Covid is Calling

a colour picture of diverse group of people saying 1 in 10 covid infections = long covid


We need to do better on Covid. All of us. We will look back on this time in history and be horrified at what was allowed to unfold. And many will regret being complicit, and choosing to look away. It doesn’t have to be like this.

Since when did we believe in government acting positively on climate change? On issues of racial justice? When did we trust them to care for refugees? Why do we believe them on Covid?

We are not being told the truth about Covid, more people are dying than at the beginning of the pandemic and Long Covid is now widely recognised as a mass disabling event the likes of which the world has not seen on this scale. Millions died, but TENS of millions are becoming disabled.

1 in 10 covid infections lead to long covid. At 3 infections you have a 40% risk of long covid. There seems to be new science on the damage covid does to our bodies coming out monthly, even weekly, and there are now thousands of peer reviewed studies. Covid being portrayed as “just a cold” is about as accurate as carbon capture and storage being a legitimate climate solution, or the concept of the government caring for refugees.

Worldwide we have seen governments of various political leanings removing all health mitigations in the interests of capital, and to proceed with the appearance of normality. People don’t spend money when they are scared. Property moguls don’t make money if CBD offices close and staff push to work from home. Airlines and their shareholders don’t record billions in profits when people are choosing not to travel due to health concerns.

Lives have been sacrificed for profit and short term economic gain. It’s devastatingly short sighted thinking, because an economy needs workers. A new UK report just out laid out the consequences, and its estimated to be into the trillions in the US. Covid is killing and disabling people at a scale not seen in the last century from any other virus. Long after we “got on the beers” covid was the THIRD leading cause of death in 2022 in Australia.

And in this country, and many others, the left is nowhere to be seen. Unions have abandoned their role in protecting workplaces, civil society organisations are silent, virtually all politicians across the spectrum are cowed or uninterested.

we have different politics & approaches but MARXISM rules for this

The only notable exceptions that comes to mind is the annual Marxism conference which had strict protocols last year, and for 2024 simply states: This is a COVID-safe event. For the safety of all, conference attendees will be required to wear N95 masks throughout, and a couple of anarchist organised gigs have been sighted requiring mitigations though of course we welcome any great initiatives we have missed. Events for and by people with disabilities are not even consistent. As for politicians there has been some brief advocacy by Monique Ryan, who now seems to have abandoned masking in public, and a rare voice in Tasmanian state politics, Cassy O’Connor.

Even across the grassroots and radical left, there is very little being done to create safer spaces for disabled and vulnerable people. They are worse off than when the pandemic was in the early years, and people were dying at a greater rate. We have collectively forgotten them, left them behind.


Quote from German Minister for health about Covid

We are at significant risk of the smartest minds in our movement/s being damaged, and its an existential risk for everyone working towards justice across this continent, and all others.

It is devastating that the very people who could assist with the complex messaging, research, and polling to shift the narrative on covid, are instead complicit in its spread. Many of the radical activists who you would expect to be centring justice and collective care are putting their heads in the sand – and not just barely paying lip service to covid concerns, but actively gaslighting disabled people, and refusing to engage in the absolute basics of keeping disabled and vulnerable people safe.

Meanwhile across sections of the United States and other countries there is inspiring mutual aid programs and mask blocs all over the country, some events are mask mandatory and there is social pressure on leftists to be doing better.

We must be clear - it is not people on the left to blame for how we got here - government is to blame, and the economic interests of those who drive policy are absolutely responsible for the appalling lack of education, mitigations and public health messaging. But we need the left to help lead the way out.

The thing is – we don’t normally trust government to lead – on anything. Any good policy change is driven by a mix of campaigning, advocacy, protest action and lobbying. Government’s don’t make policy for the hell of it – they are driven by – generally poorly informed – reactivity to sensationalised issues, or more often, for any incremental positive change, slow building proactive campaigns.

Yes, we can all say this is due to trauma, a collective trauma that has not been reckoned with. And we desperately need more public funding for both mental health, and covid mitigations. But we don’t allow trauma as an excuse for assaulting women in family violence, or abusing children. We don’t accept trauma as a reason to abuse and risk patients in healthcare settings.

Yes, the lock downs were horrible. In particular for those in Victoria. But no one is advocating for a return to lock downs, and despite revisionist narratives these measures saved hundreds of thousands of lives worldwide. There is science that says so baby! So much science. All the SCIENCE. We are scienced out – here, have some.

As per often trending hashtags #CovidIsNotOver and #CovidIsAirborne even basic, broadly agreed science on how Covid spreads is not being considered by workplaces, or even hospitals. Most doctors don’t even get it.

Excuse the dramatic voice over but this is the best visual example we have seen of Covid spread

It spreads like smoke, it can remain infectious for hours in aerosolised form in the air we breathe – and more than 40% of cases are asymptomatic. If you are one of those people who think you haven’t had covid, but have not been doing any risk mitigation, there is a tiny chance you are one of the lucky ones who won the genetic lottery, but its far more likely you have experienced an asymptomatic infection, or two.

You know when we organise massive protests, or direct actions? We don’t just bring one tube of sunscreen and water bottle, and think I’ll be right. We don’t send people up tree sits saying fend for yourself! Didn’t bring a snack – too bad! No collective food for you! Food not bombs doesn’t set up and make meals for themselves.
So why on earth would you not wear a mask – thinking I WILL BE OK, (hot tip, odds are you won’t, eventually), but stuff my mates nana who I might pass this to? Or my new friend I didn’t realise has had covid times already and another infection could really mess them up.

We have worked with some of the most brilliant minds in the country over the 12+ years of CounterAct, and its sad to say that we know barely any folks regularly masking. Our very small team was taking mitigation measures, but still two people caught Covid. One of those was virtually bed bound for six months, triggering the closure of the organisation, and another fit older person who biked everywhere can no longer walk up a small slope without losing breath, with significant cognitive impairment, and other issues.

We saw how quickly the veneer of social justice principles were dropped when people felt unsafe during Covid – folks you simply would not expect were suddenly OK with the mostly migrant and refugee communities in the Flemington Flats being locked up – the emboldened “dobbing” in of neighbours regardless of their situation, the over the top policing was cheered by many – it was certainly an eye opening time. Of course it was no surprise that those of us screaming about human rights being violated at Flemington flats or elsewhere, were subsequently found to be right about human rights being violated.

Now those who were vocal masking advocates, and proudly changing their facebook status to “I’m anti authoritarian and I’m vaccinated” have been all too eager to get back to “normal life/before covid” …

Except there is no such thing. We CAN actually “live with covid” but it needs to look a lot different to what is happening now. To “live with covid” we need to ensure people have equal opportunity for clean air, and agency about what virus they are breathing in. And we need to LEAVE NO ONE BEHIND. It is devastating how flippantly people are telling those who are at risk to “just stay home” if they want to reduce risk. When we could all *massively* reduce risk for everyone – including the vulnerable people in our lives, by simply wearing an N95+ mask when inside, and a few other simple mitigations. One way mask wearing is not foolproof, but if the majority of people are masking in a room with covid circulating the odds change exponentially.

For those who already have significant long covid (hundreds of thousands have a variation of it, whether they are aware or not – check any social media platform and search “why is everyone sick all the time”), and those who are immune suppressed or immuno-compromised, those undergoing cancer treatment, those with vulnerable family – in their hundreds of thousands – their choices are now incredibly restricted. As many people in the covid conscious community would say – no single event is worth getting covid. And that has been barely tolerable for years, if you want to lose all friendships, all family relationships, and all work opportunities if working from home is not an option.

How are WE collectively OK with that?

Although death from covid is still happening at an unreasonably high rate, as we throw our elders out with the trash and let them die of hospital acquired covid, most people who are choosing to protect themselves from covid are actually MORE concerned about disability and long covid.

And 90% of people are now vulnerable to that. Seriously. Without an effective *sterilising* vaccine, if you are currently not protecting yourself, family, and community until legislation and government supported roll out of clean air filtration happens, and mask mandates return – getting long covid for most people is not a matter of if, but when.

And how “bad”. As in, can you not think clearly anymore bad, or it is you can’t remember enough to maintain a job bad, or never play sport again bad, or you are bed bound for years bad. Or maybe you have organ damage happening, or previous dormant infections, or cancers have reared back up. You keep getting sick because your immune system is damaged with every single infection.

And the deep irony of it all – is that when more people mask, more people will mask. As advocates we are acutely aware of “peer pressure” and how to organise and move people into deeper action. And instead of being the change, most are just changing – to what is easiest.

Cute graphic that shows someone masking and the speech bubble says covid is chronic, masking is iconic

Sometimes it is easier to pretend you don’t see the news articles, easier to block out any fears about your kids and what you might have exposed them to. Easier to giggle a little bit at the weird, paranoid person masking at your event – how silly they are, they must have anxiety. Yes, they probably do – anxiety from the hostility directed at people taking their health seriously, and their GP pathologising them, and their friends keeping them at arms distance, and feeling like they are going actually insane as they read the science and wonder why other people aren’t.

The thing is, if you are still reading this, and your defences haven’t been triggered – first of all thank you, but know its not your fault. In many ways the cognitive dissonance that allows this is our brain protecting us from trauma. Our brains are amazing creations. We love yours! Lets keep it that way!

When you have been through trauma, like a global pandemic – your brain wants you to be able to move to a place of safety. And even though that place is not actually safe, it *feels safe. And if you feel safe, you can look at others, acting outside of expected social norms and think, sheesh, they must be the strange ones.

Its utterly human to want to belong. And you can look around and see people acting like you, and feel assured that, actually you are doing the right thing, even if that not-quite-right feeling is niggling in the shadows. You want life to return to normal. You deserve it. And if you care about this world, you are bloody exhausted in your bones. But ignoring what is happening will likely make you sick.

So lets start over. Maybe it IS an issue to think on further. What is a single factor that we could lay out for you, that might get you to take it seriously enough that you take action or are curious enough to learn more?

At three covid infections you are at 40% risk of long covid. That is all ages. That’s your kids getting regularly infected at schools.

How about – the rich are protecting themselves from Covid while they call for economies to open up and the poor to die?

So if you are wondering what to do about Covid-19, maybe you should take a closer look at what political and business leaders are actually doing rather than saying.Forbes Magazine

Speaking of Forbes magazine, it is interesting that they, and other business press have continued coverage of acute and long covid impacts in more detail than many other mainstream media, for example, calling out Joe Biden when he said the pandemic is over in late 2022, and encouraged dropping masks to give the appearance of “back to normal” before mid terms.

Where do the ultra rich go to discuss their plans for looting whats left of global resources and discuss where to set up bunkers for the global apocalypse they are creating?

They go to Davos – the gathering in Switzerland for the World Econonic forum – where the covid protocols in 2023 included 1) a required PCR test on arrival, linked to a smart badge that would de-activate entry if you did not test, or tested positive for covid 2) dedicated covid hotline for the conference 3) free Rapid Antigen tests (hard to come by for the plebs these days) 4) high quality top of the range HEPA and air filtration systems 5) recommendations for up to date vaccine boosters 5) free high quality masks/respirators – and more.

The billionaires at Davos don’t accept continual Covid reinfection. They demand better. It’s time we demand better too.

The Gauntlet

One of the clearest indicators that we are facing an urgent crisis is that government and wealthy people are saying one thing, and doing another. Rupert Murdoch’s Fox news ran lies for years about Covid. He was one of the first people to receive a vaccination.

Trump infamously talked up bleach and other pseudoscience. He’s vaccinated. These two people are among the most significant contributors to making masking and vaccinations a divisive political issue. With over one million deaths in the United States, and a current rate of 3000 per week, areas with higher levels of republican voting have seen significantly more death and disability.

This study demonstrated a significant difference after vaccines were available, in excess mortality rate, informed by political affiliation. The elite had no issue in killing off their own voters for economic gain.

Its easier now to “move on” – bodies are not piling up in the streets, and overflowing hospitals in rich cities like New York or Milan. India is not running out of wood for funeral pyres as they previously were.

This will be the single biggest health scandal of the last fifty years. Why aren't people who care about social justice, equity, workers rights, disabled people - getting ahead of this?

What can we do?

  • Get educated – there is a phenomenal amount of research out there that shows the damage covid is doing to our organs, brain, immune system dysfunction, and its contribution to excess mortality rate
  • Mask up inside – you need a proper respirator mask – like KN94, N95, P2 etc – not surgical mask
  • Refer back to the lessons of early pandemic and make events accessible for remote participation
  • Talk to your kids school about safer air – there are cool school projects that can be done called Corsi Rosenthal boxes that are effective DIY air purifiers
  • Ensure you have the most recent vaccine booster (our government is still behind on this aspect but vaccines can still assist in reducing severity of acute covid, even though they don’t stop spread)
  • Ask your union about covid protection and advocacy and call on them to do better

Information about everything mentioned above, all aspects of covid damage, links to huge datasets of research and studies, and links to resources about masks, air purifiers, and more available here.

We know collective action is the way to make change in this world, not personal responsibility. Lets collectively do better, and protect ourselves, our family and our community – there are too many challenges ahead of us, to lose brilliant minds to covid-related brain dysfunction, and bodies that can’t hit the streets.