22 posts

Pandemic Treaty

Elliot Hannon, Layth Hanbali, Susanna Lehtimaki, Nina Schwalbe: Comment. Why we still need a pandemic treaty, in. The Lancet Global Health Vol. 10 (September 2022) Issue 9, p. e1232-e1233, online in: In May 2022, 194 member states of the World Health Assembly debated changes to the International Health Regulations (IHR), which are binding under international law. The Corona pandemic highlighted the limitations of the IHR reporting system. The authors address the difficulties of a) administering the IHR at the national level and b) ratifying a new agreement. They see potential in a new WHO instrument to make a difference […]

Lethality of the Omicron Variant

Zachary Strasser, Aboozar Hadavand, Shawn Murphy, Hossein Estiri: SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variant is as Deadly as Previous Waves After Adjusting for Vaccinations, Demographics, and Comorbidities [Preprint], in: Research Square (May 4, 2022), online in: Abstract The B.1.1.529 (Omicron) variant of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has previously been reported as more transmissible, but less severe than other SARS-CoV-2 variants. To test this assumption, the authors linked state-level vaccination data with quality-controlled electronic health records from a large healthcare system, including 13 hospitals, in Massachusetts, USA. The authors then performed a weighted case-control study to compare risks of hospital […]

No Reason to Give the All-Clear

Karl Heinz Roth: Kein Grund zur Entwarnung [No reason to give the all-clear], in: Tagebuch No. 3 (March 1, 2022). In his article, Karl Heinz Roth outlines the Covid 19 pandemic as “the worst respiratory pandemic since the influenza catastrophe of 1918 to 1920.” He describes the lack of preparation, despite all advance warnings, and the panic-stricken responses of those with political responsibility. Alternative concepts had been marginalized. The vaccination campaign relied increasingly on coercive measures, and the situation was aggravated by the rise of vaccination nationalism, especially in emerging and developing countries. The manifold consequences of the pandemic could […]

Interview with Sergio Bologna (II)

Francesco Brusa and Paolo Do, Interview with Sergio Bologna: What remains of the 1970s tradition of ‘Medicina democratica’ in today’s protests against the Green Pass?, published in Italian in: DinamoPress (October 25, 2021).   From Trump to anti-vaccinationists, today people caught up in neoliberal ideology claim the concept of ”freedom”. Do you see any contradictions in its widespread use? The contradictions one can run into when using the term ”freedom” is an issue that has preoccupied me since the late 1980s, when I began thinking about self-employment. Free and independent work, it was said, was far removed from the slavery […]

Solidarity catalog of measures

Positions for a solidarity-based fight against the Covid-19 pandemic & its consequences A contribution by break isolation, Munich The deadly failure of capitalized health systems In April 2020 in the middle of the first Covid-19 wave, we published 12 concrete measures for a solidarity-based fight against the Sars-CoV-2 pandemic in the founding call of our initiative break isolation. At a demonstration in front of the Bavarian Ministry of the Interior on May 11, 2020, we loudly demanded that the government immediately implement these measures. Until today, most of the points of this catalog of measures have not been realized or […]

Reality & Denial

Cured Quail: The reality of denial and the denial of reality, Antithesi / cognord, September 2021. This text was written and published in Greek in September 2021. It was intended as a polemical intervention in a debate about the Sars-CoV-2 virus, the measures and instruments to fight it, and the authoritarianism of the Greek government. It was triggered mainly by the authors’ astonishment (and sadness) that many of their comrades and friends from the radical milieu deny the pandemic, while some of them slowly but surely slip into conspiracy thinking and shocking absurdities. With the text, therefore, the authors wanted […]

Transfer of Labor

Group break isolation: On the failure of the deregulated health care system: Systematic labor transfer to Germany, Episode 1, Munich 2022. For the past 25 years, there has been a massive transfer of highly qualified professionals to Germany very particularly from the poorest countries in the EU and Europe; since 2012, also increasingly from civil war countries such as Syria. According to the German Medical Association (Bundesärztekammer, BÄK), a total of 402,119 physicians were working in Germany at the end of 2019, the majority of them (207,000) in the hospital sector. The number of working physicians with a foreign passport […]

Why #zerocovid is an aberration

A contribution by break isolation, Munich The debate about the positions of the #zerocovid campaign shows that the left has lost many positions and assumptions that were previously considered to be common, and that the understanding about them must be conducted anew.

Giorgio Agamben’s Visions of the End Time

Karl Heinz Roth: Im Bann des ‚Großen Lockdown‘: Giorgio Agamben‘s Endzeitvisionen (Under the Spell of the ‘Great Lockdown’: Giorgio Agamben’s Visions of the End Time), Bremen 2021. During the first pandemic year, there was considerable turbulence in the field of political philosophy. In particular, the opinions of the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben caused a stir.[1] At the beginning of the first wave of the pandemic, he declared, referring to an expert opinion of the Italian National Research Council, that Covid-19 was an ‘invented epidemic’, since the actual events did not differ in any way from the seasonal influenza that had […]

Popular Belief and Fake News

Translation of: Sergio Bologna: Credenze popolari e fake news, 2021. Back to the Middle Ages. That’s how someone defines today’s age, which is populated by beliefs that used to be called “popular beliefs,” spread via social networks and the many “wisdom sources” with which gurus and prophets of various origins earn their bread. That Covid-19 is a flu no different from the flu waves that have been occurring every year for decades is just a typical “popular belief” of today.

Interview with João Pedro Stédile

Sergio Sauer: Interview with João Pedro Stédile, national leader of the MST – Brazil, in: The Journal of Peasant Studies 47 (2020) No. 5, pp. 927-943, DOI: 10.1080/03066150.2020.1782892 Interview by Sergio Sauer with João Pedro Stédile, a national leader of the MST in Brazil (MST: Movimento dos Sem Terra, Portuguese for: Movement of the Landless).

Oxfam Inequalitiy Report

Oxfam Deutschland e.V. (Ed.): Das Ungleichheitsvirus. Wie die Corona-Pandemie soziale Ungleichheit verschärft und warum wir unsere Wirtschaft gerechter gestalten müssen (The Inequality Virus. How the Corona Pandemic Exacerbates Social Inequality and Why We Need to Make Our Economy Fairer), Berlin, January 2021. Ahead of the World Economic Forum, Oxfam publishes the report “The Inequality Virus.” The report shows how the Corona pandemic is exacerbating social inequality and why the solution lies in a just economic system.

Seesen Appeal

The ver.di team delegates (Vereinigte Dienstleistungsgewerkschaft: United Services Trade Union) at the Askleipos Clinic in Seesen (Germany) are positioning themselves against the ruthless profit maximization by the commercial hospital group Askleipos and are fighting for the best possible patient care. Endorsed by solidary, prominent first supporters, they are looking for further supporters to join their demands.

Culture and solidarity

Culture and solidarity are food for soul and body: A plea for a dignified basic income – or why there must be no losers in this global pandemic by Konstantin Wecker From the beginning, Konstantin Wecker passionately fought for global solidarity in the fight against Covid-19. To this day he remains firmly convinced that there can be no losers in this global pandemic. That is why Konstantin Wecker has written and recorded a current plea for a decent basic income and an immediate rent freeze:

Open letter to the government factions

No dilution of the legislative initiative on the meat industry! On October 29th, the German Bundestag was to pass the Federal Government’s draft for the Occupational Safety and Health Control Act in the meat industry in its last reading. Under pressure from parts of the CDU/CSU, the vote has now been postponed. The opponents of the draft law want to prevent, among other things, the planned ban on temporary work.

Democratization of the Health Care System

Ways to democratize the global health system Karl Heinz Roth, Jochi Weil-Goldstein: Weltgesundheitsorganisation als Neuschöpfung, in: MMS Bulletin, ed. medico international switzerland, No. 110 (November 2008).