A contribution from Austria about the authoritarian state measures against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Originally published by EMRAWI. Translated by Enough 14.
Honestly, I’m really pissed off about the second, now hard lockdown – even though the whole thing has been looming for quite a while anyway.
- “If there had been as much testing in the social area as in professional sports, we would have been spared the lockdown,” was the consistently accurate comment of a colleague. But hey, the social sector does not create any surplus value, that’s why money invested in it is lost – that’s the credo of neoliberal capitalism. It hits full force again under the name of the “new reality” after the end of the first wave. The invisible hand of the market takes care of everything. That is why it needs as little state as possible. Even the pandemic did little to change that. The state should distribute the cornucopia over the poor, distressed corporations – but nothing more.
This became particularly clear in the preparations in the education sector: the good advice, ventilation and, if possible, lessons outside have the advantage that they cost nothing. Any further preventive measures such as renting larger rooms, smaller classes or even the purchase of air filter systems failed because of the costs. The situation is similar in the social sector: Despite empty hotels, despite the knowledge of the danger of mass accommodation, nothing has changed in the situation of refugees and homeless people. There are still quarters where hundreds and more people have to sleep, and there are still dormitories where keeping distance is illusory. It is not surprising that corona outbreaks occur there time and again.
By far the most tragic situation is the situation in special care homes. Before Corona, they were places of segregation. Our young, hip, mobile, liberal society did not want to be confronted with the problems of the elderly. But during the first wave, it was suddenly necessary to show solidarity with the old, with the weak. But when the immediate danger passed, they were forgotten again. Now, in the middle of the second wave, we are again called upon to be in solidarity. Half of the dead are currently residents of special care homes. They may be forgotten, they may be badly cared for, but a bad PR – and many dead are a bad PR – they should not produce. The prospect is clear: Now their lives are being fought for, then they will be removed again from the memory of society – with the well-known consequences.
- Symptomatic with the handling is the farce around the special care time. As a reminder, it was above all the business community that wanted to keep the schools open at all costs. They were afraid that many parents/carers would no longer come to work. After all, the government had only recently decided on a special care time, which would allow parents/carers to take care of their children at home in the event of school closures. The schools closed, but the special care time does not exist. The loophole: childcare in the schools is still possible, so they are open and closed at the same time. The parents/carers have to learn how to use magic for the benefit of the economy: work, childcare, playing substitute teacher, and all this without the (legal) possibility to meet friends or relax with a beer outside. Ones clearly notice the value of human beings here.
- And anyway, What’s all this shit about? “Every contact is one contact too many.” That’s the credo of a psychopath, recently a wet dream of neoliberals (Remember Margaret Thatcher: “There is no such thing as society”) now the official line of pandemic control. That humans are social beings, that they need encounters even and especially in times of crisis, that the possibility of safe contacts (outside, at a distance) is ignored. Science is also ignored. According to the current state of affairs, fresh air is the best remedy against aerosol concentration, and thus against infection. The advice should actually now be: “People, go out as much as possible” and not “Lock yourselves up at home!” So, my rant ends here. Finally, I have two little requests, which are phrasal but honestly meant (and which are of course related):
Take care of each other!
Let’s bring the system down!
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