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How the New Virus Could Create a New Working Class

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https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/04/coronavirus-class-war-just-beginning/609919/

theatlantic.com

How the New Virus Could Create a New Working Class
Experts predict the outbreak will lead to a rise in populism. But will workers turn their rage toward corporate CEOs, or middle-class "elites"? Editor's Note: The Atlantic is making vital coverage of the coronavirus available to all readers. Find the collection here.

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Existing divisions

Epidemics and other natural disasters tend to both illuminate and reinforce existing divisions.

  • The division in our society is between those who can keep their jobs and work from...

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Hope for low-income workers

History offers a precedent. Collective anger at low wages and poor working protections can produce lasting social change.

  • One study that looked at 15 significant pandemics reveal...

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Workers' rights

The pandemic may be bad for workers’ rights.

  • The pandemic might be blamed on outsiders - the Black Death led to massacres of Jews across Europe.
  • In the past de...

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Poverty and wealth

Some believe that people should simply work harder or get more education to escape jobs with no prospects. But now, those jobs, like those in warehouses or grocery stores, are seen to be crucial.

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The risk of infection

The risk of infection

The risk of infection hinges on class. Those people who can work from home are less likely to get sick, while the low-income workers who still have jobs are likely to be stuck in close contact w...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

A new playbook

Growth evangelists are right when they state that severe lockdowns produce a parallel human misery of unemployment, looming bankruptcies, and extreme financial anguish. Yet, opening the economy too...

The false choice

“Save the economy or save lives” is a false choice.
A group of economists published a paper on the 1918 flu outbreak. Their findings revealed:

  • Early and aggressive interventions saved lives and triggered a faster rebound, such as job growth and banking assets.
  • Without a healthy population, there can be no healthy economy.

The hope is for a deep, short recession, to show that people have shut the economy down to limit the spread of disease.

A living wage

Asking millions of able-bodied workers to stop working creates a crisis of unemployment.

During this time, the U.S. is expanding unemployment benefits and are also delaying tax filing. In northern-European countries, the government is directly paying businesses to maintain their payrolls to avoid mass layoffs and furloughs.

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Do's and Don'ts for Social Distancing

  • Avoid gathering in public places.
  • Keep 6-10 feet distance from other people.
  • Wash your hands often and avoid touching your face.
  • Minimize social contact and limit ...

When Going Outside

  • If going to the gym, maintain distance, avoid crowds, disinfect all surfaces that are being touched, and keep washing your hands.
  • Use alternative exercising options like nature parks with fewer people around.
  • Avoid going to the grocery store at peak hours.
  • Do not interact face-to-face with strangers while at a counter or if you are delivering something yourself.
  • Work From Home option should be utilized.

Points to note

  • Minimize your use of public transportation or take the ride-sharing option as it has fewer people, and avoid peak hours at any cost.
  • Don't go to and don't initiate parties to which a large number of people are invited.
  • Keep connecting virtually with your loved ones and your elderly relatives.

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What we know

The virus that is causing the current outbreak is a respiratory one and spreads through droplet infection.

  • There have been no known cases of the virus spreading through "smear" inf...

Contaminated surfaces

  • The virus can be detected in aerosols (airborne droplets smaller than five micrometers) for up to three hours.
  • On copper, for up to four hours.
  • On cardboard, for up to 24 hours.
  • On stainless steel or plastic, for up to three days.

The virus particles on any surface decrease rapidly at the start, then slowly approaches zero over time.

Touching or eating contaminated food

If a food worker coughs over your food while preparing it, although really gross, your risk of contracting the disease that way is minimal.

According to a 2018 overview of respiratory viruses, the virus reproduces along the respiratory tract. It is a different pathway than the digestive tract food follows when you swallow it.

Even if you handle contaminated food and then deposit the virus along your respiratory tract, it's highly unlikely to get sick this way.

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