IWD and Covid will be linked for a long time in Spain. One year ago now, prioritizing the liturgy of IWD over the emerging Covid epidemic meant the acceleration of a slaughter that we are still far from getting rid of today and about which we are still being shrouded with dangerous half-truths.
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Risk has decreased
The last night’s news voiced the official hype: incidence keeps dropping, the estimate of infections is the lowest since December 28, and we can celebrate having gone from extreme risk to high risk.
What they don’t say is that this risk is not an abstract risk, it is the risk of collapse of the healthcare system. The fact that it went from extreme to high is still not enough to sigh with relief. Less so when just yesterday the government reported 389 deaths in the previous 24 hours, a slaughter they didn’t provide even the slightest bit of headline space for.
Vaccination is already working
It’s hard to attribute a massive impact to the vaccine when they’ve only managed to vaccinate 1.2 million people since December and not even all those over 80 living in nursing homes have been vaccinated yet. And those are the easiest target: they live together and with minimal equipment you can vaccinate the entire nursing home.
Vaccines, IWD and Covid don’t go together either. It is simply impossible that, at the current level, vaccination will make demonstrations safe… unless they only allow participation by those already vaccinated: health workers, police and military.
Moreover, it is difficult to think that the promise of a normal summer is achievable. The government claims that despite delays in supplying AstraZeneca and now Pfizer vaccines, the target is still on track. But on the other hand it sends a letter to Brussels – which we can read about in media all over Europe except Spain- desperately asking the Commission for help to increase production in European factories. More and more EU countries are deeming the targets unattainable and seeking a way on their own, outside the EU, to buy more doses. In Spain the possibility of failing to reach the goals is not even mentioned and they keep denying what the arithmetic renders obvious.
Easter, IWD and Covid
Thus the governments’ efforts are already focused on the Easter campaign. The same minister takes it for granted that restrictions will be those in force now or even lower. But the current ones are clearly inadequate otherwise we would not have had hundreds of deaths per day for so long. Hypocritically she warns of the danger of a false sense of security and of repeating what happened during the summer and Christmas campaigns: a tiny relief of sales for retail and the hotel industry in exchange for a new wave of massive deaths and contagion. But that is precisely what the official messages and easing of restrictions encourage.
But the height of this sleazy hypocrisy comes in the game between IWD and Covid. On the one hand the minister says that simply there is no justification for the IWD march; on the other her delegate in Madrid, the government delegate, understands that this means authorizing demonstrations of less than 500 people.We are suffering a slaughter of hundreds of people a day, which only subsides very temporarily and only to rise again. And by now it is clear that the shape of the famous curve is a political choice, not a natural disaster: The slaughter can be stopped with restrictions and once the incidence is reduced to a certain number, outbreaks can be effectively controlled. If this has not been done, it is because the choice was always made to save investments and reduce the feared increase in bank defaults at the cost of accepting a higher number of deaths per day.
The question now, when the relationship between IWD and Covid is raised once again, is whether, like a year ago, the bar is set even lower and the annual ceremonies of feminism as a new state ideology are also prioritized over the infections and lives they take with them. And everything seems to indicate that they will. A virtual celebration is not enough for them. They want to repeat the ceremonial including the painful spectacle of sectarian battles between factions branding each other as heretics. This spectacle is now fueled by the differences over the Trans Law.
Open-air parties of 20 kids who go to class together suffer fines and public scorn. Rallies in groups of 500 with no previous relationship will be declared safe. Of course, they can be accused of hypocrisy, but not of incoherence: between IWD and Covid, between renouncing to celebrate the new state ideology and risking even more lives, they do not hesitate. With the economy and ideology they keep on playing the game of keeping the pace no matter what happens. And hundreds of workers die every day.