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To fight this pandemic we must use stories.

Here's a story: So-called superspreader "events" for coronavirus in the US are among the poor, working class and marginalized. And they are at their work.

To get ahead and stop this virus we must tell the right stories. (thread)
There is so, so much wrong with the Q*uilet** story that inspired this rant that I won’t link to it. But @trishgreenhalgh analysis is spot on: Let's just make sure we tell the RIGHT stories.
The 10 biggest clusters of infection in the US are not high-flying international gatherings. The 10 biggest clusters are not rich people going to Europe. The 10 biggest clusters are not from airplanes or conferences or fancy birthday parties. They are NOT from outsiders.
Top 10 Coronavirus clusters in the US? Prisons, meat packing plants, a Navy battleship. Next 10? Prisons, meat packing plants, nursing homes. Next 10? And the 10 after that? Prisons, meat packing plants and nursing homes....…
That Biogen conference in Boston? 88th on the list (and an outlier). Cruises? Diamond Princess is 99th on the list.

Remember: prisons, meat packing plants and nursing homes.
One meat packing plant in South Dakota ALONE is responsible for more than 1,000 Coronavirus cases in the US.
The first Smithfield worker died from Covid-19 on April 15. "I lost him because of that horrible place" his widow says. "In the name of Jesus Christ these people", his bosses, "need to face justice."…
Sadly, many more deaths will follow.
What should horrify everyone about this story is that the first man to die in the Sioux Falls supercluster kept going to work even though he had symptoms of coronavirus.

The Smithfield "plant also offered a $500 "responsibility bonus" to workers who DIDN'T MISS A SHIFT in the month of April."

The LAST thing you want in a global pandemic is employers paying their workers to come in sick.

Smithfield, typical & cynical, sold it as corporate social responsiblity. Before grad school, I worked as a union organizer with the @UFCW at a Smithfield plant in North Carolina, a horror story of cruelty & absolute control: The line didn't stop even when ammonia gas leaked.
The line didn't stop for coronavirus at Smithfield even though they were supposed to shut it down for cleaning.

Or JBS in Green Bay, Wisconsin (348 cases)
Or JBS in Greeley, Colorado (245 )
Or JBS in Grand Island, Nebraska (230 )
Or American Foods in Green Bay (197)
The US coronavirus superclusters are in WORKPLACES where people very have little say in how to do their work, and often no paid sick leave.

The work is hard, difficult and sometimes soul crushing and dangerous. The work environments treat workers as disposable.
Superclusters in the US are in prisons, meat packing plants and nursing homes.

They all have are low-paid jobs. But in many places (like my Kentucky hometown) they can be a community's most reliable source of work. For many people, these jobs are the best among their options.
Another epidemiological nightmare caused by these workplaces: Many nursing home workers in the US must work at multiple homes to make ends meet. Again, that's the LAST thing you want in a global pandemic. The CDC learned this in early MARCH.…
At the first worst cluster in the US, a nursing home outside of Seattle, staff
1) worked while symptomatic
2) worked in more than one facility
3) did not have safety training/ adherence
4) had "inadequate supplies of PPE and other items (e.g., alcohol-based hand sanitizer)"
We ALL pay for these workplace decisions.
For everyone to be safe, we must protect everyone.

That's the story to fight this virus. You might not like it.

For everyone to be safe, we must protect everyone. Not just rich. Or citizens. Or white people. Or voters. Or the able bodied. Or the young. Or people who can wfh.
Protect everyone means adequate (PPE) for our frontline workers. Protect everyone means the whistleblowers who call out unsafe working conditions. Protect everyone means everyone who is sick can stay home. And paying them to. Protect everyone means criminals, elderly, immigrants.
We absolutely have to improve conditions in prisons, nursing homes and meat packing plants to before we can return to "normal."

Otherwise, we are going to have tragic recurrences of clusters of coronavirus cases.
Singapore is a cautionary tale: proactive government interventions worked against coronavirus, but the conditions for migrant workers in the country led to new clusters of outbreaks.

The lesson: you can't beat this virus without taking care of your most vulnerable workers.
You can't beat this virus without taking care of the most vulnerable PEOPLE in society. That's the tragic lesson coming out of the US. And the UK.
You can't beat this virus without addressing the potential differential impact of coronavirus on racial and ethnic minorities. We need more evidence, but early indications are terrifying.…
Be careful, though. There is an innocent-looking but insidious story emerging. One that says us versus them. That story says "this is a global disease, so keep our borders shut, pull back on international travel (and cooperation)" That story has already started being told.
There is another story that the people who are getting sick are somehow not doing things the "right" way, unlike those of us with the privilege to work from home. That's a very dangerous story.
Public health has always known the truth. The care of the most margnialized members of society is important for fighting infectious diseases.

We have to tell good stories about keeping our workplaces and our workers safe. For everyone's sake.
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