The good, the bad and the opportunity

First, the good news:

Next, the bad news:

COVID-19, aka Coronavirus, has spread around the world, forcing people to minimize contact with others or locking down whole countries, laying off millions and shutting down large portions of the economy. I wish I could say this pandemic was overblown, but the images and numbers from Italy, other countries and the US, demonstrate that millons of people are at risk.

Henceforth, all of our events are either canceled or have moved on-line. You can join one of our Matrix discussion lists (like IRC, but you don’t have to be logged in to get notifications on your phone) or our activists email discussion list. We are looking at using https://meet.mayfirst.org/ for video chat or Mumble for audio only for meetings. We will notify you in the future with the details.

For the sake of everyone’s health, it is important to minimize interactions with others, maintain a distance of at least six feet from others and not gather in large groups. Whether the lockdown we see in Italy, California, New York or Illinois is our destiny is unclear, but we aren’t reducing the spread of COVID-19 fast enough

Our own government’s failure to prepare for this pandemic since it first appeared in China over two months ago, is bad enough. Closing the White House pandemic planning office and Trump’s efforts to cut back on funding for the CDC while increasing spending on the military by nearly $100 billion makes their actions akin to malpractice. The hollowing out of our N95 mask stockpile, which has not been substantially replenished since 2009, was a bipartisan choice. We needed to spend $350 million a year to maintain our N95 mask stockpile at the level we need now. That cost is equivalent to two Boeing KC-46 aerial tankers, a single Littoral Combat Ship or about three F-35s, three botched military procurement projects. Our national priorities are fucked up.

We will fix those priorities, but right now we need to get this pandemic under control. Here are ways you can help (we now have a page with these and newer resources):

Finally, the opportunities.

COVID-19 is rapidly accelerating trainwreck. Like the 2008 financial crisis, Hurricane Katrina or the devestation of Puerto Rico, it will be used by the 1% to monopolize more wealth and power. Here are a two efforts that put their profits ahead of our lives: Patent trolls try to shut down covid testing and 3D printed ventilator hero got a patent threat.

We must use this crisis to build a better world rather than enriching billionaires and their lackeys. Let’s start sharing ideas.

Stay safe.

Captain James

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