“He’s Got Eight Numbers, Just Like Everybody Else”

by Kathy Kelly

April 3, 2020

On April 4, 2020, my friend Steve Kelly will begin a third year of imprisonment in Georgia’s Glynn County jail. He turned 70 while in prison, and while he has served multiple prison sentences for protesting nuclear weapons, spending two years in a county jail is unusual even for him. Yet he adamantly urges supporters to focus attention on the nuclear weapons arsenals which he and his companions aim to disarm. “The nukes are not going to go away by themselves,” read more

Could this virus and economic crisis be a revolutionary moment?: Marx on COVID-19

By Ron Ridenour

Copenhagen“A spectre is haunting Europe—the spectre ofCovid-19. For Marx and Engels writing the Communist Manifesto, in 1848, that spectre was communism, their political system of choice. This flaring ghost they described frightened the capitalist class, which endeavored to exorcise its breath.

The contemporary specter (thesis-see note) is a new corona virus, code named COVID-19. The spectre of communism lurks for a rebirth as the capitalist read more

Locked down in Montgomery County, PA: We Have Met the Enemy, But It May Turn Out to Be Not a Virus But Us



Maple Glen, PA — I’m writing this article from my home in Montgomery County, PA, a large suburban, exurban and rural county of 900,000 people which is kind of wrapped around three sides of the city of Philadelphia. At the moment, we are in “lock down,” after PA Gov. Tom Wolf announced that MontCo is the “epicenter of the pandemic.”

Gov. Wolf yesterday ordered all elementary and secondary schools in the county closed effective today for at least the next several weeks, and ordered all colleges, including Montgomery County Community College and the Ambler campus of Temple University to end classroom teaching, switching over to online teaching. He also asked all retail stores to close their doors for a few weeks, excepting food stores, pharmacies and gas stations.

The suddenness of the order caught residents by surprise. Parents have been scrambling to make arrangements for their young children — not easy since child care institutions are also shuttered, and help or sitters can be hard to find.

There is an element of panic, since it’s becoming clear that the pandemic is much worse than people up until now had been led to believe. In this so-called “epicenter,” for example, the number of “presumptive” cases of COVID-19 invention is currently 17 (since testing kits are scarce in the US, only six of the PA cases have been tested and they were all positive). That’s just about half the state’s total of 33 as of today. One MontCo resident has died so far, in a hospital in Philadelphia.

What is finally being made clear in the media is that because the Trump administration first cut staffing for epidemics at the Center for Disease Control over the last two years, and was very late to start producing COVID-19 test kids, only 5 people per million have been tested nationally so far (that compares to 3600 per million in S. Korea!), and testing is being rationed, with many reporting symptoms and asking to be tested being turned away by health care providers. Tests can also cost more than $1000 and in Montgomery County, as across the nation, about a quarter of the population is either uninsured or has a cut-rate insurance plan that doesn’t pay any benefits until the insured person has paid the amount of the annual deductible, which can often be thousands of dollars or even as much as $10,000.

As a result we are learning that the true number of infected people in a state the size of Pennsylvania, rather than being tallied in double digits, could be as high as 100,000 already, with the vast majority of those infected not knowing if they have or are contagious with the disease. State health officials in Ohio and Washington have stated this openly, but most states are not being so forthright, perhaps fearing that it will sow panic.

For this reason, it seems clear though, that the restrictions being imposed here in MontCo will not be temporary, ending in a few weeks, but will if anything become stricter and much longer-term…

For the rest of this article by DAVE LINDORFF in ThisCantBeHappening, the uncompromised, collectively run, six-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative news site, please go to:  https://thiscantbehappening.net/we-have-met-the-enemy-but-it-may-turn-out-to-be-not-a-virus-but-us/

Action’s needed on testing and care for all: Eyes Wide Shut is Not Intelligent Policy or Personal Behavior in the Face of a Deadly Pandemic


In a country with such poor health care access, poor labor laws and poor national leadership, hoping for the best is a recipe for disaster

By Dave Lindorff

The World Health Organization on Wednesday announced that the spread of the COVID-10 coronavirus had reached a point of global spread that it is now officially a pandemic.

Meanwhile, as the deadly virus spreads rapidly to state after state across the US (41 states so far are reporting cases), and as the number of infected Americans rises at the predictable pace of doubling every week, one would think that school systems — a key factor in spreading disease — would be closing right away and coming up with emergency alternative solutions for educating children that avoid group settings.

Instead the trend appears to be for school districts to wait and do nothing until there is some exposure incident in which a school full of children and teachers is put at risk by contact with a person — a teacher, a student or a parent — who turns out to have contracted the coronavirus infection or been in contact with an infected person, after which the district then shuts down schools and then has to find out all the people potentially at risk.

This is nonsense and completely at odds with sound epidemic management.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has warned that the US is in for a major pandemic, with 100,000 case expected in this country within weeks, and over a million cases by early summer.

The US is particularly ill-prepared to weather this or any pandemic because of two factors:

The first issue is the large number of citizens and residents — 80 million people or more than one quarter of the population — who are either uninsured or, thanks to high deductibles and co-pays, are technically considered insured but who are unable to pay for timely testing and any needed medical care.

The second issue is the fact that over 100 million American workers do not have paid sick leave, and half of those workers don’t have even unpaid sick days, meaning that most of our service workers who have routine contact with the public, either directly like waiters and kitchen staffs, or indirectly, like warehouse workers or delivery people, tend to go to work sick on pain of losing their job or losing a paycheck and being unable to pay for food, rent or transportation.

I called the school nurse in my granddaughter’s elementary school here in Pennsylvania to ask why they were waiting to close the district’s schools until there’s an infection incident and, incredibly, she replied, “Well, we don’t know how this disease will play out. Maybe our district will get lucky.”

Really? And this was a school nurse talking!  In Germany meanwhile, which has a much better-prepared health care system and better employment laws requiring paid sick leave for workers, Prime Minister Angela Merkel has just warned the German public bluntly that 70% of them could end up being infected by the virus before the disease begins to recede…

For the rest of this article by DAVE LINDORFF in ThisCantBeHappening!, the uncompromised, collectively run, six-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative news site, please go to:  https://thiscantbehappening.net/eyes-wide-shut-is-not-intelligent-policy-or-personal-behavior-in-the-face-of-a-deadly-pandemic/