I’ve been thinking about the relationship between love (love in general, not romantic love), socialism/communism, and covid19/airborne viruses. A lot of leftists have sort of given up on covid, if not straight up moved to the right/embraced the you do you personal responsibility framing.
Socialism and communism, as well as all leftist thought, if you can forget about the economics for a second, are ultimately about humanity as a whole. They are about life as a whole. They are about love, for life. Hence why it is the left who loves wolves, who loves sharks, who loves turtles, who loves snow leopards, who loves the forests and the mountains and the rain and so forth. We are fascinated by life itself. We appreciate a volcanic eruption, for all their destruction, because we know they create the most fertile land. We look up at the stars, not because we dream of going to space ourselves or colonizing some earth like planet light years away, but because we are amazed. We are in awe of the whole universe.
Philosopher Heather Marsh has written extensively about how humans are a social species. We all depend on others in order to both survive and thrive. However much we try to deny it, as a species, we are co dependent. We move in groups. Our actions influence others, and the actions of others influences us. We are at our very best as a species when we look out for each other, when we work together. She, as well as recently passed away author Bell Hooks, have written about how our societies are ruled by those who do not love life. We have classes of people who genuinely enjoy pain and suffering of others. Life is chaos, but these sadists feel like Gods when they are able to hold so much power over who lives and dies.
Going into year four of covid19, aka Sars Cov 2, more than one million USians have died, more than 700k Brazilians have died, more than 10 million children worldwide are orphans because they lost parents to covid. As a leftist, as a socialist, communist, anarchist etc whatever one wants to call me, it is our utmost paramount duty, above all else, to fight for and protect life on earth. This virus is not a cold, it is not the flu, and it is not and never will be mild. It is a BSL 3 virus that disables those who survive the acute phase, it causes strokes, heart attacks, memory loss, type 1 diabetes, liver failure, blood clots, multi organ system failure among other things. There is no immunity to it, no hybrid immunity, and there is zero benefit whatsoever of getting it. None. Nada. Every time you get it, your chance of dying doubles. It destroys your T Cells and white blood cells, leaving you defenseless against cancer, bacterial infections, and other viruses. It stays in your body for months, and causes auto immunity. The virus is airborne, meaning it floats in the air. The WHO and U.S CDC refuse to call it airborne three years in.
That is the public education we must hammer home with the general public. Getting infected is not inevitable. This virus never will be endemic. We can and must beat it, we have no other option. Wearing an n95 mask or elastomeric respirator is not a burden. Only a sociopath would say such a thing. To wear a mask is to protect yourself, but to protect others, to protect society. N95 masks are a social good, a social responsibility. N95 masks are your way of acknowledging, as the meme goes, we live in a society. With a variant as contagious as Omicron, two way masking with n95 masks brings the r0 number (reproduction rate of transmission) to 0.7. That means if you have a thousand cases per day, in a week you’d have 700 a day. In two weeks, you’d have 490 cases per day. So every two weeks, cases would decline by half. Within three months of n95 masking, without any lockdowns, we can reduce covid cases and deaths by nearly 98%. Some point out as an argument against masking that people don’t wear them right or don’t have a good tight fit, but as leftists of all ideologies, as lovers of life, we can and must set up fit test centers in every community, to show and teach the public how to get a good fit with n95’s.
We love to talk about seizing the means of production, but that alone is not enough. What we make is the most important. Every human on this earth has a right to breathe clean air at all times, outdoors and indoors. With six air changes per hour, we can reduce the amount of covid in the air by upwards of 80%. We can do this with Corsi Rosenthal boxes. Every school classroom, every restaurant, every movie theater, every bedroom, every office building. We need not wait for state regulations. We organize the schools, the teachers and students, we organize the work places. We don’t need a million people working at Amazon, we need a million people making Merv 13 filters and box fans. We don’t stop there though. We have now entered the era of the pandemic thanks to climate change, capitalism, sprawl, industrial agriculture etc. We need to double up, triple up everything. Corsi Rosenthal boxes go on the ground or table tops, but we need to also mass produce and install fandaliers and far UVC lamps. Fandeliers have two large MERV 13 air filters, one on bottom and one on top, and then many small fans going around all four sides, and it hangs from the ceiling like a basketball arena video board. This sucks viruses and pathogens upwards, while the fans push out clean air. Creates airflow indoors. The other thing us as leftists need to fight like hell for and educate about is far UVC lamps. These lamps kill viruses, and creates an air change rate upwards of 100 per hour.
We have lived with the flu and RSV for decades, not because we had to, but because our health care industry has followed droplet dogma. Our public health still doesn’t believe in airborne viruses. Capitalism is ill equipped to contain or acknowledge the reality of covid, the flu, RSV and the future pandemics to come. As socialists, communists or come what you may, all of us who genuinely love life, it is our paramount duty to confront the world as it is. To always believe in good, to never give up on our idealism. As cheesy as it may sound, to beat covid, to beat the flu and RSV, to beat all the future pandemics to come, requires us to love, and to love passionately, all that life is. I am a leftist because I love life.
To end this, I will say that I’ve read public health, and science, shouldn’t be made political or ideological. That is total bull shit. I sit here, and I boldly and proudly claim n95 masks as part of the social commons. I proudly claim Corsi Rosenthal boxes as part of the social commons. I proudly claim fandaliers and far UVC lamps as part of the social commons. As a leftist, we protect all, we take no life for granted, human or otherwise. We’re lovers.