Skip to content

Pandemic

NYC’s Independent Recyclers Emerged From Pandemic Stronger Than Ever

New York’s canners and lateros have acquired property, created a redemption facility and community hub – and begun to organize. Josefa Marin and her partner Pedro Galicia arrive at 6:30 a.m. most mornings outside the Sure We Can Redemption Center in Brooklyn’s trendy Bushwick neighborhood. The facility itself won’t open for another hour, but in the meantime they get a head start on sorting through the cans and bottles they’ve collected the previous night from apartment buildings, restaurants, bars, clubs or events where organizers have tabbed the couple to help out with recycling.

Will The Pandemic Treaty Deliver Global Health Equity?

The next round of Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) negotiations for the Pandemic Treaty began on April 29, following two years of discussions. With the treaty text set to be finalized at the World Health Assembly at the end of May, uncertainties persist regarding the current state of negotiations, marked by numerous unresolved issues. The main question remains: will the Treaty genuinely fulfill its promise of equity and justice, or will it merely pay lip service to these ideals? In an effort to delve deeper into these concerns, Jyotsna Singh of People’s Health Dispatch interviewed Dr. Alexandra Phelan, a global health lawyer and associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.

U.S. Billionaire Wealth Is Up 88% Since The Pandemic

Four years ago, the United States entered the Covid-19 pandemic. Forbes published its 34th annual billionaire survey shortly after with data keyed to March 18, 2020. On that day, the United States had 614 billionaires who owned a combined wealth of $2.947 trillion. Four years later, on March 18, 2024, the country has 737 billionaires with a combined wealth of $5.529 trillion, an 87.6 percent increase of $2.58 trillion, according to Institute for Policy Studies calculations of Forbes Real Time Billionaire Data.

Strike Threat Wins In Confrontation Over Remote Work

When “Reclaim your Momentum” was unveiled as the theme for Portland Community College’s 2023 in-service training, it struck a discordant note with members of my union, the PCC Federation of Faculty and Academic Professionals. We hadn’t lost our momentum so much as we’d been subjected to two years of organizational restructuring in the midst of a global pandemic. The reorganization had concentrated power at the top, and now the college president was rolling out her plan to end the flexible work arrangements developed for the pandemic.

Government Gag Rules Keep Vital Information From The Public

Reporting on the government institution charged with saving us from the Covid pandemic was restricted enough to leave real holes in what we knew. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—like many other organizations these days, public and private—prohibits its employees from speaking freely to reporters. At many entities, the rules mean staff members cannot have any unauthorized contact with reporters, with media inquiries often redirected to a public information office (PIO). The forced notification of the higher-ups is quite enough to silence many employees about anything that would displease the bosses.

An Environmental Activist’s Guide To The Great Barrington Declaration

The Great Barrington Declaration (GBD) is standard issue libertarian free market ideology sanded down to fit the confines of public health – this document (coauthored by three highly credentialed academics: Sunetra Gupta of Oxford, Martin Kulldorff of Harvard, and Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford) recommended that governments do nothing to combat a once in a century pandemic destined globally to obliterate as many as 27 million lives. The fever dream enshrined in every libertarian narrative holds that “self regulating forces” exhibit a mystical benevolence only realized when governments retreat, and defer to the “natural order.”

Why Our Popular Mass Movements Fail

There was a decade of popular uprisings from 2010 until the global pandemic in 2020. These uprisings shook the foundations of the global order. They denounced corporate domination, austerity cuts and demanded economic justice and civil rights. There were nationwide protests in the United States centered around the 59-day Occupy encampments. There were popular eruptions in Greece, Spain, Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Syria, Libya, Turkey, Brazil, Ukraine, Hong Kong, Chile and during South Korea’s Candlelight Light Revolution. Discredited politicians were driven from office in Greece, Spain, Ukraine, South Korea, Egypt, Chile and Tunisia. Reform, or at least the promise of it, dominated public discourse. It seemed to herald a new era.

Student-Loan Debtors Weigh Options As Debt-Payment Moratorium Expires

“I’m thinking about the interest that’s going to be accruing, on top of each loan, and I’m like, okay, that’s going to total maybe $1,000 a month,” says Rachel Jerome of the upcoming federal student-loan payment ­resumption.  After Jerome earned her bachelor’s degree, she realized that her career goals were much different than when she was 18 years old. She wanted to switch gears and go back to school for a master’s in strategic communications, so she attended an online program at Syracuse University while working full-time at a nonprofit and living with her parents. COVID-19 induced a federal moratorium on student-loan payments and interest in March 2020.

Poverty Rose In 2022 As Inflation Surged, Pandemic Aid Terminated

In the aftermath of pandemic relief programs such as increased unemployment and nutrition benefits, greater rental assistance and the child tax credit — policies which the Biden administration allowed to expire in 2021 — Americans faced the largest one-year increase of poverty on record. According to a report from the Census Bureau published on Sept. 12, the sharpest increase in poverty affected children, as child poverty more than doubled from a record low of 5.2 percent to now 12.4 percent. This was indicated by the Supplemental Poverty Measure, which “factors in the impact of government assistance and geographical differences in the cost of living.”

Activating The Unrealised Potential Of Care Networks

Most care services use a ‘Deliveroo’ service model: Individual care workers deliver care as if it were a package to another individual's home. These care workers have no connection to that person's wider support network, their neighbourhood or community. They also have no freedom or control over their day-to-day work. This amounts to a service that provides care independently from the support networks embedded in people’s local communities; any collaboration with these support networks in service delivery is generally incidental to a services organisation rather than a direct consequence of it. This is OK if you really are delivering a package, as all you need is a postcode; it is not OK when you are providing care.

The Plague Of Social Isolation

There is very little to recommend my old gym, other than the low monthly fee, where I worked out nearly every day from 2007 until the pandemic shut it down. The locker rooms were grimy with moldering carpets. There were brown rings around the basins and a thin blackish layer of slime, composed, I suspect, of dead skin, urine, hair, dust, dirt and assorted bacteria on the floor of the shower stalls. To step into the slime without flip flops was to take home athlete’s foot and toenail fungus, at the very least. The sauna in the locker room was reportedly listed on a gay pick-up app and attracted pairs of men looking for anonymous sexual encounters in clouds of steam. The gym management first tried to combat these liaisons by posting a sign on the door that read: “IT IS FORBIDDEN TO HAVE SEX IN THE SAUNA.”

The Zero-Fare Public Transit Movement Is Picking Up Momentum

Washington, D.C. - Washington, D.C., is on the verge of eliminating bus fares for city residents, joining other U.S. cities that are working to make metro bus and rail systems free to ride. Already, Boston, San Francisco and Denver are experimenting with zero fare. In late 2019, Kansas City, Missouri, became the first major U.S. city to approve a fare-free public transit system. The “zero-fare” movement has garnered support among business groups, environmental advocates, Democratic leaders and others who say that public transit boosts local economies, mitigates climate change and is a basic necessity for many individuals. The idea gained traction during the pandemic, which underscored the critical role public transit plays for essential workers who don’t have the luxury of working from home. But despite the zero-fare movement’s growing popularity, it has drawn political pushback in some areas where the policy doesn’t easily fit in with budgets or local laws.

Liberating Africa Requires Changing Power Relations With The West 

Soon after arriving in Oslo, my taxi zigzagged through the city’s well-organized streets and state-of-the-art infrastructure. Large billboards advertised the world’s leading brands in fashion, cars, and perfumes. Yet, amid all the expressions of wealth and plenty, an electronic sign by a bus stop flashed the images of poor-looking African children needing help. Over the years, Norway has served as a relatively good model of meaningful humanitarian and medical aid. This is especially true compared to other self-serving western countries, where aid is often linked to direct political and military interests. Still, the public humiliation of poor, hungry and diseased Africa is still disquieting. The same images and TV ads are omnipresent everywhere in the West.

Commoning Our Way Through The Climate Crisis

In early 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic forced a retreat into our homes in a grand finale of our atomization and separation from nature — a separation that was exacerbated by enclosures. Yet physically distanced (and with the fragility of the economic system exposed) we remembered our interdependence. Many of us rediscovered ways of self-organizing and returned to the culture of commoning that has been overlooked as a vital way to address many issues, like climate change. Across countries, collective responses to the climate crisis have flourished at local levels, particularly where there were existing networks of support and democratic enterprise. Community energy organizations sent thousands of pounds to support neighborhood responders before governments had figured out how to reach people.

How The World Bank Weakens Health Systems

Natalie Rhodes, PhD candidate at University of Leeds, and People’s Health Movement, along with Remco van de Pas, researcher at the Centre for Planetary Health Policy, and People’s Health Movement discuss in detail about the implications of the newly established World Bank fund for Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response and the Bank’s other policies pertaining to public health.
Sign Up To Our Daily Digest

Independent media outlets are being suppressed and dropped by corporations like Google, Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for our daily email digest before it’s too late so you don’t miss the latest movement news.