Health and Medicine

When Every Community is Ground Zero: Pulling Each Other Through a Pandemic

By Infoshop

Report from Mutual Aid Disaster Relief about building an autonomous response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Community mobilizations for mutual aid and medical solidarity have formed in as many spaces as the new coronavirus (Covid-19) has spread.

From continent to continent, people have innovated and navigated through information suppression, governmental inadequacy and unpreparedness as well as supply shortages in panic-economies with global financial markets plummeting.

The global pandemic is a disaster enveloping all of the intersections where climate catastrophes typically surge, storm-batter and strand impacted regions, but when every community is a different version of ground zero, sourcing from within, in as much as possible, becomes a critical component.

Piecing together carefully constructed information on defending our communities, building bridges over access and info gaps for folks with differing vulnerabilities and sharing comprehensive information on harm reduction, DIY resource building and responding with best practices is the radical solidarity being generated by folks across the world.

A compendium of this information below constructs this piece, every bit as much as it deconstructs the notion that the state will save us in a time of crisis.

As this piece is being written, so is a bailout package for industries whose profit-losses have pushed public safety to the back-burners in a time when we face desperate testing capability shortages, medical facility supply shortages, thousands of Covid-19 deaths and over 120,000 cases of infection worldwide.

Don’t panic. Organize.

A Just Coronavirus Response

Just like in hurricanes, earthquakes, and wildfires, pandemics further marginalize historically marginalized groups. Just like during the beginning phases of HIV/AIDS, stigmatization and marginalization worsens public health outcomes. A just response to the coronavirus calls us to be vocal about rooting out anti-Asian racism and xenophobia, ensure access to health care, clean water and hygiene as basic human rights regardless of ability to pay, homelessness status, or other barriers.

When bosses (or poverty) force people to come into work sick, it highlights the necessity for a fundamental transformation of our economic system. In the meantime, access to child care may be difficult as schools are closing to prevent COVID19 spread and vulnerable communities could have difficulty accessing services if food pantries, government offices, and community organizations close. How can our movements step in, via direct action, to fill the need? One answer is documenting stories.


Categories: Health and Medicine

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