COVID-19 infected healthcare workers forced to work


This 30 June 2020 video says about itself:

Exploited, exposed and underpaid: Coronavirus healthcare workers left behind | COVID-19 Special

The world’s healthcare workers are dealing with death and disease on a daily basis, risking their own health at the same time. They are on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis, testing the limits of human endurance. And not always with the level of protection that they need, but exposed to coronavirus or even dying of Covid-19 in many cases, making the ultimate sacrifice.

After the struggle to contain the pandemic, what will it mean for healthcare systems and the people who run them?

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

Healthcare workers who have tested positive for the coronavirus, but who have few or mild complaints, sometimes have to continue working. This happens in Belgium, but also in the Netherlands, says the FNV Healthcare & Wellbeing trade union.

“I hear these sounds not only in hospitals, but in the entire care sector, also in district nursing and nursing homes,” says executive board member Elise Merlijn of the union in the NOS Radio 1 Journaal.

“If you then know that they have to work with the most vulnerable patients, that’s just too bizarre for words.” It happens because the need is great, says Merlijn. “There is an enormous shortage of staff, a high level of absenteeism, while the demand for care is increasing.”

American blackpoll warbler on Dutch Texel island


This 27 October 2020 Dutch video from Texel island is about an American blackpoll warbler. This bird was discovered by Han Zevenhuizen on the cemetery of De Cocksdorp village on 25 October.

It is the first time ever for that species in the Netherlands

Abolish Pinochet dictatorship constitution, Chileans vote


This 26 October 2020 video says about itself:

Massive crowds have celebrated through the night in Chile as a vote count showed that the country had voted to change its constitution.

An overwhelming majority chose to get rid of the current charter, which was imposed under the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.

Al Jazeera’s Lucia Newman reports from Santiago, Chile.

From daily News Line in Britain today:

Chile – workers and youth vote to smash Pinochet-era constitution

TENS of thousands of Chilean workers and youth flooded the main square of the capital Santiago on Sunday celebrating the result of the referendum that tore up the country’s constitution.

By a massive majority of nearly 80% the Chilean people voted to abolish the old constitution that was originally passed in 1980 under conditions of military dictatorship imposed in 1973 by Pinochet, who came to power in a bloody coup, backed by US imperialism, to overthrow the democratically-elected ‘left socialist’ president Salvador Allende.

Allende was killed during the coup and hundreds of thousands of Chilean workers and youth were rounded up and imprisoned, with thousands killed and tortured by the brutal military dictatorship.

The Pinochet regime then enacted the most savage attacks on the working class, faithfully adopting the policies dictated by world imperialism of privatisation and wage-cutting.

This savage attack on the working class won Pinochet the admiration of the then Tory prime minister Margaret Thatcher.

Pinochet’s dictatorship was ended in 1990 following huge unrest, and Chile was supposed to have embarked on a process of ‘democratisation’.

But the old constitution, with its provision for using the full force of the state to suppress the Chilean people and which guaranteed the rights of the capitalist class to exploit under the protection of the state forces, remained largely intact.

It left the Chilean bourgeoisie in charge, with all the old weapons of the Pinochet regime at their disposal to be used against the working class in future.

Massive inequality and rising unemployment continued, with many trapped in crippling debt while the ruling class carried on with the IMF-inspired policy of privatisation of basic utilities – from water to highways and the pensions system.

Almost exactly one year ago, students in Santiago came out onto the streets demonstrating against a 3% increase in train fares. This was the spark that ignited a massive uprising by workers who hated a system that has driven them into poverty while the Chilean bourgeoisie grow rich on the wealth of an economy based mainly on exports from its copper industry.

The right-wing government of President Sebastian Pinera immediately invoked a state of emergency over the country using the provision of the Pinochet constitution.

Despite killing more than 30 demonstrators, Pinera was unable to crush the uprising which had as its demands an end to privatisation of the country’s education, health and pensions sector.

These demands converged in the demand for the Pinochet-era constitution to be torn up and a new constitution written, not by existing politicians but by a specially elected body of ordinary citizens.

When forced to agree to this plebiscite, Pinera was careful to ensure that any new constitution drafted by the people would take nearly two years before it could be agreed by a further vote.

Maria Cristina Escudero, a political scientist at the University of Chile, said: ‘We got to this stage as the country is in a crisis. It’s not only that the constitution is illegitimate, but it’s not suitable for the reality we live in – it’s time to change it.’

She added that the social unrest of 2019 could have ended ‘very badly’, such as in a coup d’état or collapse of government, and: ‘It is a great virtue to have found an institutional way to solve this problem.’