Categorized | Health

Real Truth on the Coronavirus: What It Is and How to Confront It

Communique #1 from the Revcoms:

There is a lot of confusion about the coronavirus. There is misleading information coming from people in power, especially Trump. Yet this will be a life-and-death question for tens of thousands of people, and very likely more. This is a novel (new) virus for which there is currently no cure, vaccine and immunity, and the World Health Organization has declared it a pandemic—which means it is all over the world.

So getting to the truth on this is urgent.

What Is the Coronavirus That Causes COVID-19? How Dangerous Is This Virus?

Most researchers currently believe it came from a virus found in animals that “jumped” to humans. This is a common way that new diseases arise in humans. The first known cases, and where it initially rapidly spread was in Wuhan, China.

The virus is highly contagious, i.e., spreads very easily from an infected person to others, even if the ill person is not showing symptoms. It gets spread through contact with people who have it, through surfaces they have touched or sneezed on, and in other ways.

For most, this illness may be relatively mild—though they can still be infectious and spread to others. But for some people, the virus can cause death or do real harm—especially, but not only, to older people and those who are immune-compromised and with existing respiratory (breathing) illnesses. Those severely ill will need oxygen, ventilators and hospitalization. This will strain existing capacity and incur great expense under this system. Rates of mortality—those who actually die—are very high among those severely ill or hospitalized, in ranges of 10-20% depending on quality of health care. This might not seem like much. When you multiply this out by the tens of millions worldwide who could possibly get sick if the virus is not contained, this poses a great danger—and deaths in the tens or hundreds of thousands to possibly millions in a short time. We are at just the beginning of this pandemic.

Because this virus is potentially so dangerous and so catchable, almost every society is taking measures to limit its spread. In the U.S., cities and businesses are cancelling conferences and basketball games, and sending students home from school. It is important to take action and much of what is being done makes sense.

A Natural Disaster in a System of Savage Inequalities

But what priorities are set and how they impact different sections of people are determined by the system people live under, and what serves that system. In the U.S., we all live under a system built on and full of “savage inequalities.” That system has a name: capitalism-imperialism. Its economy is based on ruthless exploitation and dog-eat-dog competition among the capitalists themselves. The system maintains its power through massive machinery of repression, and through misleading and dividing people. The outlook it drums into people—and requires—is “look out for number one.” Because of all this, rotten health care for the masses is a major problem in this society. And all this plays out in really ugly ways when there is a disaster in society.

To be clear, this virus will reach every corner of society. At the same time, it will almost certainly hit some harder than others. It will hit the elderly everywhere. And when you look at this country, you can almost be sure that this will come down especially hard on Black people and Latinos and Native American Indians… the immigrants… the millions in prison… the millions more who live on the streets and the shelters, or in their cars… the poor and all those who live paycheck to paycheck…

And you can also guess that as this disease hits those parts of the world—Africa, Asia and Latin America—that these imperialists have plundered and held down for centuries, the imperialists will only give them the most pitiful aid, if they give them any at all. What kind of society is this?

Trump and Pence Are Making This Even Worse

Right now, the fascists who are in power—Trump, Pence and the others—are making this even worse. They suppressed and denied the science on this for months, claiming it was a hoax against Trump. They are using it to further whip up hatred against people in other countries—such as Trump saying this is a “foreign” virus. For weeks they have refused to widely test people and only under massive pressure began to promise that they would.

Meanwhile, as the disease spreads, we may face an acute shortage of hospitals and needed medical equipment, a shortage of medical professionals and health workers, and so on. It is very possible that the Trump/Pence regime will use these hardships and the fear that people have of the disease to unleash even more hatred and repression against immigrants, the homeless, and their other targets. We must be prepared to stand with those who fight for decent care and defend our brothers and sisters.

Things Don’t Have to Be This Way

But ask yourself this: Why can’t we have a society in which production was organized to meet the needs of the people? Why can’t we live in a system which moves to break down and heal the scars of oppression for real, instead of reinforcing them, whether openly or through deception? Why can’t we live in a world in which the divisions between people all over the world were being broken down and overcome and we move to a world community of human beings? A world in which natural disasters were times for people to pull together, where the new revolutionary power worked to involve everyone in understanding the problem and figuring out together how to overcome it?

We could. But there needs to be an ACTUAL revolution—overthrowing this system and replacing it with a radically different and far better system and society—for that to happen.

We—the Revolution Club and the National Tour To Get Organized For An ACTUAL Revolution—are about making a revolution, at the soonest possible time. We can do this—there is the leadership for this in Bob Avakian, there is the strategy he’s developed to overcome this system and sweep it away, and there is the blueprint and vision for a whole new society—the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, that Bob Avakian authored.

We are getting out this communiqué as one part of preparing for that revolution. Help get this out to others… let us know what comes up when you do and what needs to be investigated and spoken to… be part of this movement. And learn more about this movement for an actual revolution at www.revcom.us.

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