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Indybay Feature
Sat Mar 21 2020 (Updated 03/26/20)
California on Coronavirus Lockdown
Mutual Aid Efforts to Assist Those Most at Risk Increase as COVID-19 Spreads
On March 19, following the lead of multiple Northern California counties that had already been locked down for days, Governor Gavin Newsom ordered the entire state of California to "stay at home" indefinitely as a means to suppress the spread of COVID-19. As of 12:00am, March 20, non-essential work, travel, and gatherings are banned. Residents are allowed outside for walks or exercise, as long as people practice social distancing. Businesses deemed to be essential by the state will remain open, as well as those that can accommodate working remotely. Governmental service providers and law enforcement agencies will continue to operate. Later in the day on March 20, other states began to issue their own coronavirus suppression orders, including New York, Connecticut, Illinois, and Pennsylvania.

Beyond the expectation that medical facilities will soon be overwhelmed with a surge of severe coronavirus cases — complicated by shortages of supplies and healthcare workers becoming sick themselves — life is changing drastically for everyone, infected or not. As the state adopts more stringent measures to mitigate the rapid spread of coronavirus, millions find themselves without an income with which to pay bills and meet their basic needs. School closures mean students who depend on school lunches face the possibility of going hungry. Curbside communities, always on the edge of survival, are in dire straights. Persons incarcerated in overcrowded prisons and jails are especially at risk for contracting the virus. The stress and requisite isolation of the pandemic are taking a toll on mental health everywhere.

While many have long known of the painful cruelties of our capitalist system, a wider recognition grows that it is grossly ill-equipped to rise to the challenge of this time. Politicians on the national level are pondering solutions that were anathema to them just a few weeks ago, such as direct payments to individuals to bolster the economy. It remains to be seen whether elected officials choose a single payment or a monthly Universal Basic Income, or whether such emergency relief will be adequate to meet people's needs. Some prefer that the bulk of pandemic-related financial assistance goes to corporate bailouts. ICE announced that they will decrease raids and deportation operations, prioritizing instead immigrants with criminal records. On a state and local level, moratoriums on rent, mortgage, and utility payments are under consideration. The California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) determined that energy, water, sewer, and communications companies under CPUC jurisdiction should halt customer disconnections for non-payment as a result of the COVID-19 State of Emergency. In order to alleviate the pandemic dangers related to mass incarceration, officials are directing law enforcement to arrest fewer people now that courts are closed and unable to offer timely arraignments. Limited release of inmates has begun in a number of counties.

Not waiting for government action, allies and effected peoples are stepping up with ad hoc and coordinated mutual aid efforts to assist those most in need. Numerous groups listed in the posts below can use your physical and/or financial support during this crisis.

Global Justice & Anti-Capitalism
article G20 Emergency Meeting Convenes on Coronavirus Health and Economic Impacts | article IMF and World Bank Ask G20 to Halt Debt Collection for Poor Countries | article San Francisco Food Not Bombs Adds Sharings During Shelter In Place Order | article How South Korea will contain coronavirus without curfew | article Amidst Covid-19 Spread, IMF and World Bank Signal Debt Relief for Poor Countries | article French Site Helps Decide About Seeking Health Care | article Jubilee USA Urges Immediate IMF Covid-19 Action | photo Modolva, COVID-19 & Lessons With Former Federal OSHA Investigator Darrell Whitman | photo Five Demands for Emergency COVID-19 Survival | article Coronavirus Fearmongering Demonstrates U.S. Imperialism is a Drag on Humanity | pdf Food Not Bombs is still serving free food at People’s Park in Berkeley | article Capitalism and COVID-19 | article San Francisco Food Not Bombs Is Still Sharing Food | photo Holy Sh*t! 7 things to do instead of hoarding toilet paper | photo We Are All We Got — Resources for Mutual Aid During the Coronavirus Pandemic | article Don't Panic. Solidarity. Read

Health, Housing, & Public Services
photo S.F. has 8,000 Homeless, 30,000 empty homes, 42,000 empty hotel rooms | article AC Transit offers free bus service starting March 23, 2020 | photo Real Estate Interests Seek Limits on Proposed Eviction Moratorium in Santa Cruz | article AC Transit offers free bus service starting March 23, 2020 | photo All Marin Parks to be Closed Amid COVID-19 Spread | article Shutdown of Post Office Encampment After Denial of Portapotties & Wash Stations There | article Dated Updates on the Current Homeless Crisis in Santa Cruz | article Utility cutoff’s restricted for PG&E, AT&T, Comcast, San Jose Water Company, & others | article S.C. County Issues Shelter-in-Place with No Shelter or Facilities for Those Outside | photo Curbside Communities Need Our Support During the Coronavirus Crisis | photo Santa Cruz Homeless Union COVID-19 Relief Center | article California senior citizens are on lock-down due to coronavirus

Education & Student Activism
photo Santa Cruz County Schools to Continue to Provide Meals for Students

Labor & Workers
photo No More "One Mask Per Shift"! SF NNU Nurses Demand Real Protection At St. Mary's Hospital | photo Starbucks Let Critical Time Slip Away Before Taking Action During COVID-19 Pandemic | article California Nurses Association protest in Oakland against lack of protective gear | photo At Port of Oakland, ILWU Tells SAA We Want Health/Safety Protection from COVID-19

Police State
photo Ramsey Orta denied basic safety measures in Solitary Confinement as COVID-19 virus spreads | photo Jewish Activists Demand Governor Newsom Release Detainees In Light of Covid-19 Outbreak | pdf ACLU Demands the Release from Prisons and Jails of Communities Vulnerable to COVID-19 | photo Santa Rita Jail Solidarity During the Coronavirus Pandemic | article Advocates Warn US Prison Conditions Risks Intense Coronavirus Outbreak

article San Francisco Dept of Public Health Site Offers Help to Everyone | article CDC: Housing, Not Handcuffs Is the Way to Stop COVID-19 Amongst Homeless Populations | article Power in a Time of Coronavirus | article What the Coronavirus Emergency Has to Do with Biden vs. Sanders | photo Legality of shelter-in-place orders is questionable | photo California governor issues mandatory statewide order to stay at home | article Amid coronavirus threat Social Security closes all local Social Security offices | article Shelter-in-place orders are a prelude to Martial Law

Arts + Action
photo Freeze Rent

See Also: photo 2020 Scenes from a Pandemic: Lockdown Pt. II | photo 2020 Scenes from a Pandemic: Lockdown Pt. I | photo Deserted SFO and Empty Shelves at Novato Safeway | photo 2020 Scenes from a Pandemic | photo Coronavirus Scares Tourists Away from Sausalito | photo San Francisco's Downtown Emptied by Pandemic

Related Features: Santa Cruz Police Evict Unhoused Community, Despite Pandemic | Station 40 on Rent Strike Against Gentrification and the Pandemic | COVID-19 Pandemic Threatens Most Vulnerable Populations
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