[Marxism] Class, Nation, and Health: with some thoughts about H1N1, and building movement capacity

kersplebedeb info at kersplebedeb.com
Sat Oct 31 17:51:52 MDT 2009

What follows is a rough version of a talk i gave at Montreal's Native 
Friendship Center, at the Anti-Colonial Thanksgiving organized by Frigo 
Vert last Thursday night. Many of the articles and documents referenced 
here are also referenced on the new Kersplebedeb H1N1 page 


I’m here to say just a few words about health inequalities, with 
particular attention to this new flu, the H1N1 or swine flu, and some 
concerns around it.

The flu is something I became interested in earlier this year, when my 
husband caught it and became very sick. He spent two months in the 
hospital, most of that time on a ventilator in a medically-induced coma, 
and he probably would have died if not for the fact that he received 
excellent medical care.

People say that you have to already have a serious health condition to 
be at risk from H1N1, but my husband’s only relevant health problems 
were very mild asthma and the fact that he gets migraines. In fact, 
they’re saying now that a quarter of the people who have died of H1N1 
were in perfect health beforehand.

Now luckily my husband didn’t die, though his seven weeks in the ICU did 
make me realize some things. For one, it gave me an appreciation of the 
fact that even though not many people were dying of the flu, an unknown 
number of people were getting very very sick, and it was only the fact 
that there were enough ventilators and ICU beds that allowed them to 
survive. (The clearest figure i could find about this was that for every 
H1N1 death, there were four people critically ill with the virus who had 
to be kept alive in an ICU.)

And that got me thinking about health inequalities, and how they might 
play out with the flu.

to read the rest: 

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