The coronavirus pandemic

Nineteen-year-old Chicago, Illinois auto mechanic dies of COVID-19

By William Quartermaine, 8 January 2021

Arnold Herrera had just recently been certified as a brakes and electrics specialist before succumbing suddenly to the coronavirus last weekend.

Record numbers of COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations across the US as pandemic surge continues

By Kevin Martinez, 8 January 2021

The situation in southern California remains especially dire, with Los Angeles County emerging as a global epicenter of the virus.

Modi boasts about “Indian” vaccines as COVID-19 virus rages through the country

By Saman Gunadasa, 8 January 2021

Workers and the poor continue to be the primary victims of the pandemic, while India’s media focuses on vaccinations.

As Brazil reaches 200,000 COVID-19 deaths, Bolsonaro sabotages vaccination campaign

By Tomas Castanheira, 8 January 2021

The most critical situation in the country is in the Amazonian capital of Manaus.

5,000 deaths and 400,000 COVID infections in UK in first week of 2021

By Robert Stevens, 8 January 2021

Scientists advising the government warned this week that the death toll will reach 100,000 before the end of the month.

Vaccine distribution mired in delays across Europe

By Will Morrow, 8 January 2021

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread out of control throughout the European continent, the program of vaccination organized by the European Union is already widely recognized to be a debacle.

Egyptian hospitals run out of oxygen, killing COVID-19 patients in ICU wards

By Jean Shaoul, 8 January 2021

The manager of Hamool Hospital in Kafr Al-Sheikh, in the Nile Delta, made an appeal on Facebook for oxygen cylinders, only to be referred for investigation by the authorities.

New weekly jobless claims at 797,000 amid signs of US economic slowdown

By Shannon Jones, 8 January 2021

Weekly unemployment claims remained steady at just under 790,000 for the week ending January 2, as economic data pointed to a net loss of jobs in December after months of gains.

New year begins with record COVID-19 deaths in Germany

By Martin Nowak, 7 January 2021

The beginning of the year in Germany was characterised by overcrowded crematoria, hospitals on the brink of collapse and mass death.

World Bank report warns of extended downturn in global growth

By Nick Beams, 7 January 2021

Even on the World Bank’s most optimistic scenario, the level of global gross domestic product in 2021 is expected to be 5.3 percent below pre-pandemic projection, equivalent to a loss of output of $4.7 trillion.

Nebraska governor says undocumented meatpacking workers will not receive vaccine

By Alex Findijs, 7 January 2021

Governor Ricketts said during a press conference that undocumented immigrants in the meat processing industry will not receive the COVID-19 vaccine and his spokesman said its distribution will be prioritized by citizenship status.

German teachers’ union backs in-person learning as COVID-19 deaths soar

By Martin Nowak and Christoph Vandreier, 7 January 2021

In enforcing their inhumane pandemic policies, the federal and state governments, consisting of a broad range of political coalitions, can rely on the close cooperation of Germany’s trade unions.

New year brings increased coronavirus deaths to New Jersey

By Erik Schreiber, 7 January 2021

The results of Democratic Governor Phil Murphy’s refusal to enact necessary restrictions are high numbers of new coronavirus cases, outbreaks in schools and a tripling of coronavirus-related deaths at nursing homes in December.

Five Canadian health care workers die within a week as COVID-19 infections rise sharply nationwide

By Carl Bronski, 7 January 2021

Canada’s health and senior’s care systems are buckling under a second wave of the pandemic for which the entire political establishment is responsible.

Sri Lankan president orders all state employees to commit to his election manifesto

By Pani Wijesiriwardena, 7 January 2021

These preparations of Rajapakse are aimed at cementing his autocratic rule and taking on the working class.

As the pandemic death toll mounts, governments delay administration of second vaccine dose

By Benjamin Mateus, 7 January 2021

With the death toll from COVID-19 projected to accelerate over the next several weeks, some governments are attempting to compensate for problems in the production and distribution of vaccines by delaying the second dose, despite a lack of data proving the efficacy of a prolonged dose regimen.

Hundreds of thousands in UK spend Christmas and New Year homeless as pandemic worsens

By Barry Mason, 7 January 2021

A third lockdown is now underway and the Conservative government has committed no more funding to deal with the homeless crisis and consigned its Everyone In scheme to the scrapheap.

California governor pressures schools to reopen as health care system nears collapse

By Dan Conway, 7 January 2021

As COVID-19 cases and deaths break records, California’s Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the state will provide cash-strapped districts with extra funding if they resume unsafe in-person learning.

Brazilian workers exposed to infections and death as meat-processing industry reaps record profits

By Tomas Castanheira, 6 January 2021

At least 127 workers have been infected in a COVID-19 outbreak at a plant owned by Seara in Rio Grande do Sul.

Washington state fines Gebbers Farms months after COVID-19 deaths of workers

By Diana Green and Evan Winters, 6 January 2021

Gebbers Farms persistently and openly violated basic COVID-19 safety precautions even after regular government inspections and three worker deaths in July.

New York Metropolitan Opera replaces orchestra members with non-Met performers

By Shannon Jones, 6 January 2021

Musicians of the Metropolitan Opera Theatre Orchestra, who have not been paid since March, were replaced by outsourced non-Met musicians at the opera’s New Year’s Eve gala.

COVID-19 deaths surge amid record new cases as Britain enters lockdown

By Robert Stevens, 6 January 2021

At a Downing Street press conference, Prime Minister Boris Johnson was forced to acknowledge that more than 1.1 million people now had the virus in England.

Germany’s federal and state governments keep workplaces open despite surging COVID deaths

By Marianne Arens, 6 January 2021

Government officials are ignoring the recommendations of scientists and risking an intensification of the pandemic.

Los Angeles limits ambulance services as COVID-19 infections skyrocket in California and nationwide

By Bryan Dyne, 6 January 2021

The unfolding nightmare in the city of 4 million people is the direct result of the ongoing drive to reopen schools and non-essential businesses.

Australian government slashes minimal pandemic subsidies for workers and unemployed

By Oscar Grenfell, 5 January 2021

The cuts form part of a broader austerity offensive being enforced by Labor and Liberal governments at the state and federal levels, the trade unions and the largest corporations.

Brazilian state governments push to reopen schools as COVID-19 deaths approach 200,000

By Gabriel Lemos, 5 January 2021

Brazil’s ruling elite is declaring education an essential service in order to reopen schools, even as the pandemic spirals out of control.

UK in third national lockdown as coronavirus surges out of control

By Robert Stevens, 5 January 2021

The lockdown is not as stringent as that imposed last March, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson insisting that people should go to work if they cannot work at home to keep profits rolling in for the major corporations.

Hundreds of Arizona teachers stage sickouts to prevent in-person learning as cases skyrocket

By Renae Cassimeda, 5 January 2021

At least 750 Phoenix-area teachers are expected to participate in sickouts Tuesday in opposition to schools reopening to in-person instruction this week amid record surges in COVID-19 cases throughout Arizona.

Chicago schools press ahead with reopening despite wide opposition among teachers and parents

By Alexander Fangmann, 5 January 2021

Even though only 23 percent of families opted to return their students to in-person schooling, the district has maintained its aggressive push to bring educators and children back into classrooms.

The COVID-19 vaccination efforts in the US are proving to be a massive debacle

By Benjamin Mateus, 5 January 2021

Despite the media hype that has accompanied the release of the COVID-19 vaccines, barely three million of the 20 million doses were administered by the end of the year.

Mounting mental health crisis among US health care workers

By Alex Johnson, 5 January 2021

With coronavirus infections and deaths rising to astronomical heights, frontline health care workers are experiencing acute mental and emotional distress.

COVID-19 spreads at Allison Transmission auto parts plant in Indiana

By George Kirby and Marcus Day, 5 January 2021

New cases of COVID-19 have been accelerating in recent weeks at the Indianapolis, Indiana plant, according to data shared by workers.

Beloved El Paso, Texas teacher dies from COVID-19 as Governor presses schools to reopen

By Tony Jackson, 5 January 2021

The reopening of schools across Texas, enforced by Republican Governor Greg Abbott has been a major factor behind the surge of the pandemic in El Paso and throughout the state since August.

Tennessee confronted with surge in coronavirus cases

By Cordell Gascoigne, 5 January 2021

Nearly one percent of the state’s 6.8 million people have contracted the disease, making Tennessee the fourth highest infection percentage in the country.

“For corporations they are only numbers”

Two GM Silao workers in Mexico die on Christmas Eve

By Andrea Lobo, 5 January 2021

Workers have reported 13 deaths at the GM Silao Complex in Mexico to the WSWS since the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador allowed production to resume in May

COVID-19 cases rise sharply in China

By Lily Zhao, 5 January 2021

An examination of the chain of infections in three major Chinese cities further underscores the highly contagious nature of the COVID-19 virus.

With 4,500 deaths in just eight days and nearly 400,000 new Covid cases

UK teaching unions call for no work in “unsafe schools” as opposition among educators mounts

By Robert Stevens, 4 January 2021

Schools have been a major vector for the spread of COVID-19, worsened by a new and more contagious variant of the disease.

Illinois high school student dies of COVID-19

By Andy Thompson, 4 January 2021

A senior at Lincoln Way East High School in Frankfort, Illinois, Sarah Simental was just a few months from graduating in the spring.

Opposition mounts in US over deadly rush to restart in-person schooling

By Jerry White, 4 January 2021

Tens of thousands of students are returning to schools in New York City, Palm Beach, Florida, and many other districts today, provoking widespread concern and opposition from teachers, support staff and parents.

Macron government refuses calls to cancel school reopenings as pandemic surges

By Will Morrow, 4 January 2021

The Macron government has refused calls by medical specialists and teacher and parent groups for the cancellation or postponement of in-person classes.

“Every death is a catastrophe. We should be angry about this.”

Curator of Earth Felt the Wound, site tracking US educators’ deaths, speaks to the WSWS

By Nancy Hanover, 4 January 2021

The World Socialist Web Site interviewed the administrator of a new website tracking educator deaths since the return to school last fall.

COVID-19: Global vaccination stymied by nationalism and profit gouging

By Jean Shaoul, 4 January 2021

The race to procure vaccines against a fast-spreading virus that travels unimpeded by border controls has set in motion a ferocious national competition that threatens to prolong and intensify the pandemic.

Australian government negligence threatens large-scale COVID-19 outbreak

By Patrick O’Connor, 4 January 2021

There are indications that the infection spread is on an exponential trajectory.

Strikes spread across Spain as anger mounts at COVID-19 herd immunity policy

By Alejandro López, 4 January 2021

Workers’ struggles erupted in Spain in December, anticipating an intensification of the class struggle across Europe as a winter of death opens in the new year.

Hospitals overwhelmed and bodies loaded into semi-trailers as California reaches breaking point with COVID-19

By Gabriel Black, 4 January 2021

The flood of coronavirus cases has exposed the underfunded and unprepared health care system in the richest state in the US.

A tale of two pandemics: Ontario’s finance minister holidays in the sun while workers get infected and die

By Roger Jordan, 4 January 2021

During the 18 days Rod Phillips was living it up with his family at an ultra-exclusive Caribbean resort, 2,237 Canadians died from COVID-19.

Popular music and the social crisis in 2020

By Elliott Murtagh and J. L’Heureau, 4 January 2021

An examination of some of the most popular music in 2020 and its social backdrop.

Three-quarters of infected Memphis workers remained on the job after testing positive for coronavirus

By Leon Gutierrez, 4 January 2021

While the study by county health officials does not attempt to explain why so many people continued to work, the fact is that major corporations have continued to operate at close to full capacity during the height of the pandemic, resorting to lies and threats to keep workers on the job under unsafe conditions.

Over 2,900 US health care workers have died from COVID-19

By Benjamin Mateus, 4 January 2021

A new report by the Guardian and Kaiser Health News published last week estimates that over 2,900 health care workers have died in the United States due to COVID-19.

Opening of schools in Germany based on deliberate lies and deception

By Gregor Link, 4 January 2021

The criminality with which the campaign to open schools has been conducted was recently demonstrated by the deliberate suppression of a study from Hamburg showing massive outbreaks were taking place within schools in Germany.

“Our patients are dying like flies, it’s like a warzone”

Nurses call for help as California hospitals pushed to the brink

By Evelyn Rios, 31 December 2020

Every day deaths continue to break one-day records, with 440 deaths on Tuesday, more than half of which are from Los Angeles County.

Vaccine distribution fiasco continues in the United States

By Bryan Dyne, 31 December 2020

Less than one-fifth of the vaccine doses distributed in the United States have been administered, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Sanders’ political stunt over $2,000 stimulus checks fails

By Patrick Martin, 31 December 2020

The Vermont senator has watered down his supposed “political revolution” to a slightly larger pittance for working people.

Spanish officers plot fascist coup to impose “herd immunity” COVID-19 policy

By Alejandro López and Alex Lantier, 31 December 2020

The “left populist” Podemos party and its ruling social-democratic allies are hushing up active plotting for a coup that has taken place throughout virtually the entire year.

Freedom of Information request reveals surge of COVID-19 infections among London bus, rail and tube workers

By Laura Tiernan, 31 December 2020

Transport for London’s response has revealed the extent of COVID-19 exposure across the capital’s transport network.

As COVID-19 spreads, New York City schools prepare to reopen Monday after holiday break

By Sandy English, 31 December 2020

Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio announced this week that schools were safe and would reopen on January 4, as the pandemic continues to spread throughout the city and the state plans massive cuts to education funding.

US-China tensions at center of fight over Philippine vaccine procurement

By John Malvar, 31 December 2020

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte stated on December 26 that he would terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) unless the US provided the Philippines with vaccines.

Australian youth speak on their experiences during COVID-19

By Our reporters, 31 December 2020

One health agency reported a 72 percent increase in serious self-harm and suicidal-ideation cases in youth under 18 years during last weeks of Melbourne’s lockdown.

Spain to cut pensions as billions go to super-rich in EU pandemic bailout

By Alice Summers, 31 December 2020

While handing out €140 billion in COVID-19 bailouts to the banks, the “left populist” Podemos party is moving to slash workers’ pensions.

As scientific council warns of “uncontrolled resurgence of epidemic”

Macron government rejects national lock-down in France

By Samuel Tissot, 31 December 2020

Ignoring the recommendations of scientists, the government has determined to reopen schools and workplaces in the New Year

Biden and Democrats rush to reopen schools in new year as COVID-19 death toll climbs

By Jerry White, 31 December 2020

Dozens of large urban school districts in the United States—from San Diego, Tacoma and Denver to Chicago, Atlanta and Washington DC—plan to restart in-person schooling in the opening weeks of the new year, even as health experts predict January will see a “surge on top of a surge” of COVID-19 infections and deaths.

Coronavirus deaths reach record high in Germany as hospitals teeter on brink of collapse

By Marianne Arens, 31 December 2020

Nurses in Hamburg went public to speak about working conditions shortly before Christmas.

Chicago officials refuse teacher accommodations in order to force school reopenings

By Alexander Fangmann, 31 December 2020

While the district is ordering roughly 5,800 educators to report to schools on Monday as COVID-19 cases in the city remain dangerously high, the Chicago Teachers Union is working to prevent any coordinated and effective fight.

Germany’s DAX stock index feasts upon mass death

By Johannes Stern, 31 December 2020

Amid the pandemic, the stock market bonanza means the super-rich have further increased their already astronomical fortunes.

South Africa: COVID-19 cases soar with little prospect of widespread vaccination

By Jean Shaoul, 31 December 2020

The situation in South Africa is replicated in a second wave of the pandemic that is sweeping across much of the continent, which has seen a steady rise in infections since November

The New York Times scapegoats medical workers in the tragic death of Dr. Susan Moore

By Benjamin Mateus, 31 December 2020

The New York Times has used Dr. Moore’s tragic death to promote its racialist narrative of American society and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Emergency meeting of the Network of Action Committees for Safe Education

German high school student: “If we don’t close the schools, no one will!”

German high school student: “If we don’t close the schools, no one will!”

By Gregor Link, 30 December 2020

Faced with death tolls unseen in Europe since World War II, the Network of Action Committees for Safe Education in Germany convened an emergency meeting on Tuesday to advance the fight for school closures and discuss prospects for a general strike against the politics of mass infection with the coronavirus.

Detroit schools chief Vitti gets pay raise, as unions initial unsafe reopenings and poverty pay for staff

By James Vega and Nancy Hanover, 30 December 2020

Detroit schools are presently set to reopen for face-to-face instruction in the coming weeks, threatening countless lives as the pandemic continues to deepen in the region.

French testing system missed 9 of 10 COVID-19 cases after first lock-down

By Samuel Tissot, 30 December 2020

A recent study exposes the inadequacy of the testing system the Macron government introduced after the first lock-down, leading to thousands of preventable deaths.

State sees deadliest month of pandemic as cases continue to spike

North Carolina ICU nurse: “There is a general expectation that though things have been bad so far, the worst is still on the horizon”

By James Langley, 30 December 2020

Compounding the health crisis, millions of North Carolinians are out of work and cannot afford basic necessities, while the wealth of North Carolina’s billionaires has soared to new heights.

Hands off COVID-19 whistleblower Rebekah Jones!

By Health Workers Action Committee of Sri Lanka, 30 December 2020

Sri Lankan health workers denounce the persecution of data scientist Rebekah Jones and hail her determination to protect lives by exposing the real extent of the coronavirus pandemic in the US.

Catastrophe worsens as UK records nearly 100,000 new COVID-19 cases in 48 hours

By Robert Stevens, 30 December 2020

Hospitals are being overwhelmed with a number having to declare emergencies. Moreover, the surge in infections threatens to overwhelm a vaccine rollout taking place at a snail’s pace.

California hospitals overwhelmed as COVID-19 cases hit 2 million

By Kevin Martinez, 30 December 2020

The state is now the epicenter of the pandemic in the US, with zero percent ICU capacity at many of its regions’ hospitals.

Coronavirus cluster continues to grow in Sydney, Australia

By Patrick O’Connor, 30 December 2020

The government is prioritising the demands of big business over public health and safety.

Australia: Victorian Hotel Quarantine Inquiry finds “failure of governance”

By Martin Scott, 30 December 2020

Predictably, the report is a whitewash with the recommendations calling for little more than further investigation “as to the lines of accountability and responsibility between Departmental heads and Ministers.”

Quebec government documents expose its disastrous mishandling of initial pandemic response

By Frédéric Charlebois, 30 December 2020

More than 2,000 pages of communications, directives and emails from Quebec authorities at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic reveal a staggering, even criminal, level of indifference and inaction.

AMLO government falsified COVID-19 data to avoid shutdowns in Mexico City

By Andrea Lobo, 30 December 2020

With hospitals in the Mexican capital expected to collapse in January, the López Obrador administration is determined to keep the economy open and safeguard profits.

Excess deaths in Russia spike

By Andrea Peters, 30 December 2020

While Russia’s official death toll from coronavirus stands at just over 55,000, the real number of COVID-19 victims is likely at least double or triple those officially reported.

Ford Kansas City Assembly worker dies after testing positive for COVID-19

By Marcus Day, 29 December 2020

The worker had been at KCAP over a decade and was employed by a cleaning vendor at the plant, workers said.

COVID-19 cases skyrocket in South Korea and Japan

By Ben McGrath, 29 December 2020

As in countries around the world, the inadequate responses of Tokyo and Seoul to the pandemic have been driven by concerns for big business.

A deadly Christmas in Germany

By Johannes Stern, 29 December 2020

The crocodile tears shed by Steinmeier in his Christmas address cannot disguise the fact the ruling class is responsible for the greatest mass deaths since the end of World War II.

Sweden records deadliest November since 1918 Spanish flu pandemic

By Jordan Shilton, 29 December 2020

Around 100 people are dying on a daily basis, the equivalent of over 3,000 in the US population.

Pandemic profiteers: Forbes adds 50 health care moguls to its list of global billionaires

By Genevieve Leigh, 29 December 2020

In a new survey released just before Christmas, Forbes magazine reported that at least 50 health care capitalists had entered the ranks of the world’s billionaires in 2020.

“The working conditions are hell”—Ontario allows COVID-19 to run rampant through workplaces

By Alexandra Greene, 29 December 2020

Hundreds have been infected with COVID-19 in recent weeks in a series of major outbreaks at a Cargill meatpacking plant and four Amazon distribution facilities.

Coronavirus accelerates as new strain detected across Europe

By Will Morrow, 29 December 2020

The spread of the new strain of the virus intersects with the European governments’ criminal refusal of measures to stop the pandemic that would cut corporate profits.

California educators, healthcare and logistics workers: Unite to stop COVID-19 and save lives now!

By Northern California Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 29 December 2020

Urgent and far-reaching action is needed to prevent the reopening of schools and stop the spread of the pandemic across California this winter. Join our committee now!

One year into the pandemic, 65,000 deaths in the US in one month

By Andre Damon, 29 December 2020

One year after the first cases of COVID-19 were identified in China, December was the deadliest month of the pandemic both in the United States and the world.

Fiat Chrysler forced to abandon plans for 84-hour workweeks for skilled trades at Sterling Heights Assembly Plant

By Tom Hall, 29 December 2020

The company was forced to shelve plans for a longer working week after workers took to the World Socialist Web Site to express their opposition.

A young Berlin teacher dies from coronavirus: An indictment of the city’s pandemic policy

By Ulrich Rippert, 29 December 2020

The death of a young teacher in Berlin following a coronavirus infection confirms the criminal nature of the official policy of keeping open businesses and schools.

As temperatures plummet and pandemic rages, homelessness in Michigan poised to explode

By James Brookfield, 24 December 2020

Homelessness has been rising across the state of Michigan and is expected to explode in 2021 as the end of the a national eviction moratorium nears and pandemic-related job losses and wage cuts mount.

Rubber glove factories become COVID-19 epicentres in Malaysia

By Robert Campion, 24 December 2020

Damning exposures by Top Glove workers have revealed sweltering conditions, with lack of protections, no social distancing and packed dormitories.

ICUs begin filling up in New York City as Cuomo, de Blasio dither on effective pandemic restrictions

By Josh Varlin, 24 December 2020

Some hospitals are over capacity in their ICUs, presaging a significant increase in deaths in the coming days and weeks.

Reject the SEIU sellout: Mobilize the working class to defend HCA nurses in southern California!

By Evelyn Rios, 24 December 2020

With the pandemic spreading out of control and California hospitals strained beyond capacity by the flood of nearly 20,000 COVID-19 patients, including at least 3,500 in ICUs, nurses in Southern California have taken a stand to demand safe staffing levels and protections that are critical to save the lives of health care workers and patients alike.

Canadian Cargill plant closed after more than 80 employees test positive for coronavirus

By Cordell Gascoigne, 24 December 2020

However, in spite of the outbreak in the plant and the spread of the virus in the community, Cargill has announced that it plans to reopen on December 29, less than two weeks after the shutdown began and well before the WDG area leaves “red zone” status.

Connecticut educators denounce right-wing record of Biden’s pick for Education Secretary

By Robert Milkowski, 24 December 2020

Interviews with the WSWS and comments on social media from rank-and-file educators in Connecticut upend the narrative spun by the corporate media and the teachers unions about incoming Education Secretary Miguel Cardona.

Washington D.C. teachers union reaches agreement with Democratic mayor to reopen schools

By Harvey Simpkins, 24 December 2020

The deal reached last week entails the broad reopening of schools in which teachers could be required to return to in-person teaching.

United Workers Union organises return to work at Hanes warehouse in Australia

By Will Marshall, 24 December 2020

The union’s latest “victory” maintains the current low level of permanent jobs at the Melbourne site, where more than half the workforce has been casualised.

Shut down the auto industry to save lives until a vaccine is available to all! Full compensation for all workers!

The Autoworker Rank-and-File Safety Committee Network, 24 December 2020

Just as no soldier wants to be the last one shot before a peace treaty, there is no justification for any further deaths to build Jeeps or F-150s while millions of people wait to be vaccinated.

US Federal Reserve backstops rising corporate debt mountain

By Nick Beams, 24 December 2020

US companies have borrowed a record $2.5 trillion in the bond market this year, taking debt leverage for investment grade companies to new record highs.

A coronavirus Christmas

COVID-19 hospitalizations, deaths worldwide reach record highs

By Bryan Dyne, 24 December 2020

“The next 100,000 deaths are baked in,” said Biden coronavirus advisory board member Dr. Atul Gawande to CNBC.