with his COVID-19 hospitalization. Simply not causing needless human suffering wasn’t enough to get them to stop crushing people; it had to actually show up on their doorstep to make a difference.