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Families left grieving; small businesses shuttered; communities in lockdown; precarious workers set adrift; health care workers stressed beyond endurance. The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the world to its core. But the cracks already ran deep.
Featuring essays on poverty, health care, incarceration, basic income, policing, Indigenous communities, and more, this anthology delivers a stinging rebuke of the pre-pandemic status quo and a stark exposé of the buried weaknesses in our social and political systems. As policy makers scramble to bail out corporations and preserve an unsustainable labour market, an even greater global catastrophe – in the form of ecological collapse, economic recession, and runaway inequality – looms large on the horizon.
What can we do? From professors to poets, the authors of Sick of the System speak in one voice: We can turn our backs on “normal.” We can demand divestment, redistribution, and mutual aid. We can seize new forms of solidarity with both hands. As the world holds its breath, revolutionary ideas have an unprecedented chance to gain ground. There should be no going back.
“The essays capture a truly visceral pain – all too often hidden in the daily bustle of pre-pandemic life – that’s further magnified in a lockdown world. Even for many in progressive politics, it is rare to hear such voices: prisoners, Black Nova Scotians, and Indigenous people long used to the failure of governments in providing accessible health care. Also represented are those living with the still stigmatizing diagnosis of AIDS, women fleeing male violence, and cleaners and grocery clerks who, despite their new-found hero status, continue to survive on poverty-level wages.”
– Matthew Behrens, Quill & Quire
|Introduction||Politics and Pandemics
|If It’s a War against COVID-19, Who Are the Soldiers on the Front Lines?||
|Novel Virus, Old Story||Government Failings Put Health Care Workers at Risk
Jane E. McArthur, Margaret M. Keith, and James T. Brophy
|Whither the Medicine Chest?||COVID-19 and the Histories and Contemporary Realities of Colonial Violence
Gina Starblanket and Dallas Hunt
|Sheltered in Place||Violence against Women in Lockdown
Julie S. Lalonde
|The Pandemic and the War on the Poor||
|COVID-19 and Toxic Capitalism||
|A Good Idea Goes Viral||Basic Income 2020
Jamie Swift and Elaine Power, with Wayne Lewchuk
|Learning from AIDS Activism for Surviving the COVID-19 Pandemic||
|We Can’t Police Our Way out of a Pandemic||
|Doing Time during COVID-19||Accounts from three people who are incarcerated
Theo T., Cory B. and Jesse G.
|No One Is Disposable||Depopulating Carceral Sites during the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond
Robyn Maynard and Justin Piché
|Fighting the Virus, Fighting for Change||
Andrew Jackson and Emma Jackson
|Take Care||A Community Response to COVID-19
Hugh Goldring and nicole marie burton
|Fragments for a Pandemic||
|How to Build a Better World||Transformative Justice and the Apocalypse
Kai Cheng Thom
|Wayfinding with Metaphors through Crises||A View from Inside 2020
|Beyond the Plague State||