Wednesday, February 03, 2021

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Jim Stanford reminds us that a focus on protecting health is the best strategy to ensure a functioning economy. And Gary Mason writes about the increasing fatigue Canadians have with the feckless responses of all levels of government - aside from the Atlantic provinces which have been largely successful in suppressing the spread of COVID-19. 

- Meanwhile, Gillian Petit and Lindsay Tedds study (PDF) how instead of looking to help people or keep them safe, right-wing governments have used emergency COVID supports as an opportunity to cut people off from provincial benefits.

- Rita Trichur discusses how paid sick leave in particular is a must as a matter of economic policy alone (even leaving aside the social and health implications of incentivizing people to work while sick). And Sara Mojtehedzadeh and Andrew Bailey report on the immense number of workers treated as essential for the purpose of being kept at work, while Bill Kaufmann reports on the care home workers who are being told to keep reporting for work even while testing positive for COVID-19 (and who want to see more responsible management in charge). 

- Nature highlights how after over a year of experience with the coronavirus, we're still far too focused on rare surface transmission rather than air transmission. And Carl Zimmer notes that the new UK strain may be able to resist the vaccines that have been developed so far - making control of community spread all the more important.

- Finally, Karl Nerenberg reports that while the Libs make a show out of trying to cut belated deals with the private sector, the NDP is leading the charge to have medicine and long-term care treated as public services rather than sources of corporate profit. And Kevin Barry argues that there's no reasonable explanation for allowing public goods like vaccines to be manufactured and distributed with profit-seeking in mind.

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