Like covid, rebellions can be highly contagious!

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21 July 2021

It was poetic justice that Javid, Johnson and Sunak, were all self-isolating and stuck indoors on their much-vaunted "Freedom Day" this Monday.

    It's no surprise at all, that the pandemic has become a "ping-demic". Britain has the world’s 3rd highest Covid infection rate. There have already been 2 outbreaks at the Nissan Sunderland plant in as many weeks and businesses (including Ford!) complain they can't operate, because so many workers are absent.

    Johnson's Freedom Day press conference from Chequers was a farce. Professor Van-Tam explained that nightclubs were just like his garden shed(!)... but refused to admit that opening them, restriction-free, might have given the virus a free pass among revellers.

    Anyway, Freedom Day was an anti-climax: most restrictions, like mask-wearing, have already ended in practice - despite the risk and despite the fact that most transport and factory workers, rightly, think masks should remain mandatory.

    As for Freedom Day being "irreversible", that's no longer the message coming from Chequers either. Any fool would recognise and foolish Johnson does, that nobody knows what will happen over the next few weeks, let alone months.

    "Delta" variant infections are at the highest rate so far seen with any of the strains. Scientists say that lifting all restrictions turns Britain into a giant petri-dish for new Covid mutations! Infections may hit 100,000 per day by mid-August, unmitigated by preventive measures. But we're told that it's all OK, because the "vaccination wall" will protect us!

     Of course, even full vaccination can’t fully protect others: the virus can be still be caught and passed on. But for now, while infection rates are doubling 2-weekly, the number of hospitalisations and deaths aren't increasing as fast - and not nearly as much as they did during previous Covid waves.

    Which is just as well. Because the NHS could never cope with another Covid surge. The backlog of 5.12m patients, after being a Covid-only service for 15 months, already threatens to overwhelm it.

    However most of the rest of the world isn't close to OK. While Johnson boasts that 69.1% of British adults have been fully vaccinated, only 25% are vaccinated worldwide. It's just 1% for the poorest countries!

    Covid has amplified the gap between rich and poor countries and rich and poor classes a thousand-fold. Today, fires are still burning in the looted-bare shopping malls in South Africa. In South America and the Middle East, workers have taken to the streets; angrily protesting against government corruption, oppression and poverty. These protests can only grow.

    In today's interconnected and interdependent world, rich countries like Britain can no more insulate themselves against lethal viruses, than they can insulate themselves against the contagion of a rebellion of the working class and the poor - against yes, the criminal mishandling of a pandemic, but ultimately, against the iniquitous profit system which oppresses all workers everywhere.