A quiet miracle is happening in the shadow of the Corona (Covid-19) virus. Bernie Sanders has already won. He might not become a candidate of the Democratic Party or a president, but two of his fundamental proposed policies already arrived.
I was wondering what will happen when Corona reaches the USA. I expected that in the land of 30 million uninsured and 44 million underinsured (source) there won’t be much testing – this is today’s news: “CDC tested only 77 people this week” (source).
A lot of jobs are uberised without paid sick leave and people will work until they drop, infecting their customers.
And new jobs are getting paid less and less, so people tend to have two or more of them. So they are circulating inside two or more bubbles and infecting them.
I imagine a person thinking: wait, in the morning I go to Starbuck to pick up a coffee and the guy there has no sick leave, everybody is coughing at him and he is coughing back. Then I call Uber and the driver … Etc.
Suddenly, the companies:
- “Starbucks will pay employees for up to 14 days if they have been diagnosed with, exposed to or in close contact with someone with the coronavirus.” (source)
- “the ride-share giant [Uber] announced that it will offer drivers 14 days of sick leave if they fall ill with Covid-19 or need to be placed in quarantine.” (source)
Suddenly, the current USA government:
- is speaking about paid sick leave (source)
- medical help for the uninsured (source).
Even a month ago this would be called socialism and ridiculed.
Now it is such an ordinary thing to do.
When epidemics strike you need a shield, not a porous membrane for the selected few.
I do wonder when the danger passes, will the workers give up their paid sick leave and medical help easily?