The coronavirus pandemic

UK COVID-19 cases triple in a fortnight

By Robert Stevens, 8 October 2020

The spread of COVID-19 in the north of England is presented in the media as a regional disparity. But the most infected areas are in deindustrialised, socially deprived regions where fewer people work from home.

Quebec educator urges teachers to build rank-and-file safety committees to oppose reckless school reopening

By our reporter, 8 October 2020

There is no longer any doubt that the reopening of schools in Quebec, as across Canada, is fueling the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“They want the schools to remain open at all costs”

Tennessee educator speaks out on unsafe conditions in schools

By Our reporters, 8 October 2020

While the state’s governor proclaims schools are safe, the teacher reveals how her school has been unable to contain the spread of the virus and the impact this has had on educators and students alike.

New York governor closes some schools and businesses while COVID-19 infections spike

By Alberto Escalera, 8 October 2020

With anger increasing over the unsafe opening of the nation’s largest school system, Governor Andrew Cuomo is moving to close a limited number of schools in communities that have become COVID-19 hotspots.

Appalachian State University faculty and students demand action after death of healthy student from COVID-19

By Aaron Murch, 8 October 2020

Following the death of 19-year-old Chad Dorrill, students and professors have spoken out against the poor handling of the coronavirus pandemic by the university’s administration.

Global billionaire wealth tops $10 trillion as COVID-19 deaths mount

By Jacob Crosse, 8 October 2020

The unprecedented surge in wealth takes place amidst a global pandemic that has killed more than one million people worldwide, including more than 215,000 in the United States alone.

US safety agency undermines federal oversight of COVID-19 workplace spread

By Shannon Jones, 7 October 2020

The workplace safety agency revised wording on its website to state that employers must only report a hospitalization if it occurs within 24 hours of exposure, a near impossibility that effectively abolishes any requirement that companies notify OSHA of severe cases.

With COVID-19 rates rising, Massachusetts officials push to reopen schools and businesses

By Andrew Timon, 7 October 2020

Last Thursday marked the opening of public schools in Boston, Massachusetts, for in-person learning for high need students, despite rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in the city and state.

Trump escalates political conspiracy despite White House pandemic

By Andre Damon and Joseph Kishore, 7 October 2020

Trump’s decision to return to the White House from the Walter Reed Medical Center Monday night was intended to get his plot to overturn the election back on track.

Trump breaks off talks on pandemic stimulus bill

By Barry Grey, 7 October 2020

Trump’s announcement is a savage attack on the working class under conditions of a worsening pandemic, a rising tide of permanent layoffs, soaring hunger and tens of millions of looming evictions and home foreclosures.

Tens of thousands laid off as major exhibitor Cineworld closes movie theaters in US and UK

By Matthew MacEgan, 7 October 2020

The world’s second-largest movie theater chain announced that it will close over 600 locations this week, resulting in the loss of employment for 45,000 workers.

Nurses and health care workers at three California hospitals begin 5-day strike

By David Brown, 7 October 2020

Health care workers in the East Bay confront chronic understaffing, lack of PPE and attacks on wages while serving on the front line against the pandemic.

“We want the government to stop using us” like “guinea pigs”

Youth who led Montreal high school strike against unsafe school reopening speaks out

By our reporters, 7 October 2020

Dozens of students at LaSalle Community Comprehensive High School protested last Thursday against the provincial CAQ government’s reckless reopening of Quebec’s schools.

Academic promoted by Jacobin to campaign for reopening schools meets with Trump officials

By Genevieve Leigh, 7 October 2020

Martin Kulldorff, who was interviewed and endorsed by Jacobin to support the reopening of schools, met Monday with top Trump officials to discuss the policy of “herd immunity.”

School occupations continue in Greece as students resist government blackmail and violence

By Katerina Selin, 6 October 2020

Since the homicidal reopening of schools two weeks ago, students, with the support of parents and teachers, have been fighting against the attempt to force them back into dilapidated school buildings, where they will be exposed to the deadly threat of the coronavirus without adequate protection.

Bangladesh’s Awami League government intensifies anti-democratic attacks on its critics

By Wimal Perera, 6 October 2020

Prime Minister Sheik Hasina has responded to the social crisis exacerbated by COVID-19 by suppressing information on the disease and persecuting journalists.

Trump stages White House return to boost back-to-work policy and election coup plans

By Patrick Martin, 6 October 2020

The departure was staged for political effect and signals the resumption of efforts to carry out an election day coup d’état.

Allina health care workers begin limited two-day strike over safety conditions amidst pandemic

By Matt Rigel, 6 October 2020

One month after voting to authorize a strike over safety conditions, medical and tech workers at Allina healthcare in the Minneapolis area have begun a two-day walkout.

Révolution Permanente (NPA) silent on Greek youth protests against COVID-19

By Anthony Torres and Alex Lantier, 6 October 2020

The New Anticapitalist Party’s (NPA) web site is silent on the mass struggles in Greece because it supports the official policy of herd immunity on COVID-19.

Despite COVID outbreaks, NFL season continues in front of tens of thousands of spectators

By Andy Thompson, 6 October 2020

Despite COVID-19 outbreaks of two NFL teams, the professional football season continues.

Third wave of COVID-19 expected to sweep across the United States

By Benjamin Mateus, 6 October 2020

Health officials reviewing the case reports from across the country are concerned that the trends indicate another wave is on the horizon, bringing with it rising hospitalization rates and an increase in the number of deaths.

Pandemic exposes Australian employers’ exploitation of young backpackers

By Michael Smith, 6 October 2020

The political establishment’s only response to the abuses has been to expand such visa programs and extend them to jobless workers and school leavers.

COVID-19 infections on the rise in Germany

By Marianne Arens, 6 October 2020

The age of the infected, for both mild and severe cases, has been decreasing as infections rise. The average age of those hospitalised has dropped to 37 years.

Tens of thousands of UK COVID-19 cases and contacts went unreported

By Thomas Scripps, 6 October 2020

Besides giving a completely false picture of the spread of the disease, the failure to report 15,841 positive Covid-19 cases has left tens of thousands of their potentially infected contacts untraced for up to a week.

Ranks of long-term jobless soar as US unemployment aid dries up

By Jerry White, 6 October 2020

Both parties are using mass unemployment and the threat of destitution as a bludgeon to force workers back into unsafe factories and workplaces.

India to reopen schools, despite COVID-19 death toll surging past 100,000

By Saman Gunadasa, 6 October 2020

The Modi government long ago abandoned any effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, and is insisting workers be forced back on the job to produce profits for big business, whatever the cost in human lives.

Transit union shuts down job action by Detroit bus drivers

By Shannon Jones, 5 October 2020

The memorandum of understanding signed by the Amalgamated Transit Union does nothing to seriously address the needs of drivers, let alone resolve the deplorable state of public transit in the most impoverished big city in America.

Partial closures in New York City as infections spread throughout US schools

By Renae Cassimeda, 5 October 2020

With at least 39,000 COVID-19 infections and 30 deaths of K-12 educators since schools began reopening in the US in late July, the full resumption of in-person learning in large cities across the country will vastly accelerate the spread of the pandemic.

Israel: 130,000 protesters demand resignation of Netanyahu government

By Jean Shaoul, 5 October 2020

Israeli workers now face measures long associated with the suppression of the Palestinians in the territories illegally occupied by Israel since their seizure in the June 1967 war.

Almost half of UK coronavirus infections in schools, colleges and universities

By Harvey Thompson, 5 October 2020

Figures from the latest Public Health England’s COVID-19 epidemiology surveillance summary show that educational settings now account for 45 percent of all positive cases in the UK.

Ontario Labour Relations Board refuses to hear case brought by unions on unsafe school reopenings

By Roger Jordan, 4 October 2020

The OLRB’s decision not to hear the case is a damning exposure of the trade unions, whose leaders insisted that teachers take no job action and place their faith in this state agency to ensure safe working conditions.

COVID-19 rampaging across the US Midwest

By Kristina Betinis and Cole Michaels, 3 October 2020

Wisconsin infection rates are rising sharply, placing hospitals at risk of being overwhelmed, while Missouri hit a record rate Friday after schools opened to in-person instruction.

Health care workers stage strikes, protests in Chile and Argentina

By Mauricio Saavedra, 3 October 2020

According to Amnesty International, of the 7,000 health professionals in the world who have died after contracting COVID-19, more than a third are from the Americas.

Trump falls victim to his own “herd immunity” policy

By Patrick Martin, 3 October 2020

While the short-term political consequences are highly unpredictable, the Trump diagnosis does not alter the fundamental trajectory of the social and political crisis of American capitalism.

UK students denounce dangerous conditions in universities and halls of residence

By Our reporters, 3 October 2020

University students, lecturers and members of the public have been speaking out against the absurd and dangerous conditions facing thousands of young people as they start the university year.

Australian teachers confront fast-tracked return to classrooms in Victoria

By Karen Maxwell, 3 October 2020

Behind the backs of teachers, the Australian Education Union is working closely with the state Labor Party government to stifle resistance.

EU summit backs herd immunity policy and sanctions against Belarus

By Johannes Stern and Alex Lantier, 3 October 2020

The European Council of EU heads of state met for two days in Brussels, Thursday and Friday, to discuss the bloc’s foreign and economic policy.

Two charged in Massachusetts nursing home catastrophe that left 76 veterans dead from COVID-19

By Alex Johnson, 3 October 2020

Both indictments represent the first criminal case in the country brought against administrators at nursing homes during the coronavirus pandemic.

Russia prepares health care cuts as COVID cases rise

By Andrea Peters, 3 October 2020

The Kremlin’s proposed budget axes spending on health care and allocates 27 percent of all federal expenditures to the army, national guard and security forces of the interior ministry.

Nearly 20,000 US Amazon and Whole Foods workers have been infected with COVID-19

By Tom Carter, 3 October 2020

The increase in Amazon’s market capitalization since the start of the year amounts to $34 million for each worker who got sick.

Malign neglect in New York schools: The politics of the SUNY Board of Trustees

By Alex Findijs, 3 October 2020

The Board of Trustees for the State University of New York is packed with members and strategists of the Democratic Party.

Ninth COVID-19 death reported at California poultry processor Foster Farms

By Cordell Gascoigne, 3 October 2020

The poultry processor in Merced County, California bitterly resisted all efforts at regulation despite the unchecked spread of the deadly virus at the facility.

Drop in September job growth shows slowdown in US recovery

By Kevin Reed, 3 October 2020

The September employment report from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the economic recovery—largely based on the CARES Act infusion of government money into Wall Street and corporate America—is stalling, as millions of workers remain unemployed and a new round of corporate layoffs is being carried out.

“I think teachers need to organize like they did in West Virginia”

Tennessee governor Bill Lee hails “strong safety measures” in schools amid growing anger from teachers

By Isaac Finn, 3 October 2020

On Monday, Tennessee Republican Governor Bill Lee praised “very strong safety measures” in schools in Knox County, despite over a thousand students and staff in quarantine.

PSOE, Podemos propose herd immunity as COVID-19 rips through Madrid

By Alejandro López, 3 October 2020

This week, the Spanish government reached a deal with Madrid regional authorities on policies for the working class districts hardest hit by the virus.

COVID-19 in Germany: No protection for high-risk groups despite dramatic increase in infections

By Joshua Seubert and Markus Salzmann, 3 October 2020

As in other European countries, the number of infections in Germany is reaching dramatic highs after school reopenings, exposing schoolchildren, teachers and educators to mortal danger.

The pandemic Depression: Bailed-out US airlines slash tens of thousands of jobs

By Genevieve Leigh, 2 October 2020

Millions of workers are being forced to choose between putting themselves at risk of catching the deadly virus and putting food on the table for their families.

“The unions were like ghosts throughout the pandemic”

Istanbul municipal workers speak out against trade unions, herd immunity policy

By our correspondents, 2 October 2020

WSWS reporters recently spoke with workers from several municipalities of the greater Istanbul area on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nineteen-year-old North Carolina university student in “tremendous shape” dies from COVID-19

By Harvey Simpkins, 2 October 2020

Chad Dorrill contracted the virus after his return to Appalachian State University for fall classes.

After teacher dies of COVID-19 in rural Michigan, Detroit educators call for unified fight against unsafe school openings

By The Detroit Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 2 October 2020

“We pledge to step up our fight to unify educators across the state around demands that put the well-being of our children, co-workers and communities first.”

Coronavirus in the UK: A poor schools’ pandemic

By Margot Miller, 2 October 2020

Private schools have no worries about supply cover or getting their pupils and staff tested for the virus.

As pandemic resurges, Canada’s governments press forward with reckless back-to-work drive

By Roger Jordan, 2 October 2020

The coronavirus pandemic is surging across Canada, with total new daily infections rapidly approaching 2,000—or more than four times the average just six weeks ago.

Report exposes huge scale of COVID-19 infections in UK food processing industry

By Barry Mason, 2 October 2020

The government and its agencies have done everything to play down the scale of the spread of the virus, particularly in workplaces, to keep the profits rolling in.

Australia Post workers denounce union-enforced restructure, call for independent rank-and-file committees

By Jim Franklin and Oscar Grenfell, 2 October 2020

“On the eve of the biggest battle of our lives, the union has gone around in the middle of the night and emptied our guns of bullets. Just as the war begins they take away our right to withdraw our labour.”

Bailed-out US airlines escalate attack on jobs

By Jacob Crosse, 1 October 2020

After receiving billions in grants, no-interest loans and Fed bond purchases through the bipartisan CARES Act, major US airlines and aerospace companies are moving forward with tens of thousands of layoffs.

The deadly outcome of school reopenings:

Four US school employees and two college students killed by COVID-19 this week

By Renae Cassimeda, 1 October 2020

At least 30 school teachers and staff have died from COVID-19 since late July, when schools began to reopen en masse, sending millions back into unsafe classrooms across the US.

700 Greek schools occupied by students protesting unsafe return to classes

By Robert Stevens and John Vassilopoulos, 30 September 2020

Given that it is mainly secondary education impacted, more than one in five of the country’s 3,168 high schools have been occupied.

Coronavirus surges across US Midwest

By Bryan Dyne, 30 September 2020

The sharpest rise in new cases is in Wisconsin, where nearly one in five of those tested for the coronavirus tests positive.

Desperation swells among millions of unemployed in the US as layoffs mount and aid dries up

By Jacob Crosse, 30 September 2020

Audits conducted within the last month in California, Wisconsin, Florida and Nevada reveal that millions of calls to unemployment agencies have gone unanswered.

Zambia seeks suspension of debt service payments in Africa’s first pandemic-related default

By Stephan McCoy, 30 September 2020

The threat of the continent’s first COVID-related default testifies to the scale of the economic disaster affecting much of sub-Saharan Africa.

With one million dead, governments abandon efforts to contain COVID-19 pandemic

By Andre Damon, 30 September 2020

The fall and winter months in America and Europe are expected to bring a major resurgence of the disease.

Duterte extends Philippines “state of calamity” as pandemic worsens

By Owen Howell, 30 September 2020

The government is ramping up state repression as the country suffers its worst economic contraction in decades.

New York City resumes in-person schools as COVID-19 infections continue to rise

By Alberto Escalera, 29 September 2020

The reopening of the nation’s largest school district threatens to produce a catastrophe in a city where nearly 25,000 have already succumbed to the deadly virus.

Teacher protests surge in Southern California as schools reopen

By Kimie Saito and Marc Wells, 29 September 2020

In Orange County, California, educators in at least four school districts are taking part in courageous protests against returning to work under unsafe conditions in defiance of their own unions’ recommendations.

More than 2,000 schools in UK hit by COVID-19 outbreaks as thousands of children and staff sent home

By Tom Pearce, 29 September 2020

Thousands of children are being sent home to self-isolate, in some cases to isolate with vulnerable parents.

London bus drivers challenge Metroline over new COVID-19 infections at Cricklewood garage

By our reporters, 29 September 2020

Drivers are calling for urgent safety measures to prevent the further spread of infection. Their open letter to Metroline is published in full.

Sri Lankan government lies exposed as new COVID-19 infections emerge

By Pradeep Ramanayaka, 29 September 2020

Despite the Rajapakse government’s boasting that it has curbed the pandemic, the working class is confronted with the threat that the virus could rapidly spread at any moment.

Socialist Equality Party (Australia) holds online health workers’ forum

By our reporter, 29 September 2020

Australian health workers speak out over the lack of PPE and proper training to deal with COVID-19, and the government’s run-down of the healthcare system.

Hyundai union enforces wage freeze in latest South Korean sellout

By Ben McGrath, 29 September 2020

The Hyundai contract is part of a growing assault on auto workers by big business with the aid of the trade unions.

The world has reached the grim milestone of one million COVID-19 deaths

By Benjamin Mateus, 28 September 2020

With some 33 million infected out of nearly eight billion people, “herd immunity” remains a distant prospect and winter could bring conditions for a rapid resurgence of the pandemic.

US governors told in February that pandemic would get “much worse,” but did not alert public

By Kevin Reed, 28 September 2020

In a secret meeting, 25 US governors were told: “The coronavirus outbreak is going to get much, much worse before it gets better.”

Michigan State University pushes forward with football amid a mass spike in COVID-19 cases

By Luke Galvin, 28 September 2020

Since August 24, there have been 1,250 cases of COVID-19 linked to the reopening of the university.

Youth protests over COVID-19 mount in working-class districts of Madrid

By Alejandro López, 28 September 2020

Madrid is the epicentre of the resurgence of COVID-19 in Spain, now the worst-hit country in Western Europe, with 51 dying last Friday alone.

“State of Emergency” declared in three states as protests continue over cover-up of Breonna Taylor slaying

By Jacob Crosse, 26 September 2020

Courageous multiracial demonstrators continue to defy curfews, police rampages and vehicle assaults in cities across the US to protest the state-sanctioned murder.

Brazilian educators call strikes against homicidal reopening of schools

By Tomas Castanheira, 26 September 2020

The efforts of Brazil’s ruling elite to reopen schools amid the catastrophic spread of COVID-19 are being met with a growing wave of resistance.

Spain’s PSOE-Podemos government assaults protests vs. herd immunity policy

By Alejandro López, 26 September 2020

As 7,500 army troops deploy to Madrid amid a Europe-wide resurgence of COVID-19, this crackdown is a threat aimed at the entire working class.

New bailout for UK corporations as COVID-19 infections rocket

By Robert Stevens, 26 September 2020

Chancellor Sunak’s announcement was unveiled outside his office in Downing Street, flanked by Trades Union Congress General Secretary Frances O'Grady and Confederation of British Industry Director General Dame Carolyn Fairbairn.

Thousands at UK universities infected with coronavirus as new term opens

By Simon Whelan and Barry Mason, 26 September 2020

The former regional director for public health in northwest England, Professor John Ashton, said it was “almost inevitable” that the return of students would lead to a spike in COVID-19 cases.

Record growth of COVID-19 infections in Eastern Europe

By Markus Salzmann, 26 September 2020

The numbers of new COVID-19 infections in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania and Hungary are breaking previous records.

Detroit students stage sickout in opposition to the district’s back-to-school plan

By Genevieve Leigh, 26 September 2020

While the demands laid out by the students are limited to immediate measures, there is no doubt that they are motivated by much broader issues.

“Everyone I work with thinks that it is absurd to put us all in harm’s way”

Tennessee parents and educators speak out against unsafe school openings

By the World Socialist Web Site Educators Newsletter, 26 September 2020

The teachers and parents often shared similar complaints about the unsafe conditions in schools and pressure to accept the reopening policies.

US college football season set to begin early November

By Andy Thompson, 26 September 2020

After an earlier decision to postpone the season, the Pac-12 football conference has announced games will begin November 6th.

Canadian PM Trudeau provides political cover for criminal back-to-work drive

By Roger Jordan, 26 September 2020

The Liberal government is determined to “reopen” the economy, even as it concedes that Canada is in the midst of a “second wave” of the pandemic that threatens to be worse than last spring.

Metropolitan Opera announces cancellation of entire 2020–2021 season

By Fred Mazelis, 26 September 2020

Management is demanding major concessions from its musicians, who have been furloughed without pay since March.

Student protests against herd immunity policy spread across Greece

By Alex Lantier, 25 September 2020

High school students marched in Athens and Thessaloniki Thursday as occupations of high schools and strikes by doctors, port workers and airline workers spread.

Social distress mounts in the US as new weekly jobless claims rise to 870,000

By Shannon Jones, 25 September 2020

The number of active unemployment claims, 24.1 million in total, far surpasses anything seen during the Great Recession of 2008-2009.

Brown University study used to downplay spread of coronavirus in US schools

By Bryan Dyne, 25 September 2020

While seeking to minimize the impact of school reopenings on the spread of the virus, the study implies that some 18,600 teachers and 115,000 students have already been infected with COVID-19.

Four Texas universities report over 1,000 COVID-19 cases each

By Chase Lawrence, 25 September 2020

A surge in COVID-19 cases in Lubbock and Brazos counties coincided with the start of fall semester at Texas Tech University and Texas A&M University which are located in those respective counties.

Report demolishes government claims that reopening UK schools reflects concern for disadvantaged children

By Margot Miller, 25 September 2020

The education of poorer children is of as little concern for the Johnson government as the health of the working class.

Hollywood unions ratify return to work agreement dictated by giant corporations

By Marc Wells, 25 September 2020

After months of negotiations behind closed doors, the Hollywood unions reached a return-to-work agreement that will expose entertainment industry workers to the COVID-19 contagion as television and film production resumes.

Australian health workers still being denied adequate PPE

By Clare Bruderlin, 25 September 2020

Nothing has been done to boost protection for health workers, meaning that further mass outbreaks of COVID-19 are all but inevitable.

SEIU and Illinois Nurses Association announce tentative agreements with University of Illinois at Chicago

By James Martin and Marcus Day, 25 September 2020

Simultaneously with the announcement of the deal, SEIU 73 shut down the 10-day strike by 4,000 university workers without releasing the full details of the agreement.

For a general strike to halt the resurgence of COVID-19 in Europe!

By Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (Germany), Socialist Equality Party (UK), Parti de l’égalité socialiste (France) and Sosyalist Eşitlik (Turkey), 25 September 2020

The insistence of European governments on fully reopening schools, workplaces and public gathering places has paved the way for a devastating resurgence of the virus.

Germany’s school openings throw fuel onto the pandemic’s fire

By Marianne Arens, 24 September 2020

Only five of the almost 300 German administrative districts currently report no new infections, as the number of people with COVID-19 rises rapidly.

Iran: Reopening of schools fuels resurgence of coronavirus

By Jean Shaoul, 24 September 2020

According to Iran’s health minister, as of August 22, at least 164 medical workers had lost their lives fighting the pandemic.

The Senate holds a COVID-19 hearing as US tops 200,000 COVID-19 deaths

By Benjamin Mateus, 24 September 2020

The number of individuals infected with COVID-19 is now more than 32 million globally, of which almost one million have perished.

“Lear is hell”: Workers speak out as COVID-19 outbreak at Indiana auto parts plant worsens

By Marcus Day, 24 September 2020

The WSWS recently spoke with two workers from Lear’s Hammond, Indiana, plant who had tested positive for COVID-19.

A twenty-year-old student dies from COVID-19 at California University of Pennsylvania

By Samuel Davidson, 24 September 2020

California University of Pennsylvania student Jamain Stephens Jr. died September 9 from a blood clot in his heart after he contracted COVID-19.

Las Vegas health reports detail spread of COVID-19 in casinos

By Adam Mclean, 24 September 2020

The vast majority of exposures in the Las Vegas area, where over 1,350 people have already died, occurred in casinos and resort hotels.

UK: Labour schools spokesperson confirms bi-partisan “malign neglect” policy on COVID-19

By Julie Hyland, 24 September 2020

Remarks by Labour Party education spokesperson Kate Green and the panicked response of her frontbench colleagues have underscored the policy of “malign neglect” shared by Tory and Labour alike on COVID-19.