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March 03 2020


March 02 2020

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These two replies punched me in the face, I’ve never thought about it from this perspective. Imagine how many lives our government endangers just cause they hate poor people

Reposted byUncommonSensePuck152skillzmcflyv3bsoMissDeWordejaphysstefaniablubberbiauekLukasYorkrurkyjanuschytrustomashmichalkoziolniedoskonaloscdotmariuszaziazupacebulowaAnetzschkagatheringstormbiesyfiodorapaketKore

March 01 2020


February 29 2020


Do not Thump the Book of G'Nome on Twitter




I am not an expert in immunology - I follow doctors for that.

But I did spend 9 years as a manager at a pizza place that paid better than average wages for food service.

And I am terrified of #COVID19.

Not because the virus is going to kill people, but because poverty might. /
Y'all, all laws aside, nobody in the restaurant industry goes to the doctor when they’re sick.

There are health code rules about what symptoms exclude you from work - you have to go to the doctor and get cleared, or be symptom free for 24 hours.

And they are *never* followed. /
The people making your food do not have health insurance. Restaurants almost never offer it.

They do not have paid time off. Benefits like that aren’t imaginable.

They do not have enough people in the schedule to cover an absence. “Lean Staffing.” It’s more profitable. /
The average age of a fast-food worker is 29. The average income is $8.69 an hour. I was taxed around 21% on paychecks.

The average doctor’s visit w/o insurance, costs $300-600.

43.7 hours. At minimum, more than a week’s take-home pay.

Going to the doctor is an *insane luxury*.
I have watched people PRIDE themselves on working through illness and injury. I had a driver break his foot by stepping on a tennis ball in someone’s driveway, and then work another four days on a broken foot on ibuprofen and spite.

Flu-like symptoms?

Fuck out of here.
MOST fast food workers are already on some kind of public assistance.

Many of those are “means tested” and require them to keep jobs.…
This means that

1) Fast food workers literally cannot afford to go to the doctor. They will do what we’ve always done - dose up heavily on DayQuil, puke in the bathroom, explain things away as being “hung over” or “tired,” and their manager will pretend nothing is wrong.
2) Fast food workers literally cannot afford to miss work. The median age is 29 for christ’s sake. These are people with bills, families, responsibilities.

Median 2-bedroom rent is ~1,194/mo. That $8.69 wage is ~1,190/mo take-home pay.

Even w/ roommates, that’s HALF YOUR MONEY.
You can’t afford to take off work to go to the doctor, much less take off work when the doctor says you need to be quarantined for three weeks. You need every hour.

Otherwise you lose your job, then your housing, and anything else that keeps the wolf away from the door.
When this happened to me, the doctor said I needed to be off my feet and resting for two weeks, light duty for another two.

I took 4 days. It was one of two times in nine years I missed work, both of them involving a trip to the emergency room.

People who work food service are less likely to have reliable transportation - so they ride mass transit, exposing themselves to more people.

They live together in tight spaces, ensuring it spreads between folks.

They have poor diets, poor sleep, and weakened immune systems.
~14mil people work in food service in the US. They’re in every community. Everyone has to eat.

They live and work in conditions that make the spread of disease inevitable.

They won’t go to the doctor until it’s a crisis, long after they’ve passed things on to others.
The Flu is bad enough, going around a kitchen.

#COVID19 is substantially more easily transmitted than the flu.

And we’ve created a situation where food service workers’ SURVIVAL depends on doing THE EXACT OPPOSITE of anything that could fight a pandemic.
And these are the people making your food.
The average food service worker is a millenial. 62% of us live paycheck to paycheck.

And it doesn’t have to be like this. In our parents’ lifetimes, it wasn’t.

God Bless the Conservative movement and their deregulation, pro-business legislation, and “choice.”
Poverty is a public health crisis, y'all. Wage Slavery kills.

And if you can’t be bothered to care about that out of your basic human dignity, maybe the fact that the servile class you’ve been supported by can’t afford to not make you sick will fucking help.

Eat the rich. /end

I’m a barista at a very large and famous coffee company (y’all know the one) and we are, technically speaking, supposed to have it lucky. Because we get paid time off and some of us do have health care.

Except paid time off doesn’t kick in until you’ve been with the company for a year. You are only eligible for health care if you work over twenty hours a week. And even with all this—at my store, the “work through the pain” mentality is SO STRONG, y’all.

I have gotten sick because supervisors have come to work sick; we pass it back and forth to each other, and try to blame it on the cold or the changing weather. I have had to call out maybe twice—once because I was new and sneezing and coughing and my friends were all telling me that it was irresponsible to go in, and once because a cold had ravaged my voice so badly I sounded like Kermit the frog’s evil twin. Both times I did exactly what I was supposed to do: called my manager with plenty of advance notice. The first time, she guilted me into coming in anyway, saying that she would try to find coverage for me but that it wasn’t likely she’d be able to. I struggled through four hours of that shift before my nicest coworker showed up early so that I could go home and get some rest. The second time, I got the day off, but had to cover 8- and 9-hour shifts the next two days to “make up for it.”

This is how we are staffed: we don’t have enough people to cover absences. If any of us is sick we will absolutely come into work—and I am stunningly, immensely privileged in that I was able to try to get out of working: most of my coworkers have kids and families that they need to provide for.

If Coronavirus spreads in the US, your friendly neighborhood baristas will be behind the counters. We will be smiling, stifling coughs, making drinks that we’ll be trying not to sneeze on, and running to the back to blow our noses, wash our hands, and get back out there, because you can’t run the floor with just two people during peak.

Eat the fucking rich.

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Who could have possibly foreseen that organizing the entire service economy around low-wage workers without sick leave or reliable access to a doctor might someday backfire. 


March 15 2014


September 21 2013


The Doctor Who Made a Revolution by Helen Epstein | The New York Review of Books

… It was in the 1890s that Sara Josephine Baker decided to become a doctor. Not the Josephine Baker who would become celebrated as a cabaret star and dance at the Folies Bergère in a banana miniskirt but the New York City public health official in a shirtwaist and four-in-hand necktie, her short hair parted in the middle like Theodore Roosevelt, whom she admired. By the time Baker retired from the New York City Health Department in 1923, she was famous across the nation for saving the lives of 90,000 inner-city children. The public health measures she implemented, many still in use today, have saved the lives of millions more worldwide. She was also a charming, funny storyteller, and her remarkable memoir, Fighting for Life, is an honest, unsentimental, and deeply compassionate account of how one American woman helped launch a public health revolution. …

January 24 2013


IBM says it has tool to kill deadly drug-resistant superbugs | Cutting Edge - CNET News

… In an announcement today, IBM Research and its partner on the project said that their antimicrobial hydrogel was designed to cut through diseased biofilms and almost instantly kill off drug-resistant bacteria. The collaborators on the project said that the the synthetic drug is meant for combating the growing infection problems plaguing American hospitals, because it is non-toxic, biocompatible, and biodegradable.

Normally, IBM said in its announcement, antimicrobials are used in standard household cleaners like alcohol and bleach. But those substances haven’t proved effective in fighting deadly skin infections like MRSA because antibiotics are becoming less effective and standard disinfectants aren’t meant for biological situations.

But the new hydrogel was created to be used in creams and other therapeutics that are meant for healing. The hydrogel can be applied to contaminated surfaces, and its positive charge instantly attracts the microbial membranes’ negative charge. The bacteria is then meant to be killed by what IBM termed membrane disruption, a step that staves off any kind of resistance to the hydrogel. …

November 17 2012


Romney’s lax regulation fueled meningitis outbreak -

At least 344 people in 18 states have been infected by the growing public health crisis and 25 have died so far.

But the epidemic may also play a role in the presidential campaign, now that state records reveal that a Massachusetts regulatory agency found that the New England Compounding Co., the pharmaceutical company tied to the epidemic, repeatedly failed to meet accepted standards in 2004 — but a reprimand was withdrawn by the Romney administration in apparent deference to the company’s business interests.

“It goes all the way up to Mitt Romney,” said Alyson Oliver, a Michigan attorney representing victims of the outbreak. According to Oliver, on at least six occasions, NECC was cited by authorities for failure to meet regulatory standards and almost subjected to a three-year probation. “It goes directly to the heart of what Romney says about regulation, ‘Hands off. Let the companies do their thing.’”

“When the person who is supposed to be in charge of oversight does not believe oversight is necessary, this is what happens,” Oliver added.


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