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From The Socialist newspaper, 27 May 2020

Dispatches from the front

Eerily quiet before second wave - don't reopen schools!

A park notice during coronavirus lockdown, London, 10.5.20, photo JB

A park notice during coronavirus lockdown, London, 10.5.20, photo JB   (Click to enlarge)

An NHS health professional

"Don't use the Q-word" has been said more than once this week. But it does feel eerily quiet.

We have now reorganised yet again as most of our patients are classified as 'cold', and intensive care is only half full. All the extra capacity created early on is now empty, but no one is suggesting we dismantle any of it, as we fully expect it to be needed when we are hit by the second wave. And we do still have an entire floor of Covid-positive wards.

We are working with the local private health sector to restart urgent work, particularly orthopaedics. But they call the shots, and we have to step in when they don't have the right staff or equipment - it's chaotic, and their priorities don't put patients first.

There are lots of work issues arising from the crisis. Staff who are self-isolating being forced to take annual leave is just one of them.

Schools fear

But the issue staff are most concerned about is reopening schools. Some of our kids have been attending school throughout, but others are home with partners juggling between shifts. We know the care we take using PPE for every patient, regardless of symptoms.

So how the hell will teachers manage without apron, gloves, mask and visor? It's madness, and many just won't send their kids.

At the beginning of this pandemic, we felt we were lambs to the slaughter, as most health workers experienced the acute lack of resources. But now it's like we have all the protection, and the workers outside are being forced back to work without any of the PPE we've fought for.

We say to the rest of our community: if it's not safe, don't return to work or school - stay safe, join the union, and get organised to fight back.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 27 May 2020:


What we think

Reckless lying cheats


Schools

Schools aren't safe

United action can defeat Tories' dangerous school plan


International news

Economic collapse leads to renewed protests across Lebanon

Chinese state's imposition of draconian law reignites Hong Kong protests


Coronavirus news

Care home workers suffer PPE shortage and job loss fears

More blunders and profiteering in Tory track-and-trace scheme

Eerily quiet before second wave - don't reopen schools!

Coronavirus pandemic news in brief


BAME Covid-19 deaths

Black and Asian Covid-19 deaths: an indictment of capitalist inequality


Workplace news

Strong union response needed against job cuts

No return to unsafe construction sites

Energy firm plans to make 2,600 redundant

Fight P&O's billionaire bosses' jobs cut plan

Hull Trades Council debates workers' political representation


Lessons from history

The 'Lucas Plan'

1920s Britain: A "country nearer Bolshevism than at any time since"


Obituary

Mick Cotter 21-9-57 to 20-5-20


Fighting fund

We need readers' support to fight capitalist crisis


Readers' opinion

Going viral - Socialist comments and letters


 

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