Care facilities for the elderly have become a pandemic hotspot. One third of all the people in Germany who have died due to Covid-19 were residents of elderly care and nursing homes. The misconduct of individual facilities isn’t to blame – this disaster has structural causes.
I am writing this testimony to show how teleworking, while augmenting our teaching workload, also reduces our ability to fight; through the example of a struggle of temporary workers in France in which I took part.
This article is a short description of what’s going on in Brazil. While I was writing these lines we exceeded 11,000 deaths in Brazil, and I hope that quarantine will soon be imposed, and that those who have to provide for themselves will be financially supported during the lockdown through help from the federal government. For now, unfortunately, that is not what is happening.
“Before, if you finished work you could go home. But now it’s a private company, and they’re sticking to the schedule. I mean, to get away from work, because we have to fight to get paid for overtime hours. But right now, with these sanitary conditions, it’s silly to keep people in when they’re done working.”
At dawn this morning in Bologna, Italy, some precarious workers who refused to be exploited and swindled by their shit bosses were woken up by police officers, giving them notice of these precautionary measures against them. Five were ordered to leave Bologna and one was banned from approaching their ex-workplace and ex-bosses. A further 13 workers have also been charged.
The idea of work-from-home is nothing new and has been in practice in India for quite some time. As a socio-technical experiment in changing working conditions, work-from-home was being deployed in various places previously too, albeit this pandemic has turned it into an imposed necessity for a lot of workers. But the question is – at what price?
I received news, a few days ago, of the death of a colleague of mine. He was just short of 60 years old. In addition to the pain felt at the umpteenth loss of a fellow worker, there is also the chilling, terrifying awareness that this fate could befall any of us.
Mandatory quarantine has enforced a restructuring of domestic work, and teachers that have to do virtual lessons not only end up having to quickly learn about the new digital tools but to do this while their children are studying at home.
If, on the one hand, the isolation and loneliness of work within an ICU means the extreme degradation of the worker’s subjectivity, it may also be what drives them to dialogue and to get closer to others.
Here, the state and municipality’s health departments are in conflict: the first one believes we should be more careful, and announced an order of PPE, and the second one is denying the existence of the problem.