[This Action Plan for combating COVID-19 was adopted at the April 5 meeting of the Socialist Alliance national council along with a resolution on suppressing the spread of the virus.]
The COVID-19 pandemic has already infected more than 1.2 million people and taken almost 70,000 lives around the world. Unless urgent measures are taken here, it could overwhelm Australia’s health system, as it has in other countries, at the cost of hundreds, if not thousands of lives.
How can lives be saved? How can people’s livelihoods be protected? Here is what has to be done so that we can protect our health and livelihoods in the face of this immense challenge.
International experience shows that this pandemic can overwhelm even modern health systems. Here’s what must be done to avoid the worst
This virus doesn’t discriminate between “illegal” and “legal” people. Protection for each and every one of us is protection for all.
To make sure no-one falls through the safety net, the government must pick up the tab, including by providing a job and income guarantees for all regardless of work status.
The COVID-19 crisis is a perfect opportunity for unscrupulous employers to sack workers and cut back wages and conditions
Governments are jumping at the chance to use the COVID-19 emergency to permanently abolish democratic rights
There can clearly be no nationalist solution to a global pandemic. To defeat COVID-19, all nations should work together
The measures outlined here are those that need to be implemented now if the COVID-19 death toll is to be kept to a minimum and the living standards of the vast majority of the population maintained. However, even in the best case they will not prevent new pandemics from threatening us.
This is because the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t just a passing, if horrific, problem, but the unavoidable consequence of an economic system that treats our natural environment as a source of profit. COVID-19, like its predecessors SARS and MERS, confirms the terrible price we all pay for dependence on a corporate industrial agriculture model that treats the natural world as food inputs.
It is this system and the accompanying destruction of what is left of wild nature that inevitably generates pathogens like COVID-19, which pass across from the animal world to human beings. Only a transition to environmentally sustainable farming practices and regenerative agroecology will save us from the horrors of future pandemics.