• TRIBUNE #Covid-19 : l’impératif coopératif et solidaire

    Nous, acteurs, chercheurs, élus, territoires et réseaux de l’ESS des Hauts-de-France appelons à un #engagement véritablement coopératif et solidaire pour sortir par le haut de cette #crise sans précédent.

    Les crises se succèdent à un rythme effréné

    En un temps court, nos sociétés ont été amenées à faire face à une succession de crises majeures que l’on songe à la crise financière internationale de 2008, à la crise sociale et démocratique des gilets jaunes depuis 2018, à la crise écologique qu’incarnent le changement climatique et l’effondrement de la biodiversité. L’arrivée et la diffusion mondiale du coronavirus fin 2019 et les réponses qui ont été fournies ont cette fois provoqué une crise multidimensionnelle sans précédent.

    À chaque crise, l’État est appelé à la rescousse : il retrouve de sa superbe, n’est plus conspué ni par ceux qui d’habitude idolâtrent la privatisation des gains ni par ceux qui vantent les bienfaits de l’austérité. À chaque crise, qui provoque un accroissement effroyable des inégalités (sociales, territoriales, de logement etc.), des appels solennels à la solidarité et à la coopération sont lancés. Quelques actes philanthropiques trouvent un large écho dans la presse : tel grand groupe décide de réorienter une ligne de production vers des produits de première nécessité sanitaire ; tel autre achète « à ses frais » des équipements en Chine ou ailleurs ; tel autre encore réduit la part des dividendes qui seront versés à ses actionnaires, tandis qu’il profite par ailleurs du filet de protection sociale du chômage partiel assuré par l’État. Telle grande fortune appelle aussi à une redistribution ponctuelle des revenus (souvent financiers) engrangés.

    L’économie sociale et solidaire, un acteur discret de réponse à ces crises

    Une partie de l’économie pourtant, fait de ces appels, là-bas ponctuels, le cœur structurel de son organisation et de son activité du quotidien. Crise ou pas crise, les initiatives solidaires, l’économie sociale et solidaire, les communs interrogent le sens de ce qu’ils réalisent, orientent leurs productions vers des activités d’utilité sociale, qui répondent à des besoins écologiques et sociaux, fondent leurs décisions sur des principes égalitaires, font de la solidarité et de la coopération la grammaire de leur dynamique.

    De nombreuses initiatives citoyennes, comme autant de solidarités auto-organisées, ont été réactives pour répondre à la crise. Souvent à bas bruit, elles ont abattu, et abattent, un travail considérable pour pallier les défaillances industrielles, et assurer, par exemple, la fabrication de masques via de simples machines à coudre, et parfois via des FabLabs et tiers lieux. Des acteurs de l’économie sociale et solidaire jouent un rôle de proximité dans le déploiement des circuits courts alimentaires, proposent des paniers de fruits et légumes en zones urbaines. Des actions autour de l’alimentaire sont démultipliées grâce à des acteurs de tiers lieux en lien avec des métropoles, ou proposent des solutions de plateformes type « open food network ». Des associations maintiennent une continuité des services publics dans le sanitaire et social malgré les risques de non distanciation physique, qu’on songe à l’aide à domicile, aux Ehpad gérés de manière associative, aux IME, aux maisons d’accueil spécialisées, dont beaucoup ont décidé de rester ouverts. Des associations continuent de défendre les sans-abris et les réfugiés, d’autres encore structurent l’entraide de proximité au quotidien. Tous les secteurs économiques sont durement touchés. Les activités culturelles et artistiques sont parmi les plus affectées. Seuls les réseaux de coopération et de solidarité leur permettent de ne pas disparaître de l’espace public. Dans l’urgence de leur survie, et conscientes de leur forte utilité sociale, certains de ses acteurs nouent des appuis politique et économique avec l’économie sociale et solidaire.

    L’État et les collectivités locales et territoriales savent bien d’ailleurs, en temps de crise, qu’ils peuvent compter sur cette économie solidaire de proximité, et plus largement sur ce tissu socioéconomique territorial, pour en amortir les effets, tandis que les mêmes ont parfois déployé une énergie non dissimulée pour réduire, avant la crise, leurs moyens d’agir et l’ont parfois instrumentalisée ici ou là comptant sur elle pour maintenir une paix sociale à moindres coûts.

    Quelles alternatives ?

    Dans quelques semaines ou quelques mois, chacun des grands acteurs économiques multinationaux espérera la reprise du « monde d’avant », un business as usual qui nous a pourtant conduits dans cette situation. Las. Les crises multiples traversées, et celles qui se succéderont certainement dans les années à venir, rendent urgent de repenser l’économie autrement. Mais vraiment autrement. Il est urgent de remplacer les dogmes du vieux monde par de nouvelles manières de penser et de pratiquer l’économie et par de nouvelles manières de vivre la démocratie. Cela est possible. L’économie sociale et solidaire en est un témoin en actes et un acteur décisif de cet après crise. Le logiciel de l’économie « conventionnelle » est suranné : logiciel de la croissance, logiciel du tout marché, logiciel techno-optimiste : non ce n’est pas dans la croissance pour la croissance, dans le marché et dans le lucre qu’on trouvera le salut de tous nos maux. Cette crise en est le plus spectaculaire contre-exemple.

    Il faut donc réhabiliter l’économie soutenable comme organisation sociale qui se donne les moyens de répondre aux besoins sociaux tout en prenant soin de ses patrimoines, écologique, social, démocratique.

    Faire toute sa place aux « corps intermédiaires »

    Les différentes crises révèlent aussi les faiblesses de nos pratiques de la démocratie. En se privant des expertises et des expériences sociotechniques et politiques des acteurs de terrains, des réseaux, des corps intermédiaires, l’État finit par produire des politiques publiques hors sol ou à rebours des urgences. Les associations écologistes alertent depuis de nombreuses années sur l’urgence climatique ; les acteurs du médico-social ne cessent d’exprimer, et bien avant le Covid-19, le manque de moyens pour faire un vrai travail de soin et de care ; les acteurs de la recherche et de la médiation scientifique en lien étroit avec l’économie sociale et solidaire contribuent à éclairer le débat et à redonner à la science sa juste place dans la société : celle qui permet le maintien d’un esprit critique ; les acteurs de proximité de l’économie sociale et solidaire, alertent depuis longtemps sur la fracture sociale (et numérique) à l’origine du mouvement des Gilets Jaunes.

    L’expertise, le regard et l’avis de tous ces corps intermédiaires, constitués de citoyens organisés et structurés, devront être pris en compte dans les choix de politiques publiques de demain.

    Démocratiser et relocaliser l’économie

    Par-dessus tout, il faut démocratiser les économies : ouvrir des espaces de délibération sur l’identification des activités essentielles, sur le pilotage des politiques publiques, en particulier locales ou sur l’impact environnemental et social des entreprises. Il faut repenser la hiérarchie des priorités économiques. Cette idée n’est pas nouvelle : au Québec, dès 1997 un collectif de l’éducation populaire, le « Collectif pour un Québec sans pauvreté » propose au ministre des Finances de l’époque l’élaboration d’un « produit intérieur doux » : il s’agissait, par la délibération démocratique, de trier les activités utiles socialement des activités nuisibles pour les sociétés. Il s’agissait aussi d’appeler à identifier des activités contributrices au bien-être social et qui étaient ignorées des comptes. De nouvelles initiatives vont dans ce sens aujourd’hui et réclament des délibérations collectives pour définir l’utilité sociale des activités.

    La démocratie ne doit plus non plus rester aux portes de l’entreprise. Il est temps de valoriser les gouvernements d’entreprise qui s’appuient sur un véritable équilibre des pouvoirs, qui rénovent les pratiques managériales et qui réinterrogent le sens du travail humain. L’expérience d’une partie des coopératives, des SCIC, CAE etc., qui sont autant de démarches coopératives et de fabriques sociales démocratiques, permet de construire les capacités socio-économiques locales dont les territoires et leurs écosystèmes ont besoin.

    La relocalisation de la production ne doit pas être synonyme de repli sur soi. L’impératif coopératif et solidaire implique un soutien massif porté, notamment, aux systèmes de santé des pays du Sud. Grands perdants de la mondialisation ils seront les plus durement touchés, à terme, par cette crise sanitaire, comme ils le sont et le seront par la crise écologique. Face aux tentations identitaires et autoritaires, ces valeurs et pratiques de solidarité internationale sont une urgence.

    Les activités du care

    Les activités de service de care et de soin, d’intérêt général ne doivent plus être mises entre les mains du marché. Il n’est pas besoin d’épiloguer, la fuite en avant du tout marché pour les activités sociales montre toutes ses failles. Il faut appeler à des partenariats durables État, collectivités locales et territoriales et ESS pour la création et le financement d’un service public du grand âge et de la perte d’autonomie : il doit être financé publiquement et géré par des organismes publics ou à but non lucratif. Il doit permettre une revalorisation structurelle des métiers dont la crise a montré de manière éclatante toute la nécessité, alors qu’ils sont souvent les moins bien considérés et les moins bien rémunérés.

    Coopérer et être solidaire

    Il faut appeler à une coopération et une solidarité plutôt qu’une concurrence et une compétitivité qui loin d’amener le bien-être s’avèrent mortifères. La crise écologique rend d’autant plus urgente et nécessaire la remise en cause de ce modèle. Les initiatives types pôles territoriaux de coopération économiques (PTCE) devront être consolidées, étendues, enrichies. Lorsqu’ils jouent vraiment la carte de la coopération, ils deviennent de véritables projets d’avenir. Ils pourront s’appuyer sur les initiatives solidaires et les communs qui s’expérimentent en continu partout sur les territoires. Les monnaies locales complémentaires pourront aussi en être un vecteur innovant, un repère utile pour orienter production et consommation vers des biens et services soutenables.

    Bien sûr il faut faire tout cela sans angélisme. Si l’économie sociale et solidaire est souvent exemplaire, elle n’est pas toujours exempte de critiques. Des financements, devenus scandaleusement exsangues, ont conduit certains acteurs à l’oubli du projet associatif, à la soumission volontaire à la concurrence, à l’acceptation de la précarisation de l’emploi. Tout cela a parfois pris le pas sur l’affirmation du projet politique et sur la coopération et la solidarité.

    C’est la raison pour laquelle il faut en appeler à des coopérations avec l’État, les collectivités locales et les entreprises locales reconnaissant véritablement les fondements et pratiques de l’économie sociale et solidaire. L’ESS doit aussi se mobiliser, avec d’autres forces sociales, pour éviter un retour au vieux monde et impulser sur une large échelle les dynamiques et les initiatives dont elle est porteuse. La mobilisation doit s’opposer au détricotage de la protection sociale, des solidarités locales, des droits démocratiques. En bref. Elle doit être un appel à prendre soin et développer les communs sociaux des territoires.

    Les crises qui ne manqueront pas d’arriver rendent cette mobilisation impérative.

    Les réseaux, acteurs, personnes signataires du présent texte sont conscients de l’immensité de la tâche, et sont convaincus que seule une coopération de tous les acteurs permettra d’infléchir le mouvement, et d’obtenir des décisions utiles à tous les niveaux politiques, institutionnels et sociaux nécessaires.

    Ils s’emploient à en concrétiser les engagements au sein de leurs réseaux par leurs initiatives respectives.

    https://chairess.org/tribune-covid-19-limperatif-cooperatif-et-solidaire
    #recherche #le_monde_d'après #solidarité #ESS #philanthropie #redistribution #alternative #business_as_usual #démocratie #économie #croissance #économie_soutenable #corps_intermédiaires #expertise #relocalisation #relocalisation_de_l'économie #éducation_populaire #produit_intérieur_doux #bien-être_social #utilité_sociale #care #soin #coopération #concurrence #compétitivité #monnaies_locales #communs #commons

  • Like after #9/11, governments could use coronavirus to permanently roll back our civil liberties

    The ’emergency’ laws brought in after terrorism in 2001 reshaped the world — and there’s evidence that it could happen again.

    With over a million confirmed cases and a death toll quickly approaching 100,000, Covid-19 is the worst pandemic in modern history by many orders of magnitude. That governments were unprepared to deal with a global pandemic is at this point obvious. What is worse is that the establishment of effective testing and containment policies at the onset of the outbreak could have mitigated the spread of the virus. Because those in charge failed to bring in any of these strategies, we are now seeing a worrying trend: policies that trample on human rights and civil liberties with no clear benefit to our health or safety.

    Broad and undefined emergency powers are already being invoked — in both democracies and dictatorships. Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban was granted sweeping new powers to combat the pandemic that are unlimited in scope and effectively turn Hungary’s democracy into a dictatorship. China, Thailand, Egypt, Iran and other countries continue to arrest or expel anyone who criticizes those states’ response to coronavirus.

    The US Department of Justice is considering charging anyone who intentionally spreads the virus under federal terrorism laws for spreading a “biological agent”. Israel is tapping into previously undisclosed smartphone data, gathered for counterterrorism efforts, to combat the pandemic. States in Europe, anticipating that measures against Covid-19 will violate their obligations under pan-European human rights treaties, are filing official notices of derogation.

    A chilling example of the effects of emergency powers on privacy rights and civil liberties happened during the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks and the resulting “war on terror”, in which successive US presidents pushed the limits of executive power. As part of an effort to protect Americans from security threats abroad, US government officials justified the use of torture in interrogation, broad state surveillance tactics and unconstitutional military strikes, without the oversight of Congress. While the more controversial parts of those programs were eventually dismantled, some remain in place, with no clear end date or target.

    Those measures — passed under the guise of emergency — reshaped the world, with lasting impacts on how we communicate and the privacy we expect, as well as curbs on the freedoms of certain groups of people. The post-September 11 response has had far-reaching consequences for our politics by emboldening a cohort of populist leaders across the globe, who ride to election victories by playing to nationalist and xenophobic sentiments and warning their populations of the perils brought by outsiders. Covid-19 provides yet another emergency situation in which a climate of fear can lead to suspension of freedoms with little scrutiny — but this time we should heed the lessons of the past.

    First, any restriction on rights should have a clear sunset clause, providing that the restriction is only a temporary measure to combat the virus, and not indefinite. For example, the move to grant Hungary’s Viktor Orban sweeping powers has no end date — thus raising concerns about the purpose of such measures when Hungary is currently less affected than other regions of the world and in light of Orban’s general penchant for authoritarianism.

    Second, measures to combat the virus should be proportional to the aim and narrowly tailored to reach that outcome. In the case of the US Department of Justice debate as to whether federal terrorism laws can be applied to those who intentionally spread the virus, while that could act as a potent tool for charging those who actually seek to weaponize the virus as a biological agent, there is the potential for misapplication to lower-level offenders who cough in the wrong direction or bluff about their coronavirus-positive status. The application of laws should be carefully defined so that prosecutors do not extend the boundaries of these charges in a way that over-criminalizes.

    Third, countries should stop arresting and silencing whistleblowers and critics of a government’s Covid-19 response. Not only does this infringe on freedom of expression and the public’s right to know what their governments are doing to combat the virus, it is also unhelpful from a public health perspective. Prisons, jails and places of detention around the world are already overcrowded, unsanitary and at risk of being “superspreaders” of the virus — there is no need to add to an at-risk carceral population, particularly for non-violent offenses.

    Fourth, the collectors of big data should be more open and transparent with users whose data is being collected. Proposals about sharing a person’s coronavirus status with those around them with the aid of smartphone data should bring into clear focus, for everyone, just what privacy issues are at stake with big tech’s data collection practices.

    And finally, a plan of action should be put in place for how to move to an online voting system for the US elections in November 2020, and in other critical election spots around the world. Bolivia already had to delay its elections, which were key to repairing its democracy in a transitional period following former President Evo Morales’s departure, due to a mandatory quarantine to slow the spread of Covid-19. Other countries, including the US, should take note and not find themselves flat-footed on election day.

    A lack of preparedness is what led to the current scale of this global crisis — our rights and democracies should not suffer as a result.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/911-coronavirus-death-toll-us-trump-government-civil-liberties-a94586

    #le_monde_d'après #stratégie_du_choc #11_septembre #coronavirus #covid-19 #pandémie #liberté #droits_humains #urgence #autoritarisme #terrorisme #privacy #temporaire #Hongrie #proportionnalité #liberté_d'expression #surveillance #big-data #données

    ping @etraces

  • The neoliberal era is ending. What comes next?

    In a crisis, what was once unthinkable can suddenly become inevitable. We’re in the middle of the biggest societal shakeup since the second world war. And neoliberalism is gasping its last breath. So from higher taxes for the wealthy to more robust government, the time has come for ideas that seemed impossible just months ago.

    There are those who say this pandemic shouldn’t be politicised. That doing so is tantamount to basking in self-righteousness. Like the religious hardliner shouting it’s the wrath of God, or the populist scaremongering about the “Chinese virus”, or the trend-watcher predicting we’re finally entering a new era of love, mindfulness, and free money for all.

    There are also those who say now is precisely the time to speak out. That the decisions being made at this moment will have ramifications far into the future. Or, as Obama’s chief of staff put it after Lehman Brothers fell in 2008: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”

    In the first few weeks, I tended to side with the naysayers. I’ve written before about the opportunities crises present, but now it seemed tactless, even offensive. Then more days passed. Little by little, it started to dawn that this crisis might last months, a year, even longer. And that anti-crisis measures imposed temporarily one day could well become permanent the next.

    No one knows what awaits us this time. But it’s precisely because we don’t know because the future is so uncertain, that we need to talk about it.

    The tide is turning

    On 4 April 2020, the British-based Financial Times published an editorial

    likely to be quoted by historians for years to come.

    The Financial Times is the world’s leading business daily and, let’s be honest, not exactly a progressive publication. It’s read by the richest and most powerful players in global politics and finance. Every month, it puts out a magazine supplement unabashedly titled “How to Spend It” about yachts and mansions and watches and cars.

    But on this memorable Saturday morning in April, that paper published this:

    “Radical reforms – reversing the prevailing policy direction of the last four decades – will need to be put on the table. Governments will have to accept a more active role in the economy. They must see public services as investments rather than liabilities, and look for ways to make labour markets less insecure. Redistribution will again be on the agenda; the privileges of the elderly and wealthy in question. Policies until recently considered eccentric, such as basic income and wealth taxes, will have to be in the mix.”

    What’s going on here? How could the tribune of capitalism suddenly be advocating for more redistribution, bigger government, and even a basic income?

    For decades, this institution stood firmly behind the capitalist model of small government, low taxes, limited social security – or at most with the sharpest edges rounded off. “Throughout the years I’ve worked there,” responded a journalist who has written for the paper since 1986,

    “the Financial Times has advocated free market capitalism with a human face. This from the editorial board sends us in a bold new direction.”

    The ideas in that editorial didn’t just appear out of blue: they’ve travelled a very long distance, from the margins to the mainstream. From anarchist tent cities to primetime talk shows; from obscure blogs to the
    Financial Times.

    And now, in the midst of the biggest crisis since the second world war, those ideas might just change the world.
    Literary star

    To understand how we got here, we need to take a step back in history. Hard as it may be to imagine now, there was a time – some 70 years ago – that it was the defenders of free market capitalism who were the radicals.

    In 1947, a small think tank was established in the Swiss village of #Mont_Pèlerin. The #Mont_Pèlerin_Society was made up of self-proclaimed “neoliberals”, men like the philosopher Friedrich Hayek and the economist #Milton_Friedman.

    In those days, just after the war, most politicians and economists espoused the ideas of John Maynard Keynes, British economist and champion of a strong state, high taxes, and a robust social safety net. The neoliberals by contrast feared growing states would usher in a new kind of tyranny. So they rebelled.

    The members of the Mont Pèlerin Society knew they had a long way to go. The time it takes for new ideas to prevail “is usually a generation or even more,” Hayek noted, “and that is one reason why … our present thinking seems too powerless to influence events.”

    Friedman was of the same mind:
    “The people now running the country reflect the intellectual atmosphere of some two decades ago when they were in college.” Most people, he believed, develop their basic ideas in their teens. Which explained why “the old theories still dominate what happens in the political world”.

    Friedman was an evangelist of free-market principles. He believed in the primacy of self-interest. Whatever the problem, his solution was simple: out with government; long live business. Or rather, government should turn every sector into a marketplace, from healthcare to education. By force, if necessary. Even in a natural disaster, competing companies should be the ones to take charge of organising relief.

    Friedman knew he was a radical. He knew he stood far afield of the mainstream. But that only energised him. In 1969, Time magazine characterised the US economist as “a Paris designer whose haute couture is bought by a select few, but who nonetheless influences almost all popular fashions”.

    Crises played a central role in Friedman’s thinking. In the preface to his book Capitalism and Freedom (1982), he wrote the famous words:

    “Only a crisis – actual or perceived – produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around.”

    The ideas that are lying around. According to Friedman, what happens in a time of crisis all depends on the groundwork that’s been laid. Then, ideas once dismissed as unrealistic or impossible might just become inevitable.

    And that’s exactly what happened. During the crises of the 1970s (economic contraction, inflation, and the Opec oil embargo), the neoliberals were ready and waiting in the wings. “Together, they helped precipitate a global policy transformation,” sums up historian Angus Burgin. Conservative leaders like US president Ronald Reagan and UK prime minister Margaret Thatcher adopted Hayek and Friedman’s once-radical ideas, and in time so did their political adversaries, like Bill Clinton and Tony Blair.

    One by one, state-owned enterprises the world over were privatised. Unions were curtailed and social benefits were cut. Reagan claimed
    the nine most terrifying words in the English language were “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help”. And after the fall of communism in 1989, even social democrats seemed to lose faith in government. In his State of the Union address in 1996, Clinton, president at the time, pronounced “the era of big government is over”.

    Neoliberalism had spread from think tanks to journalists and from journalists to politicians, infecting people like a virus. At a dinner in 2002, Thatcher was asked what she saw as her great achievement. Her answer? “Tony Blair and New Labour. We forced our opponents to change their minds.”

    Literary star

    And then came 2008.

    On 15 September, the US bank Lehman Brothers unchained the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. When massive government bailouts were needed to save the so-called “free” market, it seemed to signal the collapse of neoliberalism.

    And yet, #2008 did not mark a historic turning point.
    One country after another voted down its leftwing politicians. Deep cuts were made to education, healthcare, and social security even as gaps in equality grew and bonuses on Wall Street soared to record heights. At the Financial Times, an online edition of luxury lifestyle magazine How to Spend It was launched a year after the crash.

    Where the neoliberals had spent years preparing for the crises of the 1970s, their challengers now stood empty-handed. Mostly, they just knew what they were against. Against the cutbacks. Against the establishment. But a programme? It wasn’t clear enough what they were for.

    Now, 12 years later, crisis strikes again. One that’s more devastating, more shocking, and more deadly. According to the British central bank, the United Kingdom is on the eve of the largest recession since the winter of 1709.
    In the space of just three weeks, nearly 17 million people in the United States applied for economic impact payments.

    In the 2008 financial crisis, it took two whole years for the country to reach even half that number.

    Unlike the 2008 crash, the coronavirus crisis has a clear cause. Where most of us had no clue what “collateralised debt obligations” or “credit default swaps” were, we all know what a virus is. And whereas after 2008 reckless bankers tended to shift the blame to debtors, that trick won’t wash today.

    But the most important distinction between 2008 and now? The intellectual groundwork. The ideas that are lying around. If Friedman was right and a crisis makes the unthinkable inevitable, then this time around history may well take a very different turn.

    Three dangerous French economists

    “Three Far-Left Economists Are Influencing The Way Young People View The Economy And Capitalism,” headlined a far-right website in October 2019.

    It was one of those low-budget blogs that excel in spreading fake news, but this title about the impact of a French trio of economists hit the nail right on the head.

    I remember the first time I came across the name of one of those three: Thomas Piketty. It was the fall of 2013 and I was browsing around economist Branko Milanović’s blog as I often did because his scathing critiques of colleagues were so entertaining. But in this particular post, Milanović abruptly took a very different tone. He’d just finished a 970-page tome in French and was singing its praises. It was, I read, “a watershed in economic thinking”.

    Milanović had long been one of the few economists to take any interest at all in researching inequality. Most of his colleagues wouldn’t touch it. In 2003, Nobel Laureate Robert Lucas had even asserted that research into questions of distribution was “the most poisonous” to “sound economics”.

    Meanwhile, Piketty had already started his groundbreaking work. In 2001, he published an obscure book with the first-ever graph to plot the income shares of the top 1%. Together with fellow economist Emmanuel Saez – number two of the French trio – he then demonstrated that inequality in the United States is as high now as it was back in the roaring twenties. It was this academic work that would inspire the rallying cry of Occupy Wall Street:

    “We are the 99%.”

    In 2014, Piketty took the world by storm. The professor became a “rock-star economist” – to the frustration of many (with the Financial Times mounting a frontal attack).

    He toured the world to share his recipe with journalists and politicians. The main ingredient? Taxes.

    That brings us to the specialty of number three of the French trio, the young economist Gabriel Zucman. On the very day Lehman Brothers fell in 2008, this 21-year-old economics student started a traineeship at a French brokerage firm. In the months that followed, Zucman had a front row seat to the collapse of the global financial system. Even then, he was struck by the astronomical sums flowing through small countries like Luxembourg and Bermuda, the tax havens where the world’s super-rich hide their wealth.

    Within a couple of years, Zucman became one of the world’s leading tax experts. In his book The Hidden Wealth of Nations (2015), he worked out that $7.6tn of the world’s wealth is hidden in tax havens. And in a book co-authored with Emmanuel Saez, Zucman calculated that the 400 richest US Americans pay a lower tax rate than every single other income group, from plumbers to cleaners to nurses to retirees.

    The young economist doesn’t need many words to make his point. His mentor Piketty released another doorstopper in 2020 (coming in at 1,088 pages),

    but Zucman and Saez’s book can be read in a day. Concisely subtitled “How the Rich Dodge Taxes and How to Make Them Pay,” it reads like a to-do list for the next US president.

    The most important step? Pass an annual progressive wealth tax on all multimillionaires. Turns out, high taxes need not be bad for the economy. On the contrary, high taxes can make capitalism work better. (In 1952, the highest income tax bracket in the United States was 92%, and the economy grew faster than ever.)

    Five years ago, these kinds of ideas were still considered too radical to touch. Former president Obama’s financial advisers assured him a wealth tax would never work, and that the rich (with their armies of accountants and lawyers) would always find ways to hide their money. Even Bernie Sanders’s team turned down the French trio’s offers to help design a wealth tax for his 2016 presidential bid.

    But 2016 is an ideological eternity away from where we are now. In 2020, Sanders’s “moderate” rival Joe Biden is proposing tax increases double what Hillary Clinton planned four years ago.
    These days, the majority of US voters (including Republicans) are in favour of significantly higher taxes on the super-rich.
    Meanwhile, across the pond, even the Financial Times concluded that a wealth tax might not be such a bad idea.

    Beyond champagne socialism

    “The problem with socialism,” Thatcher once quipped, “is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”

    Thatcher touched on a sore spot. Politicians on the left like talking taxes and inequality, but where’s all the money supposed to come from? The going assumption – on both sides of the political aisle – is that most wealth is “earned” at the top by visionary entrepreneurs, by men like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk. This turns it into a question of moral conscience: shouldn’t these titans of the Earth share some of their wealth?

    If that’s your understanding, too, then I’d like to introduce you to Mariana Mazzucato, one of the most forward-thinking economists of our times. Mazzucato belongs to a generation of economists, predominantly women,
    who believe merely talking taxes isn’t enough. “The reason progressives often lose the argument,” Mazzucato explains, “is that they focus too much on wealth redistribution and not enough on wealth creation.”

    In recent weeks, lists have been published all over the world of what we’ve started calling “essential workers”. And surprise: jobs like “hedge fund manager” and “multinational tax consultant” appear nowhere on those lists. All of a sudden, it has become crystal clear who’s doing the truly important work in care and in education, in public transit and in grocery stores.

    In 2018, two Dutch economists did a study
    leading them to conclude that a quarter of the working population suspect their job is pointless. Even more interesting is that there are four times more “socially pointless jobs” in the business world than in the public sphere. The largest number of these people with self-professed “bullshit jobs”

    are employed in sectors like finance and marketing.

    This brings us to the question: where is wealth actually created? Media like the Financial Times have often claimed – like their neoliberal originators, Friedman and Hayek – that wealth is made by entrepreneurs, not by states. Governments are at most facilitators. Their role is to provide good infrastructure and attractive tax breaks – and then to get out of the way.

    But in 2011, after hearing the umpteenth politician sneeringly call government workers “enemies of enterprise”, something clicked in Mazzucato’s head. She decided to do some research. Two years later, she’d written a book that sent shockwaves through the policymaking world. Title: The Entrepreneurial State.

    In her book, Mazzucato demonstrates that not only education and healthcare and garbage collection and mail delivery start with the government, but also real, bankable innovations. Take the iPhone. Every sliver of technology that makes the iPhone a smartphone instead of a stupidphone (internet, GPS, touchscreen, battery, hard drive, voice recognition) was developed by researchers on a government payroll.

    And what applies to Apple applies equally to other tech giants. Google? Received a fat government grant to develop a search engine. Tesla? Was scrambling for investors until the US Department of Energy handed over $465m. (Elon Musk has been a grant guzzler from the start, with three of his companies – Tesla, SpaceX, and SolarCity – having received a combined total of almost $5bn in taxpayer money.)

    “The more I looked,” Mazzucato told tech magazine Wired last year, “the more I realised: state investment is everywhere.”

    True, sometimes the government invests in projects that don’t pay off. Shocking? No: that’s what investment’s all about. Enterprise is always about taking risks. And the problem with most private “venture” capitalists, Mazzucato points out, is that they’re not willing to venture all that much. After the Sars outbreak in 2003, private investors quickly pulled the plug on coronavirus research. It simply wasn’t profitable enough. Meanwhile, publicly funded research continued, for which the US government paid a cool $700m.

    (If and when a vaccine comes, you have the government to thank for that.)

    But maybe the example that best makes Mazzucato’s case is the pharmaceutical industry. Almost every medical breakthrough starts in publicly funded laboratories. Pharmaceutical giants like Roche and Pfizer mostly just buy up patents and market old medicines under new brands, and then use the profits to pay dividends and buy back shares (great for driving up stock prices). All of which has enabled annual shareholder payments by the 27 biggest pharmaceutical companies to multiply fourfold since 2000.

    If you ask Mazzucato, that needs to change. When government subsidises a major innovation, she says industry is welcome to it. What’s more, that’s the whole idea! But then the government should get its initial outlay back – with interest. It’s maddening that right now the corporations getting the biggest handouts are also the biggest tax evaders. Corporations like Apple, Google, and Pfizer, which have tens of billions tucked away in tax havens around the world.

    There’s no question these companies should be paying their fair share in taxes. But it’s even more important, according to Mazzucato, that the government finally claims the credit for its own achievements. One of her favourite examples is the 1960s Space Race. In a 1962 speech, former president Kennedy declared

    “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”

    In this day and age, we also face tremendous challenges that call for an enterprising state’s unparalleled powers of innovation. For starters, one of the most pressing problems ever to confront the human species: climate change. Now more than ever, we need the mentality glorified in Kennedy’s speech to achieve the transformation necessitated by climate change. It’s no accident then that Mazzucato, alongside British-Venezuelan economist Carlota Perez, became the intellectual mother of the Green New Deal, the world’s most ambitious plan to tackle climate change.

    Another of Mazzucato’s friends, US economist Stephanie Kelton, adds that governments can print extra money if needed to fund their ambitions – and not to worry about national debts and deficits. (Economists like #Mazzucato and #Kelton don’t have much patience for old-school politicians, economists, and journalists who liken governments to households. After all, households can’t collect taxes or issue credit in their own currency.)

    What we’re talking about here is nothing less than a revolution in economic thinking. Where the 2008 crisis was followed by severe austerity, we’re now living at a time when someone like Kelton (author of a book tellingly titled The Deficit Myth) is hailed by none other than the Financial Times as a modern-day Milton Friedman.

    And when that same paper wrote in early April that government “must see public services as investments rather than liabilities”, it was echoing precisely what Kelton and Mazzucato have contended for years.

    But maybe the most interesting thing about these women is that they’re not satisfied with mere talk. They want results. Kelton for example is an influential political adviser, Perez has served as a consultant to countless companies and institutions, and Mazzucato too is a born networker who knows her way around the world’s institutions.

    Not only is she a regular guest at the World Economic Forum in Davos (where the world’s rich and powerful convene every year), the Italian economist has also advised the likes of senator Elizabeth Warren and congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the US and Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon. And when the European Parliament voted to pass an ambitious innovation programme last year, that too was drafted by Mazzucato.

    “I wanted the work to have an impact,” the economist remarked drily at the time.

    “Otherwise it’s champagne socialism: you go in, talk every now and then, and nothing happens.”

    How ideas conquer the world

    How do you change the world?

    Ask a group of progressives this question and it won’t be long before someone says the name Joseph Overton. Overton subscribed to Milton Friedman’s views. He worked for a neoliberal think tank and spent years campaigning for lower taxes and smaller government. And he was interested in the question of how things that are unthinkable become, in time, inevitable.

    Imagine a window, said Overton. Ideas that fall inside this window are what’s deemed “acceptable” or even “popular” at any given time. If you’re a politician who wants to be re-elected, you’d better stay inside this window. But if you want to change the world, you need to shift the window. How? By pushing on the edges. By being unreasonable, insufferable, and unrealistic.

    In recent years, the Overton Window has undeniably shifted. What once was marginal is now mainstream. A French economist’s obscure graph became the slogan of Occupy Wall Street (“We are the 99%”); Occupy Wall Street paved the way for a revolutionary presidential candidate, and Bernie Sanders pulled other politicians like Biden in his direction.

    These days, more young US Americans have a favourable view of socialism than of capitalism
    – something that would have been unthinkable 30 years ago. (In the early 1980s, young voters

    were the neoliberal Reagan’s biggest support base.)

    But didn’t Sanders lose the primaries? And didn’t the socialist Jeremy Corbyn suffer a dramatic election defeat just last year in the UK?

    Certainly. But election results aren’t the only sign of the times. Corbyn may have lost the 2017 and 2019 elections, but Conservative policy wound up much closer to the Labour Party’s financial plans than to their own manifesto.

    Similarly, though Sanders ran on a more radical climate plan than Biden in 2020, Biden’s climate plan is more radical than that Sanders had in 2016.

    Thatcher wasn’t being facetious when she called “New Labour and Tony Blair” her greatest achievement. When her party was defeated in 1997, it was by an opponent with her ideas.

    Changing the world is a thankless task. There’s no moment of triumph when your adversaries humbly acknowledge you were right. In politics, the best you can hope for is plagiarism. Friedman had already grasped this in 1970, when he described to a journalist how his ideas would conquer the world.

    It would play out in four acts:

    “Act I: The views of crackpots like myself are avoided.

    Act II: The defenders of the orthodox faith become uncomfortable because the ideas seem to have an element of truth.

    Act III: People say, ‘We all know that this is an impractical and theoretically extreme view – but of course we have to look at more moderate ways to move in this direction.’

    Act IV: Opponents convert my ideas into untenable caricatures so that they can move over and occupy the ground where I formerly stood.”

    Still, if big ideas begin with crackpots, that doesn’t mean every crackpot has big ideas. And even though radical notions occasionally get popular, winning an election for once would be nice as well. Too often, the Overton Window is used as an excuse for the failures of the left. As in:

    “At least we won the war of ideas.”

    Many self-proclaimed “radicals” have only half-formed plans for gaining power, if they have any plans at all. But criticise this and you’re branded a traitor. In fact, the left has a history of shifting blame onto others – onto the press, the establishment, sceptics within their own ranks – but it rarely shoulders responsibility itself.

    Just how hard it is to change the world was brought home to me yet again by the book Difficult Women, which I read recently during lockdown. Written by British journalist Helen Lewis, it’s a history of feminism in Great Britain, but ought to be required reading for anyone aspiring to create a better world.

    By “difficult”, Lewis means three things:

    It’s difficult to change the world. You have to make sacrifices.
    Many revolutionaries are difficult. Progress tends to start with people who are obstinate and obnoxious and deliberately rock the boat.
    Doing good doesn’t mean you’re perfect. The heroes of history were rarely as squeaky clean as they’re later made out to be.

    Lewis’s criticism is that many activists appear to ignore this complexity, and that makes them markedly less effective. Look at Twitter, which is rife with people who seem more interested in judging other tweeters. Yesterday’s hero is toppled tomorrow at the first awkward remark or stain of controversy.

    Lewis shows there are a lot of different roles that come into play in any movement, often necessitating uneasy alliances and compromises. Like the British suffrage movement, which brought together a whole host of “Difficult Women, from fishwives to aristocrats, mill girls to Indian princesses”. That complex alliance survived just long enough to achieve the victory of 1918, granting property-owning women over age 30 the right to vote.

    (That’s right, initially only privileged women got the vote. It proved a sensible compromise, because that first step led to the inevitability of the next: universal suffrage for women in 1928.)

    And no, even their success could not make all those feminists into friends. Anything but. According to Lewis, “Even the suffragettes found the memory of their great triumph soured by personality clashes.”

    Progress, it turns out, is complicated.

    The way we conceive of activism tends to forget the fact that we need all those different roles. Our inclination – in talk shows and around dinner tables – is to choose our favourite kind of activism: we give Greta Thunberg a big thumbs up but fume at the road blockades staged by Extinction Rebellion. Or we admire the protesters of Occupy Wall Street but scorn the lobbyists who set out for Davos.

    That’s not how change works. All of these people have roles to play. Both the professor and the anarchist. The networker and the agitator. The provocateur and the peacemaker. The people who write in academic jargon and those who translate it for a wider audience. The people who lobby behind the scenes and those who are dragged away by the riot police.

    One thing is certain. There comes a point when pushing on the edges of the Overton Window is no longer enough. There comes a point when it’s time to march through the institutions and bring the ideas that were once so radical to the centres of power.

    I think that time is now.

    The ideology that was dominant these last 40 years is dying. What will replace it? Nobody knows for sure. It’s not hard to imagine this crisis might send us down an even darker path. That rulers will use it to seize more power, restrict their populations’ freedom, and stoke the flames of racism and hatred.

    But things can be different. Thanks to the hard work of countless activists and academics, networkers and agitators, we can also imagine another way. This pandemic could send us down a path of new values.

    If there was one dogma that defined neoliberalism, it’s that most people are selfish. And it’s from that cynical view of human nature that all the rest followed – the privatisation, the growing inequality, and the erosion of the public sphere.

    Now a space has opened up for a different, more realistic view of human nature: that humankind has evolved to cooperate. It’s from that conviction that all the rest can follow – a government based on trust, a tax system rooted in solidarity, and the sustainable investments needed to secure our future. And all this just in time to be prepared for the biggest test of this century, our pandemic in slow motion – climate change.

    Read Rob Wijnberg’s article ‘Why climate change is a pandemic in slow motion (and what that can teach us)’.

    Nobody knows where this crisis will lead us. But compared to the last time, at least we’re more prepared.

    https://thecorrespondent.com/466/the-neoliberal-era-is-ending-what-comes-next/61655148676-a00ee89a
    #néolibéralisme #néo-libéralisme #le_monde_d'après #capitalisme #crise_financière #crise #coronavirus #covid-19 #économie

  • Et si la Loi de Privatisation Programmée de la Recherche c’était demain ?

    Le 5 mars, comme partout en France, les laboratoires et l’université du Mans se sont arrêtées pour manifester contre une série de mesures comme la LPPR (Loi Programmation Pluriannuelle de la Recherche). A peine une semaine plus tard, cet arrêt a été prolongé par la fermeture des sites due au COVID-19. Dans une lettre adressée aux membres de la communauté de l’enseignement supérieur de la recherche et de l’innovation, publiée le 13 mai, Mme Vidal annonce poursuivre dans son projet de loi LPPR : « Avant le début du confinement, j’ai entendu toutes celles et ceux qui ont vu, à travers la loi « orientation et réussite des étudiants » ou le projet de loi « de programmation pluriannuelle pour la recherche » autre chose que des leviers pour faire vivre et pour enfin faire reconnaître nos missions essentielles. Ce projet de loi concrétisera pour les 10 prochaines années l’un des plus importants mouvements de revalorisation salariale que notre système d’enseignement supérieur et de recherche a connu.”

    Dans un état de crise sanitaire et sociale sans précédent, la ministre s’acharne dans ce projet, malgré la contestation qu’il a soulevée. Il paraît donc d’autant plus important de se mobiliser aujourd’hui pour que demain ne ressemble pas au monde décrit dans les lignes qui vont suivre.

    Prologue de l’apocalypse

    C’est le jour J ! Nous sommes le 11 mai 2021, ils ont bien choisi la date. Résultats des Appels à Projets génériques de l’ANR…
    9h00

    Il règne au laboratoire une ambiance pour le moins électrique. Personne n’ose dire un mot à la machine à café. On regarde le fond de sa tasse, mais on préfère ça plutôt que d’aller s’enfermer seul·e dans son bureau à appuyer sur F5 en espérant voir le nom de son projet apparaître dans la liste des projets retenus. Entre les un·es qui ont vu leur projet rejeté en phase 1 (pas assez disruptif…) et les autres qui gardent un infime espoir d’obtenir un financement pour respirer pendant trois ans, la solidarité est bien la seule chose qui reste aux membres du labo.

    Sur le campus, plus que deux laboratoires. Le nôtre et celui de physique chimie. Les autres ont fermé boutique à peine quelques mois après le passage de la LPPR. Les directeur·trices ont démissionné et personne ne s’est présenté pour reprendre le flambeau. En même temps, qui pourrait les blâmer ? A quoi bon reprendre la direction d’un laboratoire sans financements ?

    On y croyait pourtant… Avec la crise du COVID-19 et les annonces de davantage de financement de la recherche, il y a eu un regain d’espoir ! “La crise du COVID-19 nous rappelle le caractère vital de la recherche scientifique et la nécessité d’investir massivement pour le long terme”, voilà ce que déclarait le Président de la République, le 19 mars 2020. Et puis les annonces se sont suivies de propositions de lois, et ces propositions ont mené à l’adoption de la LPPR reprenant les propositions faites par les groupes de travail dans leurs rapports… pour plus de performance.

    Depuis le passage de la loi, les évaluations et succès aux Appels à Projets ont eu une répercussion directe sur l’attribution des crédits récurrents. Résultat : les labos de l’UFR lettres, langues et sciences humaines ont perdu la moitié de leur fond annuel récurrent attribué par l’université. Pas assez de projets ANR, pas de projets européens, pas assez de publications internationales, pas assez de collaborations avec des partenaires privés. En gros, pas rentable du tout ! Quand la présidence de l’université a été interpellée, elle a répondu : “Pas assez de retours sur investissement”. On en est donc là ?
    10h

    Assise à mon bureau, j’ai devant moi le tableur Excel à remplir pour le rapport HCERES. Même sur mon écran 24 pouces, le tableau est trop grand. Maintenant, l’évaluation, c’est tous les ans ! Une année déjà s’est écoulée depuis la dernière fois que j’ai eu à faire ce travail, même si j’ai l’impression de n’avoir jamais arrêté. Mon travail se résume à courir après les données, remplir des tableaux, calculer des coûts… mais pourquoi ? En fait, on est passé d’une obligation de moyens à une obligation de résultats, résultats qui se mesurent grâce à ces indicateurs toujours plus nombreux et toujours plus éloignés de notre réalité.

    Quelle part de leur temps les chercheur·ses consacrent-ils réellement à la recherche ? Parce qu’entre la rédaction des projets, le remplissage de tableurs Excel pour ces fameux indicateurs, la recherche de financements divers et variés, les responsabilités administratives… Du temps pour la recherche, ielles n’en ont plus vraiment. C’était déjà un peu le cas avant, mais au moins il y avait des doctorant·es, des post-doctorant·es et des travailleur·ses BIAT·O·SS !
    11h30

    Réunion RH avec le bureau de direction. On prépare les entretiens pour l’unique bourse de thèse établissement que l’Université nous a octroyé via l’Appel à Projet Interne “bourses de thèse”. Cette année, seulement 3 bourses disponibles. Résultat : une pour le labo de physique/chimie, une pour l’informatique et une pour nous. Les critères d’évaluation : financements rattachés à la bourse (collaboration de recherche), débouchés possibles sur projets collaboratifs ou projet ANR, opportunité de publications…

    Après le COVID-19, on a eu deux fois plus de candidatures en doctorat que les années précédentes. Regain d’attractivité des métiers de la recherche ? Pas vraiment, mais une vraie crainte des étudiant·es sortant de Master de rester sur le carreau après l’obtention du diplôme. Pour ce qui est des post-docs, on a réussi à prolonger le financement de certain·es grâce au fait que le COVID ait ralenti les activités du labo. Mais une fois passé cela, on a vu la réalité en face…

    Les enseignant·es-chercheur·ses et chercheur·ses permanent·es commencent à se faire rares. Avec l’amenuisement des budgets alloués aux universités et au CNRS, les départs à la retraite (et les départs tout court d’ailleurs), ne sont plus remplacés. On a vu arriver les “contrats à durée indéterminée de mission scientifique”. Pas si indéterminée que ça la durée du contrat : projet fini, chercheur dehors ! Ces contrats dont la durée dépend de celle du financement font que les chercheur·ses passent en moyenne 3, 4 ou 5 ans dans le laboratoire. Pas assez longtemps pour capitaliser sur les connaissances créées lors du projet…

    Pour pallier ça du coup, la direction du labo a demandé aux chercheur·ses de déposer de plus en plus de projets. Avec 20% de réussite à l’ANR maintenant, on peut obtenir entre 2 et 4 projets par an. Sur ces projets, il y a le financement pour un·e doctorant·e ou un contrat de mission scientifique. Mais pas les deux. Sans parler des tenure tracks, qui font de nos jeunes docteur·es des intermittent·es de la recherche : si tu as publié de bons articles, travaillé sur des projets ambitieux et disruptifs, rapporté des financements, tu peux (peut-être) avoir un poste permanent de prof en plus (Les MCF ne se plaindront pas, ils ont un poste déjà) !

    Mais certainement pas ici ! Ils iront à Saclay, à Aix-Marseille ou toute autre université bonne élève pour recevoir une jolie image sous la forme de financements pour des postes permanents. Et puis la Ville aussi s’y est mise : “Vous avez de moins en moins d’étudiant·es alors forcément, on vous financera d’autant moins. Vous ne faites pas ce qu’il faut pour rendre nos formations attractives et le territoire en pâtit !”.

    Pourtant, c’est pas faute d’avoir essayer de redorer notre image… Campagne de communication par ci, marketing de l’Enseignement Supérieur par là. L’Université est même allée jusqu’à distribuer des mugs, t-shirts et tote bags à la sortie des lycées, pour convaincre les lycéen·nes de venir étudier chez nous. J’avais l’impression de voir ces filles qu’on exploite pour aller distribuer des canettes de Red Bull.

    Il faut dire que les hostilités ont été lancées depuis bien longtemps ! Entre les boutiques en ligne des universités et les masques floqués d’Aix-Marseille… On a fait que prendre le train en marche. La forme est donc devenue plus importante que le fond. Si on présente bien, ça passe !

    Mais combien d’heure de cours ou d’heure de recherche pourrait-on financer avec l’argent dépensé ? Parce que la mission première de l’ESR normalement n’est-elle pas de créer de la connaissance et de la diffuser ? Peut-être que si la qualité de la recherche effectuée et des enseignements dispensés était développée grâce à d’avantage de financements, les étudiants viendraient d’eux-même dans notre université. Mais si ce “peut-être” était réalité, le monde serait probablement différent et la LPPR n’aurait probablement jamais existé.
    12h30

    Pause déj’, enfin ! Avec une collègue, on se décide à aller manger en ville pour une fois. Marre du RU et des repas déconstitués/reconstitués. Les RU sont dépendants des universités maintenant mais les tarifs sont fixés par l’État. Donc peu de financements, économie sur les repas.

    C’est vrai que depuis la baisse des effectifs à l’université, la ville du Mans a perdu en dynamisme. Pas mal de commerces ont fermé, faute d’activité. Et les lycéen·nes dont les familles ont les moyens préfèrent aller faire leurs études supérieures ailleurs, dans les gros pôles d’excellence de l’ESR. Ces mastodontes sont des villes dans des villes contre qui nous n’avons aucune chance, que ce soit pour les Appels à Projet ou bien pour obtenir des financements partenariaux.

    Nous, on fait de l’éducation de proximité. On embauche des “post-doc-enseignement” (les ATER ont été supprimés pour laisser place au CDD post-doc “jeune chercheur·e”). Les enseignant·es-chercheur·ses permanent·es explosent les compteurs d’heures sup’, mais ne s’attendent même plus à ce qu’elles soient toutes payées.

    De toute façon, les financements de l’université vont aux formations dont les entreprises financent une partie. On a vu des fondations se créer ici et là, pour financer les formations en ingénierie, en informatique, en santé, en management, etc. En même temps, quelle utilité le secteur privé aurait-il à investir dans l’histoire médiévale ou dans la poésie classique ? Tout cela pour former de la main d’œuvre et non plus des êtres humains éclairés.

    Nos discussions tournent rapidement autour des résultats de l’ANR et de ce qu’elle est devenue. Aujourd’hui, seule l’ANR peut publier des appels à projets. Ces appels à projet sont pour 75% financés par des entreprises privées qui siègent dans les comités de sélection des projets. Et pour le reste, les directives viennent directement de l’UE. Si l’Europe dit deep techs, les projets retenus parleront de deep tech.
    14h00

    Réunion avec la DRPI (Direction de la Recherche, des Partenariats et de l’Innovation). Revue de projets : ça fait rêver. Garder son calme… Voilà une tâche bien ardue quand on nous parle de pilotage stratégique de la recherche et modèle économique. “C’est dommage, vous n’avez pas fait beaucoup de prestations avec les gros matériels acquis l’année dernière”. Coup d’œil en biais à mon directeur quand s’affiche le graphique soigneusement préparé par le service. Il bouillonne puis perd son calme : “Nous ne faisons pas de prestation, NOUS FAISONS DE LA RECHERCHE”. Il quitte la pièce. C’est la première fois que je le vois s’énerver comme ça.

    Des sous-traitant·es, voilà ce que nous sommes devenu·es ! Des sous-traitant·es de firmes multinationales ou bien de start-ups en recherche de brevets à déposer pour conquérir le marché et de main d’œuvre !

    Et pourtant, à côté de cela, dans chaque communiqué, le ministère de l’ESR se félicite d’avoir atteint les 3% du PIB en dépenses pour la recherche, dont 2% provenant de financements privés. Aujourd’hui, c’est 2/3 des financements de la recherche qui proviennent du secteur privé. Enfin, 2/3 des DIRD comme ils appellent ça maintenant. Encore un acronyme pour mieux en cacher le sens… Dépenses en Innovation, Recherche, et Développement. Donc l’innovation est passé en priorité, avant la recherche. La LPPR a modifié l’ Art. L111-1 du Code de la Recherche … Ils ont juste changé l’ordre des phrases, mais ça a tout changé : “ La politique nationale de la recherche et du développement technologique vise à :

    1° Valoriser les résultats de la recherche au service de la société. A cet effet, elle s’attache au développement de l’innovation, du transfert de technologie lorsque celui-ci est possible, de la capacité d’expertise et d’appui aux associations et fondations, reconnues d’utilité publique, et aux politiques publiques menées pour répondre aux défis sociétaux, aux besoins sociaux, économiques et du développement durable ;

    2° Partager la culture scientifique, technique et industrielle ;

    3° Accroître les connaissances ;

    4° Promouvoir la langue française comme langue scientifique.”

    La Loi a aussi renforcé le dispositif de CIR (Crédit Impôts Recherche). Un brevet ? Réduction d’impôt ! Développement d’un nouveau prototype ? Réduction d’impôts ! Embauche d’un ingénieur ? Encore et toujours réduction d’impôts ! Non, ça n’est pas de la recherche ! C’est de l’innovation. De l’innovation technologique générée dans un seul but : toujours plus de liquidité !

    On a juste oublié de leur dire qu’à créer de la technologie pour accroître le volume de leur portefeuille, dans 30 ans, nos connaissances seront dépassées et aucune innovation ne sera possible… Mais il sera déjà trop tard. Pendant que ces entreprises s’enrichissent, les impôts et donc les financements publics pour l’ESR s’amenuisent. Et puis les entreprises sont devenues de plus en plus dures sur les contrats de Propriété Intellectuelle. Elles ont payé pour ces connaissances, alors elles leur appartiennent ! Les chercheurs sont devenus un avantage concurrentiel pour les entreprises. Ils détiennent les compétences clés à la création des connaissances nécessaires à l’innovation. Et pour que cet avantage devienne durable et défendable, les entreprises abondent tant que les résultats sont là. Mais le jour où on dit à ces mécènes intéressés “bah en fait on n’a pas trouvé”, c’est fini…
    16h00

    Vidée, c’est la sensation qui me traverse en sortant de ma énième réunion, avec les Services Financiers ce coup-ci. Direction la machine à café. J’ai envie de fumer une cigarette, même si j’ai arrêté il y a 5 ans et demi. Je me pose la question, la valeur de la recherche se résume donc à une conception purement économique ?

    Cette idée, je n’arrive pas à m’y résoudre ! Toutes les connaissances que j’ai acquises, je les dois à la recherche. Ma façon de penser est née dans mon apprentissage de la recherche. Et cela m’a apporté tellement plus que de l’argent. J’ai appris à être moi-même pour mieux comprendre et aimer ce que sont les autres.

    Si les entreprises réduisent le choix de formations à celles dispensant les compétences dont elles ont besoin, à coup de millions d’euros, où est la liberté pour nos étudiant·es, pour nos enfants, et même pour nous de choisir le sens que l’on veut donner à nos vies et choisir ainsi la formation adaptée ? Si la recherche est orientée pour développer le chiffre d’affaire des entreprises, qui créera et diffusera les connaissances qui développeront le libre arbitre des êtres humains et un monde meilleur ? Parce que la recherche, et plus largement l’université, peut créer un monde meilleur. Elle peut le faire, à condition d’avoir les moyens, mais des moyens donnés sans contrepartie sur la base d’une confiance mutuelle entre société et Université.

    J’avais d’ailleurs commencé une thèse là-dessus mais je ne suis pas allée jusqu’au bout. Doctorante salariée, le compromis idéal ! C’est ce j’ai pensé au début. Salaire fixe, durée de 6 ans, aménagement du temps de travail, et puis en tant que Responsable Administrative de labo, j’étais au plus près de mon sujet “Recherche et sociétés”. Mais le travail a pris le pas sur tout ça. Avec la LPPR, la loi de finances est arrivée et avec cette loi de finances, le contrôle budgétaire s’est renforcé.

    J’en serai presque à être soulagée qu’il n’y ait aucun projet attribué au labo. Non pas que je veuille voir le labo fermer. Mais les règles de justification financière se sont tellement multipliées que gérer le bon déroulé d’un projet sur les plans administratif et financier est devenu invivable. Je récupère tous les justificatifs, que je transmets ensuite à l’Antenne Financière qui les contrôle, puis qui les envoie aux services centraux de l’université qui les contrôlent eux aussi, puis les envoie à l’ANR ou l’UE qui les contrôle à nouveau… Et c’est ça pour chaque dépense, et sur chaque projet !

    Tous les moments conviviaux que l’on partageait autour d’une galette en janvier, ou bien le pot de fin d’année avant les vacances de Noël… FINI ! Les journées du labo pour présenter les travaux réalisés par chaque équipe, INTERDIT ! « Vous vous rendez compte, ce sont des deniers publics que vous dépensez en moments de détente », voilà ce que nous répondent nos contrôleurs de gestion de l’administration centrale.


    Avec la LPPR, l’État a passé la corde autour du cou de l’ESR, il a appuyé sur le levier pour la jeter dans le vide, et il a attendu d’entendre le craquement de sa nuque. Mais l’ESR n’est pas mort. Il est resté là, dans un état végétatif, et ses bourreaux se sont plaints de l’état dans lequel ielles l’avaient mis. Dans une tentative désespérée, ielles ont alors mis l’ESR sous assistance respiratoire à coup de financements privés et “compétitifs”.

    En regardant le fond de ma tasse à café, je repense à tous les livres que j’ai lus en sociologie, épistémologie, économie, pendant ma thèse. Je me disais qu’on avait les cartes en main pour changer le monde parce que des nouveaux modèles, on en a créé plein dans les bouquins ! Mais vu qu’on a plus les moyens d’enseigner ces écrits et encore moins de les vulgariser, personne ne sait, à part nous, qu’il y a des alternatives possibles.
    17h00

    Les résultats tombent enfin ! Trois projets retenus sur seize. On est dans la moyenne. Les trois projets sont en lien avec de grands groupes. On sait ce que ça veut dire. Mais on ira fêter ça autour d’une bière, au Bar’Ouf. Oui, c’est une bonne nouvelle, c’est un peu d’oxygène pour les deux chercheur·es permanent·es qui n’ont pas eu de nouveaux projets depuis presque quatre ans. Plus tard dans la soirée, dans le brouhaha du bar, mes pensées s’échappent et je repense à cette journée du 5 mars 2020 où on a décidé de tout arrêter. On y croyait encore à ce moment-là !

    Et si la recherche, en plus d’être résiliente, devenait résistante ? Parce qu’à ce qu’il paraît, nous sommes en guerre. Je me mets alors à rêver de l’ESR libéré !

    ESR I ❤ you !

    Paola Bertelli, Responsable Administrative du LAUM

    https://universiteouverte.org/2020/05/14/5172

    L’université dans #le_monde_d'après...

    #LPPR #université #facs #France #après-covid-19 #réforme #Vidal

    Ajouté à la métaliste sur la LPPR :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/820330#message820388

  • Reprise des écoles : A #Grenoble, message d’une enseignante de maternelle à une amie...
    07.05.2020

    Bonjour,

    Nous sommes en train d’organiser le retour en #classe prévu le 25 mai.
    Les conditions de #reprise vont être très contraignantes pour nous comme pour les enfants et il est important que vous soyez au courant de certains #impératifs.

    En effet, vos enfants ne vont pas être regroupés par classe, donc pas forcément avec leur enseignante respective et leurs camarades. Les enfants des soignants et du personnel de gestion de la crise seront accueillis de droit tous les jours. En raison des limitations des #effectifs, les autres enfants se verront ou pas (nous espérons pouvoir répondre à toutes les demandes) proposer 1 ou 2 jours d’accueil par semaine.

    La répartition se fera en fonction de critères bien précis afin de répondre au #protocole_sanitaire imposé par le Gouvernement.

    Les activités des enfants vont être individuelles, sans #aucun_contact les uns avec les autres, les adultes compris. Il leur sera interdit de circuler dans la classe et de #toucher au matériel qui ne leur est pas attribué. Aucun adulte, ni aucun enfant n’a le droit de toucher le matériel des autres ou d’utiliser un #matériel_collectif (pas de correction, pas de #jeux de ballons, pas de jeux de société, etc).

    Les groupes ne se rencontreront pas dans l’école (les entrées et sorties différentes, les #récréations_décalées, les #repas dans les classes, ni les #siestes).
    Afin que le matériel reste individuel, nous allons créer des #barquettes au nom de votre enfant. Les adultes eux-mêmes, n’auront pas le droit d’y toucher après les avoir mises en place et laisser plusieurs jours sans y toucher.
    Tous les #jouets des classes seront supprimés.

    Votre rôle pour les enfants qui pourront revenir en classe (pour le
    moment nous n’avons pas suffisamment d’informations pour vous dire si votre enfant pourra revenir en classe) :
    – Expliquer à vos enfants les conditions d’ouverture de l’école (ils ne doivent pas s’approcher de leurs camarades et des adultes) ;
    – Respecter les #gestes_barrières ;
    – Ne pas toucher le matériel qui n’est pas dans sa #barquette_individuelle ;
    – Prendre tous les matins la #température de votre enfant et le garder à la maison en cas de symptôme (toux, éternuement, essoufflement, mal de gorge, fatigue, troubles digestifs, sensation de fièvre, etc) .
    – Interdiction d’envoyer son enfant à l’école si l’élève ou un membre de sa famille présente les mêmes #symptômes cités ci-dessus.

    En toute transparence, nous nous devons de vous informer de ces conditions de reprise très particulières.

    L’#enseignement_à_distance sera le même que celui dispensé en classe.

    Bien cordialement,

    L’équipe enseignante

    #déconfinement #le_monde_d'après #école #réouverture_des_écoles #organisation

    L’école de demain, cette #prison pour #enfants...

    • Petite géographie de l’#espace_carcéral... euh je veux dire de l’#espace_scolaire.

      Alors que nous allons réouvrir les établissements scolaires, je m’interroge, en « bonne » géographe que je suis, sur l’espace scolaire tel qu’il va être donné à pratiquer par les élèves ces prochains jours.

      J’ai lu, relu, lu une dizaine de fois le protocole sanitaire. #Rubalise. Je n’avais jamais lu autant de fois en si peu de pages un mot que je n’avais jamais employé jusque-là.

      Mise à l’écart du mobilier scolaire + rubalise. Nous ne pourrons plus accéder aux #manuels, nous ne pouvons faire de #photocopies, les #salles_informatiques et les #tablettes sont interdites. Pour faire cours dans les disciplines où les élèves n’ont pas leur propre #manuel_scolaire, nous allons nous amuser.

      Pas grave, j’ai de l’imagination. On va utiliser les #jeux_de_société que j’ai et qui portent sur l’histoire. Ces derniers jours, j’avais repris les règles de « Bruges », parfait pour réviser la ville au Moyen Âge. Ah non, je n’ai pas le droit de prêter du matériel. Faire un plateau fabriqué à coup de photocopies ? Ah non, pas de photocopies. Bon, je range Bruges, Carcassonne, Notre Dame, Agricola, et les Mystères de l’Abbaye. 5 idées sympas pour réviser le Moyen Âge. Rubalise.

      Pas grave, j’ai de l’imagination. Si j’utilisais Plickers, c’est top ça, un quizz projeté au tableau, les élèves n’ont qu’à lever le code dans le sens de leur réponse, je photographie de loin leurs réponses, et... ah non, pas de prêt de matériel, mes codes plastifiés ne pourront servir. Rubalise.

      Pas grave, j’ai de l’imagination. Oui, mais voilà, pas d’îlot, chaque élève doit disposer de 4 m2 mais ne peut être positionné face à un autre élève. En langues vivantes, ils doivent pourtant leur faire travailler « la #coopération ». Les nouveaux #protocoles_pédagogiques prévoient aussi qu’en français, les élèves doivent maîtriser la tape sur un clavier. Sans clavier. Sans ordinateur. Sans... tout, sauf des rubans autour d’eux. Rubalise.

      Bon, passons, regardons plus loin, on réfléchira aux « activités » plus tard. C’est la consigne de l’établissement. On ne fait plus cours, on ne fait plus de séquences qui prennent du sens en tant qu’apprentissages, on devra « plus tard » prévoir des « #activités ». L’école est bien moins qu’un centre de loisirs, les activités sont seules maîtres, certes, mais elles seront prévues en dernier. On va les occuper dans leurs 4 m2 entourés de rubans. Rubalise.

      Mais bon, admettons, il y a des circonstances. L’important est certainement de permettre aux élèves de retrouver un lien avec l’école, avec le lieu même qu’est l’école. C’est tout à fait justifié. Mais quel #lien ? Qu’est devenu ce #lieu ?

      Aménagement de la salle de classe :
      mise à l’écart du #mobilier + rubalise
      4 m2 par élève, pas de #face_à_face, pas d’#îlot.
      #sens_de_circulation dans la salle indiqué au moyen de #scotch_au_sol
      interdire la #circulation dans la classe

      Aménagement des couloirs et escaliers :
      rubalise, #marques_au_sol pour #distanciation
      un sens pour l’entrée, un sens pour la sortie
      pas d’accès au #gymnase, pas d’accès aux #vestiaires

      Récréation :
      pas de descente dans la #cour
      #pause en classe (où les élèves n’ont pas le droit de bouger de leur table)
      pas d’#objets, pas de #livres, pas de jeux, rien dans les mains
      rubalise sur les bancs pour en interdire l’accès le matin
      #WC : entrée un à un, sur les 6 points WC de l’établissement, pour un effectif de 1065 élèves
      rubalise dans les #toilettes + affichages consignes de #lavage_des_mains
      pas le droit au repas

      Qu’est-ce donc que ce lieu où tout est mis sous ruban, où il existe des sens circulatoires marqués au sol, où les heures de promenade dans la cour sont limitées dans le temps et dans l’espace, où ces heures doivent se faire sans contact avec les autres prisonniers, euh, je veux dire élèves ?

      Qu’est-ce donc que ce lieu où quelques minutes par jour sont consacrés à un « enseignement » qui n’a que pour but de faire croire aux enfermés qu’ils ont quelques minutes loin de leur routine dans l’espace punitif les privant de leurs mobilités ?

      Rubalise.

      Chaque ligne de plus du protocole m’a glacée. J’ai eu l’impression de relire les travaux d’Olivier Milhaud lorsque, jeunes géographes, nous travaillions et échangions sur nos thèses. Les travaux sur... la #prison.

      « #Surveiller_et_punir », écrivait Michel Foucault.
      « #Séparer_pour_punir », ont écrit les géographes.

      « La prison est une peine géographique : elle punit par l’#espace. Elle tient des populations détenues à distance de leurs proches et les confine dans des #lieux_clos. »

      L’école est en train de devenir une #peine_géographique. On n’y enseignera pas, on y contrôlera des élèves qui, heureux de revenir à l’école pour y retrouver un lieu de savoirs et de #socialisation, vont faire l’expérience brutale de cet #enfermement_par_l'espace. Rubalise.

      #SansMoi

      PS : Je vous recommande fortement la lecture de :
      Olivier Milhaud, 2017, Séparer et punir. Une géographie des prisons françaises, CNRS Editions.
      Marie Morelle, 2019, Yaoundé carcérale : géographie d’une ville et de sa prison, ENS Éditions, disponible en ligne : https://books.openedition.org/enseditions/11445

      https://www.facebook.com/benedicte.tratnjek/posts/10156922338365059

      Texte de #Bénédicte_Tratnjek (@ville_en)

    • Alors, j’essaie de comprendre, pour la reprise...

      Injonction du ministère : finir le programme en retirant un chapitre ou deux
      Injonction du rectorat depuis le 16 mars : interdiction de voir de nouvelles connaissances et notions, ne faire que des approfondissements de ce qui a été vu avant fermeture
      => Donc, on finit le programme sans faire de nouveaux chapitres... 🤔

      Injonction du ministère : faire les compétences de type « pratiquer différents langages » avec des croquis de synthèse à produire en géographie
      Injonction de l’établissement : interdiction des manuels, interdiction des photocopies, interdiction de toucher les cahiers pour les corriger, interdiction d’aller en salle informatique ou d’utiliser les tablettes, interdiction d’utiliser les téléphones personnels, interdiction de fournir le moindre fond de cartes en gros
      => Donc, on fait des croquis de synthèse sans documents, sans fonds de cartes, tout en faisant des connaissances déjà vues en réussissant à finir le programme sans avoir le droit de le faire... 🤔

      Je veux bien plein de choses, mais là je ne suis pas sûre de comprendre ce qu’on attend de moi...

      https://www.facebook.com/benedicte.tratnjek.2/posts/261127465252876

      Toujours @ville_en

  • Vers des jours heureux... | Le Club de Mediapart

    https://blogs.mediapart.fr/edition/les-invites-de-mediapart/article/280420/vers-des-jours-heureux

    Un virus inconnu circule autour de la planète depuis le début de l’année. Péril mortel et invisible, nous obligeant à nous écarter les uns des autres comme si nous étions dangereux les uns pour les autres, il a retourné les tréfonds des sociétés comme on retourne un gant et il a mis au grand jour ce que l’on tentait jusqu’ici de masquer. Sans doute provoque-t-il un nombre important de morts et met-il sous une lumière crue les limites des systèmes de santé des pays développés, y compris les plus riches d’entre eux. Sans doute, ailleurs, expose-t-il les populations de pays plus pauvres à un extrême danger, les contraignant pour se protéger à accomplir une obligation impossible, le confinement. Mais ceci n’est que la surface des choses.

    Le gant retourné donne à voir la voie périlleuse dans laquelle le monde se trouve engagé depuis des décennies. En mettant les services hospitaliers sous contrainte budgétaire, là où ils étaient développés, et en les négligeant là où ils sont insuffisants, les responsables politiques affolés se sont trouvés pris de court devant l’arrivée de la pandémie. En France, l’impréparation criante à ce type d’évènements, la liquidation coupable de la réserve de masques, la délocalisation de l’industrie pharmaceutique avec pour seule raison la recherche de profits plus grands, la faiblesse des moyens de la recherche scientifique, mettent le gouvernement en situation d’improvisation. En prenant le chemin du confinement dont il ne sait comment sortir, il s’est engagé dans la voie d’une mise en cause radicale des libertés publiques. S’étant privé des autres moyens de protection de la population, il bénéficie d’un acquiescement forcé de cette dernière. Pour le cas où cet acquiescement manquerait, un discours moralisateur et culpabilisant se déploie. Et pourtant, partout, d’innombrables initiatives contredisent l’individualisme entretenu par le modèle économique et social et témoignent de la permanence de la fraternité entre les humains.

    Mais le gant retourné fait apparaître aussi, au moins aux yeux les plus lucides, que la réponse aux enjeux auxquels l’humanité dans son ensemble est en ce moment confrontée, ne saurait être une addition de politiques nationales, encore moins si ces politiques tentent de se mener en vase clos. Il y manquera toujours une part, celle de la communauté des humains qui ne peut refuser plus longtemps de se voir pour ce qu’elle est : une communauté de destin, ce qu’Hannah Arendt nommait une association politique d’hommes libres.

    Ainsi, derrière la crise sanitaire qui est au premier plan, avec la crise économique qui s’amorce et la catastrophe écologique en cours, c’est une crise de civilisation qui émerge enfin. Le monde entièrement dominé par le système capitaliste qui ne cesse de creuser les inégalités et de détruire la nature, est aujourd’hui un bateau ivre qui n’a d’autre horizon que son naufrage à travers des violences insoupçonnées.

    S’il est encore temps de reprendre les commandes, alors ce séisme inédit est l’occasion que le monde doit saisir pour rompre enfin avec sa destruction largement amorcée et inventer une société entièrement différente. Ainsi, ayant conjuré la terreur de l’inconnu, les peuples danseront de joie sur les décombres du vieux monde qui menaçait de les emporter.

    Pour cela, il faut :

    – ne pas tricher avec les constats qu’il y a lieu de faire ;
    – mesurer les risques d’une sortie de crise orientée à un retour à la situation antérieure ou à d’autres dérives ;
    – saisir cette opportunité pour poser les fondements radicalement différents d’une société mondiale juste et viable.

    #covid-19 #le_monde_d_après

  • On Social Reproduction and the Covid-19 Pandemic

    Thesis 1
    Capitalism prioritizes profit-making over life-making: We want to reverse it

    This pandemic, and the ruling class response to it, offers a clear and tragic illustration of the idea at the heart of Social Reproduction Theory: that life-making bows to the requirements of profit-making.

    Capitalism’s ability to produce its own life blood—profit—utterly depends upon the daily “production” of workers. That means it depends upon life-making processes that it does not fully and immediately control or dominate. At the same time, the logic of accumulation requires that it keeps as low as possible the wages and taxes that support the production and maintenance of life. This is the major contradiction at the heart of capitalism. It degrades and undervalues precisely those who make real social wealth: nurses and other workers in hospitals and healthcare, agricultural laborers, workers in food factories, supermarket employees and delivery drivers, waste collectors, teachers, child carers, elderly carers. These are the racialized, feminized workers that capitalism humiliates and stigmatizes with low wages and often dangerous working conditions. Yet the current pandemic makes clear that our society simply cannot survive without them. Society also cannot survive with pharmaceutical companies competing for profits and exploiting our right to stay alive. And it is apparent that the ‘invisible hand of the market’ will not make and run a planet-wide health infrastructure which, as the current pandemic is showing, humanity needs.

    The health crisis is thus forcing capital to focus on life and life-making work such as healthcare, social care, food production and distribution. We demand that this focus remains even when the pandemic has passed so that health, education and other life-making activities are decommodified and made accessible to all.

    Thesis 2
    Social reproduction workers are essential workers: We demand they be recognized as such in perpetuity

    While most commodity-producing companies lacking workers have seen their profits and stock values drop precipitously, they find themselves beholden to the people-making organizations, communities, households and individuals. But, given capitalism’s need to prioritize profit-making over life-making, such organizations, communities, households and individuals are barely equipped to meet the challenge. It is not just that Covid-19 has taken a toll on healthcare, public transit and grocery store workers, various community volunteers and others. Years and years of dismantling essential social services in the name of austerity means that social reproductive workforces are smaller than they used to be, and community organizations fewer and less well resourced.

    To compensate for decades of neglect in a crisis, many capitalist states and corporations are shifting their priorities, but only partially and temporarily. They are sending cheques to households, extending unemployment insurance to precarious workers, ordering automakers to switch from producing cars to producing masks and ventilators. In Spain, the state temporarily took over for-profit hospitals; in the US, insurance companies are forfeiting co-payments for Covid-19 testing. Among other things, this shows just how readily available and plentiful are the resources to actually meet people’s needs when there is political will.

    We demand that workers in social reproduction sectors—nurses, hospital cleaners, teachers, garbage removal staff, food makers and supermarket employees—be permanently recognized for the essential service they perform, and their wages, benefit and social standing be improved to reflect their importance in maintaining society as a whole.

    Thesis 3
    Bail out people not banks

    Our rulers are devoting far more resources to bailing out businesses, in the hope of staving off an utter collapse of capitalist value. The very profits produced, we remind you, by the labor power that social reproductive labor supplies. CEOs of hotel and restaurant chains, tech and airline companies, and more are throwing millions of workers off their payroll, while largely preserving their own hyper-inflated salaries and benefits. This is because the capitalist system requires that the contradiction between life and wage labour always be resolved to the benefit of capital rather than people’s lives.

    We demand that all financial resources and stimulus packages be invested in life-making work, and not in keeping capitalist companies running.

    Thesis 4
    Open borders, close prisons

    This pandemic is hitting immigrants and detainees very hard: those who are stuck in prisons or detention centers with indecent hygienic conditions and no health resources, those who are undocumented and suffer in silence for fear of seeking help and getting deported, those who work in life-making activities (health and social care, agriculture, etc.) and are more at risk of being infected because they have no choice but go to work (lacking adequate or any protective gear), those who are in transit between countries trying to reach their families, and those who cannot leave their countries because of travel bans and sanctions.

    Pandemic or not, Trump will retain the sanctions against Iran (where infection rates and deaths are skyrocketing). And neither Trump nor the European Union will pressure Israel to lift sanctions that rob the 2 million people imprisoned in Gaza of much needed medical supplies. This differentiated response to the pandemic draws upon and reinforces the racist and colonialist oppression that is capitalism’s underbelly.

    We demand that healthcare needs take precedence over any immigration regulations, that those imprisoned for most crimes be released immediately and alternative compassionate sanctions are found for those who are sick, that detention centers and other carceral institutions aimed at disciplining rather than nourishing life be closed.

    Thesis 5
    Solidarity is our weapon: Let’s use it against capital

    The pandemic has revealed to the world how working people in a crisis always get by through a wide and creative array of survival strategies. For most, that has meant relying on immediate friends and family. Some, however, are managing through mutual aid initiatives. For the homeless and those capitalist society has rejected as a burden, support has come from heroic initiatives of social reproduction volunteers who are offering to others nothing less than the right to life. Neighborhoods across the UK are creating Whatsapp groups to stay in touch with the most vulnerable and help them obtain food and medication. Schools are sending food vouchers to poor families with children eligible for free meals. Food banks and charities are seeing the number of volunteers rising. Social reproduction commons are arising as an urgent necessity. But we have also learned the lessons of the past: we will not allow capitalist governments to use social reproduction commons as an excuse for the state’s withdrawal from responsibility.

    As socialist feminists, we need to push this further, to work together to call for public provision of all that is necessary for human life to thrive. This means building solidarity across the different communities that are unequally affected and resourced. This means supporting the most marginalized and arguing for those with any social resources—trade unions, NGOs, community organizations—to share and support those without. This means demanding that the state recognize social reproduction work as the cornerstone of social existence.

    We demand that governments learn from the people and replicate in policy terms what ordinary people are doing to help and support each other.

    Thesis 6
    Feminist Solidarity against Domestic Violence

    The lockdown measures adopted by most countries to contain the spread of Covid-19, while absolutely necessary, have severe consequences for millions of people who live in abusive relationships. Reports of domestic violence against women and LGBTQ folk have multiplied during the pandemic as victims are forced to stay indoors with violent partners or family members. Stay-at-home campaigns that do not take into account the specific plight of domestic abuse are particularly worrisome in a context in which years of rampant neoliberalism have meant that funds have been withdrawn from anti-violence shelters and services

    We demand that governments immediately reverse years of defunding of anti-violence services, and provide the resources agencies need to operate and widely publicize their helplines.

    Thesis 7
    Social reproduction workers have social power: We can use it to reorganize society

    This pandemic can, and should, be a moment when the left puts forward a concrete agenda for how to support life over profit in a way that will help us move beyond capitalism. This pandemic has already shown us how much capitalism needs social reproductive workers—waged and unwaged, in hospitals and infrastructure work, in households, in communities. Let’s keep reminding ourselves of that, and of the social power that such workers hold. This is the moment when we, as social reproduction workers, must develop the consciousness of the social power we hold, in our national contexts, at the borders that divide us, and across the globe.

    If we stop, the world stops. That insight can be the basis of policies that respect our work, it can also be the basis of political action that builds the infrastructure for a renewed anti-capitalist agenda in which it is not profit-making but life-making that drives our societies.

    https://spectrejournal.com/seven-theses-on-social-reproduction-and-the-covid-19-pandemic

    #propositions #thèses #féminisme #reproduction_sociale #le_monde_d'après #marxisme #capitalisme #profit #travail #frontières #ouverture_des_frontières #prisons #solidarité #violence_domestique #solidarité_féminine #pouvoir #pouvoir_social #féminisme_marxiste

    Traduction en français :
    Sept thèses féministes sur le #covid-19 et la reproduction sociale

    Alors que la pandémie de Covid-19 continue de sévir dans le monde entier, il apparaît de plus en plus clairement que les intérêts de l’#économie mondiale sont en contradiction avec la #préservation_de_la_vie. Ainsi a été rendue visible aux yeux de tou·te·s l’importance fondamentale de celles et ceux qu’on trouve en première ligne – les infirmier·e·s et les autres personnels de santé, les ouvrier·e·s agricoles, les ouvrier·e·s des usines alimentaires, les employé·e·s des supermarchés etc. –, celles et ceux dont l’emploi permet la reproduction de la vie même. A travers ces sept thèses que nous traduisons aujourd’hui, le collectif féministe marxiste montre combien la théorie de la reproduction sociale peut nous aider à penser l’épidémie, mais aussi à dresser des pistes pour abolir le monde qui l’a produite.

    https://acta.zone/sept-theses-feministes-sur-le-covid-19-et-la-reproduction-sociale

    via @isskein
    ping @karine4

  • Imaginer la suite – édito #3 de la #Confinée_Libérée

    La conférence de presse d’#Edouard_Philippe du 19 avril s’est grandement approchée de l’absurde. Tout juste avons-nous pu en tirer une confirmation : ce gouvernement navigue à vue et son utilité est incertaine. Depuis le début de la crise du #Covid-19, le mieux qu’il fasse (trop rarement hélas) c’est de relayer les analyses et décisions de personnes compétentes (chercheur·ses, médecin·es, soignant·es, etc.) auprès d’autres, qui devront les mettre en œuvre. Le plus souvent, malheureusement, il est une force de #nuisance, qui empêche que les #bonnes_décisions soit prises.

    Les enseignant·es du primaire et secondaire ont appris les modalités de la #reprise_des_classes en lisant dans la presse les compte-rendus de l’intervention de Jean-Michel #Blanquer à l’Assemblée : “la profession n’en peut plus de découvrir par surprise ce qui se décide sans elle” dénonce Stéphane Crochet, comme bien d’autres.

    A l’#université, là encore ce sont les verrous hiérarchiques et l’incapacité à prendre des décisions claires qui pénalisent tant les travailleur·ses que les étudiant·es. A ce titre, le silence de #Frédérique_Vidal est éloquent : elle profite du #confinement pour faire passer discrètement des mesures qui renforcent les dynamiques de #précarisation et de #privatisation de l’université et de la recherche (https://universiteouverte.org/2020/04/15/appel-solennel-a-cesser-de-prendre-toute-mesure-non-urgente-en-pe).

    Alors que de nombreux·ses étudiant·es vivent actuellement dans des conditions terribles (https://www.lemonde.fr/societe/article/2020/04/21/a-villeneuve-d-ascq-les-etudiants-a-l-abandon_6037293_3224.html), le ministère et la majorité des présidences continuent à faire #comme_si_de_rien_n’était. Il faut que des examens se tiennent à distance, coûte que coûte, et peu importe que cela ajoute aux souffrances des étudiant·es qui affrontent les situations les plus difficiles et que les #inégalités flambent. Refusons les #examens_en_ligne et signons la pétition nationale (https://universiteouverte.org/2020/04/08/non-aux-examens-en-ligne-qui-creusent-les-inegalites-dans-lenseig) !

    Les travailleur·ses sont également malmené·es par cette “gouvernance” qui en fait de simples pions. Comment pour les #écoles, #collèges et #lycées, les conditions du #déconfinement dans les #facs et labos sont pour le moins floues ce qui laisse craindre le pire, tant sur les plans sanitaires que sociaux. Pour connaître les difficultés rencontrées par les #précaires et y faire face collectivement, des outils de recueil de #témoignages (https://universiteouverte.org/2020/04/09/allo-precaire-confine%c2%b7e) et une #enquête en ligne (https://universiteouverte.org/2020/04/21/enquete-militante-sur-les-conditions-de-vie-et-de-travail-des-doc) ont été mises en place.

    Dans cette période difficile, il est plus que jamais nécessaire de prendre soin les un·es des autres, ainsi que de nos collectifs militants. Nous continuons à organiser la #solidarité, notamment avec des caisses qui permettent une #solidarité_économique (https://universiteouverte.org/2020/04/13/la-confinee-liberee-reprend-son-souffle), mais également avec des #distributions_alimentaires, qui se multiplient à Saint-Denis (https://www.papayoux-solidarite.com/fr/collecte/aide-alimentaire-etudiant-es-paris8), Paris (https://www.papayoux-solidarite.com/fr/collecte/solidarite-alimentaire), Lyon (https://www.helloasso.com/associations/association-lyf/formulaires/3) ou encore Bordeaux (https://www.leetchi.com/c/solidarite-continuite-alimentaire-bordeaux).

    Aujourd’hui, il est difficile d’imaginer ce que seront l’université et la #recherche dans les prochains mois. Dans quelles conditions la #rentrée 2020 pourra-t-elle avoir lieu ? Comment organiserons-nous nos #luttes après le déconfinement, alors que “l’#urgence_sanitaire” se prolongera, et interdira sans doute les rassemblements ? Quelles stratégies de luttes collectives pourrons-nous élaborer avec les autres secteurs, en particulier les autres services publics ?
    D’ores et déjà, il nous faut reprendre les discussions au sein de nos collectifs pour préparer une rentrée universitaire et sociale à la hauteur des défis qui nous font face ! A défaut de nous réunir rapidement pour une troisième coordination nationale, nous ferons en sorte, dans les prochaines semaines, d’échanger tou·tes ensemble grâce aux outils numériques.

    Plus que jamais, nous avons besoin de la force de nos imaginations. C’est pourquoi la Confinée Libérée vous propose une dystopie où la réalité rejoint la fiction : découvrez les Chroniques d’une apocalypse universitaire annoncée (https://universiteouverte.org/2020/04/20/chroniques-dune-apocalypse-annoncee-prologue). Bonne lecture !

    https://universiteouverte.org/2020/04/22/imaginer-la-suite-edito-3-de-la-confinee-liberee
    #septembre_2020 #examens #le_monde_d'après #rentrée_2020

  • Societal exit from lockdown/ Déconfinement sociétal /Maatschappelijke exit-strategie

    Apport d’expertises académiques / Inbreng van academische expertise / Contribution of academic expertise

    Preprint Version 1.1April 17, 2020

    https://07323a85-0336-4ddc-87e4-29e3b506f20c.filesusr.com/ugd/860626_731e3350ec1b4fcca4e9a3faedeca133.pdf

    cf. Coronavirus - Une centaine de chercheurs émettent dix recommandations pour le déconfinement
    https://www.lalibre.be/dernieres-depeches/belga/coronavirus-une-centaine-de-chercheurs-emettent-dix-recommandations-pour-le-

    #covid-19 #lockdown #belgique

  • Lecturers condemn #Durham University’s plan to shift degrees online

    The university plans to radically redesign its curriculum to cut in-person teaching by 25%.

    The University and College Union (UCU) has condemned plans by Durham University to provide online-only degrees and significantly reduce face-to-face lecturing in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

    The union’s general secretary Jo Grady called on the university to halt proposals to cut “live” teaching by 25% as part of a radical shift towards providing online learning, which she described as “destructive” and “an attack on staff”.

    The radical redesign of the university’s curriculum, revealed by student newspaper Palatinate, would “invert Durham’s traditional educational model”, based on residential study, with one that places “online resources at the core enabling us to provide education at a distance”.

    The proposals, drawn up by deputy vice-chancellor Antony Long and vice-provost for education Alan Houston, warned that Durham has been slow to develop online education compared to its competitors, which posed “a very significant financial and reputational risk” to the university.

    Under the plans, seen by the Guardian, some students would only study online, some would be taught on campus, and others would do both. The proposals, drawn up without consulting staff or students, would reduce the number of modules taught in person by a quarter in the next academic year, with the goal of providing at least 500 of them completely online by the summer of 2021.

    An anthropology and archaeology student said she feared the plans would devalue her degree. She added: “This is clearly to increase the number of students on the books paying full fees, whilst maintaining existing staff levels. I feel like [a] cash cow and fear more strike action while I’m out of pocket and have very little to show for it in terms of education.”

    The document, due to be considered by the university’s senate later this month, also proposes contracting a private education firm, Cambridge Education Group Digital, to develop a business case to implement the plans.

    The UCU said that universities “should not see the global pandemic as an opportunity to try and drastically alter their different business models”, and urged Durham to consult properly with staff and students over any changes.

    Grady added: “This looks like an attack on the livelihoods and the professional expertise of hard-working staff – all to line the pockets of private providers who don’t have the same track record of providing high standards of education.

    “Durham needs to halt these plans. The fact there has been no consultation with staff or students is unacceptable and we will continue to defend the quality of education staff provide and our members’ jobs.

    “Changes to our higher education system should be led by staff from the ground up, whether they are necessitated by Covid-19 or not. We will do everything we can to challenge this and any other similarly destructive proposals.”

    The Durham plans revealed that a third of its undergraduate and half of postgraduate modules currently lack any online learning, noting: “In the short-term, we risk being unable to provide even a basic ‘minimum viable product’ online for our [academic year] 2020/21 intake.”

    The university aims to provide its key postgraduate and first-year undergraduate degrees online by October 2020, with a focus on delivering those with the most “international market potential”.

    Durham UCU branch held a virtual emergency general meeting this week where members “voted to firmly oppose rushed long-term changes taken without proper consultation”.

    More than 300 Durham academics have also signed a letter to vice-chancellor Stuart Corbridge, describing the proposals as “highly concerning … cynical and reckless”.

    Prof Antony Long, the university’s deputy vice-chancellor, said: “None of us yet know what the 2020-21 academic year will look like, but we must plan now so that when we do, we have options properly developed and ready to implement.

    “Anticipating that some and perhaps a significant number of students will not be able to travel to and live in Durham [then], we are preparing an online, distance learning programme that is both inclusive and high-quality.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/education/2020/apr/17/lecturers-condemn-durham-universitys-plan-to-shift-degrees-online

    Préparation de #le_monde_d'après
    #coronavirus #continuité_pédagogique #confinement #travail #réduction_des_postes #UK #Angleterre #effectifs #coupes_budgétaires #coupes_dans_le_personnel #personnel #universités #facs

    –—

    Ajouté à la métaliste « #le_monde_d'après dans le domaine de l’#éducation et l’#apprentissage dans les différents pays européens » :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/839830

    • Coronavirus UK: Universities face £2.5bn tuition fee loss next year

      Capping student numbers will not avert financial catastrophe, report warns.

      Capping the number of students who can attend each British university will not stave off the financial catastrophe that institutions face following the coronavirus outbreak, a report from the University and College Union (UCU) warns.

      The report forecasts the sector could lose around £2.5bn next year in tuition fees alone, along with the loss of 30,000 university jobs, based on gloomy predictions of international and domestic students staying away if Covid-19 continues unchecked.

      The government is negotiating with the university sector to limit the number of students each institution can admit in September, in the hope that it will help some avoid cutthroat competition and possible bankruptcy if their student intake slumps.

      But the report, commissioned by UCU from London Economics, says a cap could be ineffective if more students are prepared to sit out next year. The consultancy’s forecasts show even the likes of Oxford and Cambridge seeing falling numbers of undergraduates entering from the UK and abroad.

      “Our world-renowned universities are doing crucial work now as we hunt for a [Covid-19] vaccine and will be vital engines for our recovery both nationally and in towns and cities across the UK. It is vital that the government underwrites funding lost from the fall in student numbers. These are unprecedented times and without urgent guarantees, our universities will be greatly damaged at just the time they are needed most,” said Jo Grady, the UCU’s general secretary.

      Rebecca Long-Bailey, the shadow education secretary, backed the call for greater government support. “UK universities must be valued as part of the frontline response to the coronavirus pandemic, supplying students to the NHS and conducting world-class research into the virus,” she said.

      The report suggests that universities could lose £1.5bn in international student fees, more than £600m from UK-based students, and £350m from students from the EU, based on surveys of students’ intentions, including one conducted for Ucas, the admissions service.

      Gavan Conlon, a partner at London Economics, said the pandemic will result in a “very substantial loss” in enrolments and income, requiring significant government support.

      “The proposed student numbers cap will not be enough to avoid an overly competitive market for the remaining pool of applicants, with the impact of this actually being worse for some institutions than the effect of the pandemic itself,” Conlon said.

      But Nick Hillman, the director of the Higher Education Policy Institute, said he thought the report’s forecasts for students numbers – particularly a 16% drop within the UK – were overly pessimistic.

      “I do not want to underestimate the severe impact of Covid-19 on higher education. But, given the diversity of our higher education sector, we must ask if it is right for modelling to assume every single institution will face a recruitment crisis across the board,” Hillman said.

      London Economics’ forecasts did not include the £790m lost in accommodation, catering and conference income identified by the Universities UK group of vice-chancellors in its recent submission to UK governments calling for at least £2bn in bailout funding.

      “The union is absolutely right to warn of the knock-on impacts this would have for jobs, regional economics, local communities and students,” said Alistair Jarvis, the chief executive of UUK.

      “Government must take urgent action to provide the support which can ensure universities are able to weather these very serious challenges, and to protect students, maintain research, and retain our capacity to drive the recovery of the economy and communities.”

      https://www.theguardian.com/education/2020/apr/23/coronavirus-uk-universities-face-25bn-tuition-fee-loss-next-year

  • This is remarkable: 170 Dutch academics put together a 5-point manifesto for economic change after the C19 crisis, building on #degrowth principles. It has gone viral in Dutch media. In this thread I’ll summarize the points in English.

    1) Shift from an economy focused on aggregate GDP growth to differentiate among sectors that can grow and need investment (critical public sectors, and clean energy, education, health) and sectors that need to radically degrow (oil, gas, mining, advertising, etc).
    2) Build an economic framework focused on redistribution, which establishes a universal basic income, a universal social policy system, a strong progressive taxation of
    income, profits and wealth, reduced working hours and job sharing, and recognizes care work.
    3) Transform farming towards regenerative agriculture based on biodiversity conservation, sustainable and mostly local and vegetarian food production, as well as fair agricultural employment conditions and wages.
    4) Reduce consumption and travel, with a drastic shift from luxury and wasteful consumption and travel to basic, necessary, sustainable and satisfying consumption and
    travel.
    5) Debt cancellation, especially for workers and small business owners and for countries in the global south (both from richer countries and international financial institutions).

    https://twitter.com/jasonhickel/status/1251146508709195780
    #manifesto #décroissance #le_monde_d'après #changement #changement_économique #redistribution #économie #énergie #agriculture #rdb #revenu_universel #revenu_de_base #travail

    • La doxa alter-capitaliste va nous infliger ad nauseam ce genre de discours halluciné. La réalité, c’est que les gouvernements, adapteront leur politique économique pour faire face aux nouveaux rapports de force entre pays, entre groupes capitalistes des divers secteurs, et à l’état de l’économie mondiale telle qu’elle sortira de cette crise. Si celle-ci, comme il est probable, accélère les tendances au protectionnisme (déjà en route), tous les gouvernements suivront. Ils prendront les uns après les autres des mesures protectionnistes et pousseront à relocaliser la production. Mais cette relocalisation qu’ils encourageront ne sera pas moins nocive pour les classes populaires, les travailleurs et l’environnement que la mondialisation capitaliste actuelle. Les industriels continueront à produire ce qu’ils estimeront stratégique pour leurs intérêts et ne produiront pas plus qu’aujourd’hui des biens vitaux pour les classes populaires, des logements, des moyens de transport ou autres. Bref : s’imaginer qu’il existerait un bon capitalisme, responsable et raisonné, un bon capitalisme s’appuyant sur une reproduction vertueuse du capital, et fort d’une exploitation humaniste de l’homme par l’homme, relève de la démence réformiste, et ne permettra jamais de comprendre dans quel monde nous vivons et ce qui nous attend.

  • Ce gars est tellement dans le vrai sur Twitter, à propos des transports et de la sortie de confinement :
    François Dilinger :

    Si on ne met pas en place très vite des pistes cyclables en urbanisme tactique, c’est une désertion des transports publics au profit de la voiture individuelle qui nous attend au déconfinement.


    https://twitter.com/frcsdilinger/status/1249040935331266560
    #urbanisme_tactique

    • Fermes d’avenir

      Notre mission ?

      Accélérer la transition agroécologique, en nous inspirant de la permaculture, dans le respect des humains et de la nature !

      Nous sommes convaincus que la transition vers des modèles agricoles vertueux est indispensable et impactera positivement :

      la santé des humains grâce à des produits issus de l’agriculture biologiques à un prix accessible à tous,
      les conditions de travail des agriculteur.trice.s sur des fermes viables, vivables et créatrices de valeur sur leur territoire,
      la restaurations des écosystèmes naturels : biodiversité, qualité des sols vivants, séquestration de carbone, qualité de l’eau, etc.

      Que faisons-nous ?

      Notre équipe travaille quotidiennement avec l’objectif suivant : faire pousser des fermes agroécologiques en France. Pour cela, nous développons des projets agricoles, nous formons des acteurs de la transition, nous finançons des agriculteurs et nous influençons différents publics.

      Pour relever ce défi, nos activités sont réparties en quatre pôles.

      https://fermesdavenir.org

  • “Just thought I’d pass on some information which is filtering through from UK and US universities in the current crisis, and which might give you some useful arguments concerning LPPR in the coming months.

    A number of friends in UK and US universities have been told that their respective institutions will experience very large financial shortfalls over the next year. A matter of £25 million for one Scottish university, $60 million and counting for a New York university. Since they are heavily reliant on student fees, home and international, since they take rents from their students, and are reliant on money made from fee-paying Masters courses, and because they are reliant on external research grants, they are very exposed financially to the consequences of the Corona virus. Since each university employs its own academic and non-academic staff, this will create real problems in the coming year or so.

    This is what happens if you run universities like businesses. We will no doubt be subject to similar budgetary attacks in French public universities in the coming year or so (health crisis => financial crisis => you must all tighten your belts — you can already see the rhetoric being warmed up). But this problem will be political, rather than the problem of just another large-ish business.”

    –-> reçu d’un ami d’une collègue... par mail, le 10.04.2020

    #le_monde_d'après #crise_financière #austérité #universités #facs #coronavirus #taxes_universitaires #ESR #enseignements_supérieur
    #UK #Angleterre et #USA... mais aussi #France et ailleurs...

    • Universities brace for huge losses as foreign students drop out

      Call for a government bailout worth billions to help sector survive the crisis.

      Some universities are already expecting to lose more than £100m as foreign students cancel their studies, with warnings that the impact of coronavirus will be “like a tsunami hitting the sector”.

      Several organisations are now planning for a 80-100% reduction in their foreign student numbers this year, with prestigious names said to be among those most affected. The sector is already making a plea to the government for a cash injection amounting to billions of pounds to help it through the crisis, as it is hit by a drop in international student numbers, accommodation deals and conference income.

      Universities are already lining up online courses for the start of the next year, but academics are concerned about the impact on first-year students new to university life. Many institutions have recently borrowed heavily to pay for attractive new faculties, often designed to attract overseas students. It comes against a backdrop of declining numbers of university-age students in the UK and the previous uncertainty around Brexit.

      Andrew Connors, head of higher education at Lloyds Banking Group, said the crisis has felt “less like a perfect storm and more like a tsunami hitting the sector”. Banks have not had urgent requests from universities, as big financial hits are expected later in the year. However, he said that “while the immediate impact we are seeing in the sector is slower, the overall impact of Covid-19 is potentially deeper and longer”.

      In a blog for the Higher Education Policy Institute (Hepi) published today, he writes: “Many institutions are modelling reductions of between 80% and 100% in international student numbers. Every university we have spoken to expects to be impacted and for some the potential loss to income is projected to be greater than £100m. And that is before you factor in that losing new students has a multi-year impact.”

      He adds that he expects banks to offer UK universities loans where needed, given their significance in the economy. He warns, however: “I worked through the financial crisis of 2007/08 and it does not compare in my experience to what we are witnessing now – this crisis has touched everybody in some shape or form and many previously viable businesses are now in a fight for survival.”

      The Office for Students, the independent regulator of higher education, has already streamlined its rules in the wake of the crisis, calling for universities to sound the alarm if they fear they’ll run short of cash within 30 days.

      Universities UK, the industry body, has proposed a series of measures to the government to double research funding and offer emergency loans to troubled institutions, as well as placing a cap on the number of undergraduates many institutions can recruit in 2020-21.

      Nick Hillman, Hepi’s director, warned that universities only had limited options to cut their costs. “There are things they can do to mitigate the impact, such as doing all they can to ensure international students keep coming, pausing the development of their estates, doing less research, looking at their staffing and persuading home final-year students to stay on for postgraduate study. But some were in financial difficulties even before the current crisis.

      “If international student numbers are down a lot, we have a big problem. The ones with lots of international students could still potentially fill their places with home students (who pay lower fees) but that just leaves a problem lower down the tree.”

      https://www.theguardian.com/education/2020/apr/11/universities-brace-for-huge-losses-as-foreign-students-drop-out?CMP=Sha

      #universités #étudiants_étrangers #trésorerie

    • Another perfect storm? The likely financial impact of Covid-19 on the higher education sector – by Andrew Connors, the Head of Higher Education at Lloyds Bank

      It does not seem very long ago that those involved in the higher education sector talked about the perfect storm. The colliding forces were a consistent decline in the number of 18-year-olds in the UK, turbulence surrounding Brexit and the resulting potential impact on the number of EU students alongside the policy challenges of a minority government.

      As we entered 2020, however, if felt like the sector was weathering that storm with a majority government, certainty around the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and the number of UK 18-year-olds forecast to start growing again from 2021.

      All this has changed due to the impact of Covid-19, which has felt less like a perfect storm and more like a tsunami hitting the sector.

      Over a dynamic and fast-moving few weeks, higher education institutions have sent students home, moved to online tuition and, as the short and medium-term implications of Covid-19 become clearer, they have been assessing their immediate and ongoing liquidity requirements. The discussions we have been having at Lloyds Bank with institutions up and down the country suggest that a great wave of liquidity is likely to be necessary to support institutions through these most challenging of times.

      The UK’s higher education institutions are, though, facing into different challenges to much of the rest of UK Plc. Many sectors have been hit immediately and extremely hard by Covid-19 with trading halted and businesses closed overnight, necessitating workforce redundancies or furloughing.

      All UK banks are dealing with a significant and urgent volume of liquidity requests from their customers, the likes of which we have never seen before. To help meet these challenges the Government has made dramatic interventions to support companies in the form of the Job Retention Scheme (JRS), the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), the Coronavirus Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) and now the pending launch of the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS)

      I worked through the financial crisis of 2007/08 and it does not compare in my experience to what we are witnessing now – this crisis has touched everybody in some shape or form and many previously viable businesses are now in a fight for survival.

      Financial Impacts

      The dynamics in the higher education sector are different to a lot of UK Plc. At Lloyds Bank we have not seen urgent requests for liquidity from the sector over recent weeks and nor would we expect to have given the crisis timeline looks very different to the one a large portion of companies are facing into.

      Yet, while the immediate impact we are seeing in the sector is slower, the overall impact of Covid-19 is potentially deeper and longer. The cost of lost commercial contracts in the summer alone is believed to be approaching £600 million and, as we look towards the 2020/21 academic year, annualised international student fee income of around £6 billion is at risk.

      Over the last few weeks, we have had many conversations with higher education institutions who know they will have a significant reduction in income over the summer term and are scenario planning potentially dramatic reductions in international students for 2020/21. That simply would not have been imagined a few short weeks ago.

      The discussions we are having suggest impacts on the current financial year that range from minimal to tens of millions of pounds for some institutions. Significant lost income has come from the waiving of accommodation fees for students for the summer term while many are committed to nomination agreements with other accommodation providers. Catering income alongside hotel and conferencing facility income have disappeared, with no expectation that summer schools will take place. This is likely to lead to some immediate cashflow implications for some, who will be carefully reviewing the Office for Students’ recent guidance around new reportable events, including the new short-term financial risk reporting requirement around the need for thirty days’ liquidity.

      As we look into the next academic year, the most significant concern is that potentially dramatic drop in international students. Many institutions are modelling reductions of between 80% and 100% in international student numbers. Every university we have spoken to expects to be impacted and for some the potential loss to income is projected to be greater than £100 million. And that is before you factor in that losing new students has a multi-year impact.

      Banks and Funding

      It is not surprising, therefore, that all universities are urgently looking at their short and medium-term liquidity needs. These discussions at Lloyds Bank have fallen into three buckets:

      Those looking to access one of the government schemes.
      Those looking for medium-term funding from their banks – most commonly three to five-year revolving credit facilities.
      Those looking to secure longer-term funding – through their banks – or more commonly the bond or private placement markets although this is less common at this time.

      Fortunately, given the wave of liquidity discussions we (and other banks) are having, the banks enter this crisis having transformed their balance sheets from 2007/08 driven by lessons learned and underlined by EU and government regulation.

      The banks have done this by repairing capital and liquidity ratios, transforming their loan to deposit ratios and significantly increasing their liquid assets. All this means that there should be plenty of liquidity available for UK Plc – and that is before adding in the recent cancellation of bank dividends and the impact of the Bank of England’s new term funding scheme.

      Given the significance of the higher education sector to the UK economy and its world-class track record, I would expect the sector to be able to access liquidity where needed. At Lloyds Bank our stated purpose is to ‘Help Britain Prosper’ and that’s just what we’re working to do with this sector.

      Government support

      What of the Government schemes? While the Government have, to date, made no specific announcements around support for the higher education sector, there are no obvious exclusions within the already announced schemes.

      To access the CCFF, for example, the Bank of England sets out the need to make a material contribution to the UK economy as being essential for access. At Lloyds we have been signposting those clients who wish to discuss access to the CCFF to the Bank of England. This has included confirming their Investment Grade credit rating, which is key to accessing the scheme.

      The newly-announced CLBILS scheme, likely to launch around the 20 April, could also be a real support to smaller higher education institutions who have a need for under £25 million of liquidity repayable over the medium term at preferential rates.

      We know a number of universities that are already using the Job Retention Scheme to furlough colleagues – particularly those with hotel and conferencing facilities.

      Lessons Learned

      Given the potential wave of support needed, it is clear that both the Government and financial sector have critical roles to play. For those like me with long memories, I have been reflecting on some lessons I learned from the actions the best companies took during the financial crisis of 2007/08 which I would sum up in the phrase: plan for the worst and hope for the best. That philosophy should lead to the following critical actions:

      Ensure you have timely and good quality financial information, including forecasts which should include a worst-case scenario alongside your base case. The test is to ask yourself, what would be the most severe outcome in every situation?
      Ensure you have sufficient liquidity in place to meet the downside risks.
      Seek professional advice where necessary.
      Be relentlessly challenging on expenditure and costs.
      At these times, you cannot over-communicate to colleagues and other key stakeholders, including your advisors and funders. Ensure your funders are invested in your institution and on the journey with you.
      And finally, some companies thrived during the financial crisis because, of course, even in the toughest of times there is opportunity. Be open to the opportunity to transform your operating model, to grow your people and to future proof your institution.

      There is no doubt that, by the time this Covid-19 outbreak is over, it will have had a significant impact – on individuals, on businesses and on society. But there is clear guidance and support available and never before in peacetime has it been truer that we are all in this together. For universities and businesses more generally, there is great commitment from government and lenders to do everything we can to help you navigate through the interruptions.

      We will get through this and, for those that need it, support is available to ensure higher education institutions emerge healthy.

      https://www.hepi.ac.uk/2020/04/12/another-perfect-storm-the-likely-financial-impact-of-covid-19-on-the-higher-

    • Here Come the Furloughs

      Sharp reductions in revenue and potential increases in expenses are spurring colleges to furlough or lay off employees while they wait for the coronavirus outbreak and the uncertainty it brings to subside.

      First came the hiring freezes. Now come the furloughs.

      Several colleges announced furloughs and layoffs this week and warned of potential additional staff reductions in the weeks to come. As colleges field unexpected expenses and lost revenue due to the coronavirus outbreak, paying employees — especially those who are unable to do their jobs remotely — is becoming more difficult.

      MaryAnn Baenninger, president of Drew University, announced via video message on Sunday that a group of about 70 employees would be furloughed through at least the end of May. A smaller group will be laid off permanently. Furloughed staff members were notified Monday.

      “I can’t guarantee that some of these furloughs won’t transition to permanent layoffs in the future,” Baenninger said in the video. According to the Drew website, furloughed employees will be updated by May 26 on the status of their furlough.

      Staff reductions had been on the table for weeks while the Drew virtual team — the group appointed to bring Drew online and weather the outbreak — considered how to balance the needs of the university and what was best for employees.

      The decision was, in part, an equity issue, Baenninger said.

      “There were people who were working harder than they ever worked … and there were people for whom we wanted to have work, but we didn’t,” she said.

      The financial picture Baenninger painted for Drew is similar to those at many other colleges and universities. She cited lost revenue from events, conferences, catering, summer camps and other operations, diminished endowment returns, and reduced giving from alumni and donors.

      “On the expense side,” she continued in the video, “we will need to be prepared for potential changes in student financial aid, likely increases in health insurance costs, and we have had significant unexpected increases transitioning to a virtual environment, responding to the myriad changes brought on by COVID-19 and the potential need if called upon by the state of New Jersey to prepare our campus to house first responders and displaced medical patients.”

      When colleges are forced to consider budget cuts, administrative costs such as travel and expense funds are typically the first to go, according to Ken Rodgers, director at S&P Global. Hiring freezes come next, which result in “a reasonable amount of savings,” he said. If that’s not enough, pay reductions, furloughs and layoffs become viable expense-saving options.

      Baenninger and her team are considering salary reductions.

      “We were pretty certain that salary reductions wouldn’t preclude a furlough, but maybe a furlough would prevent some salary reductions,” she said in an interview.

      Drew had already experienced financial struggles in recent years. But it is not alone in feeling increased pressure that forces furloughs amid the coronavirus.

      The University of New Haven — which is expecting a $12 million to $15 million in revenue loss due to issuing student refunds and credits — announced across-the-board pay reductions for faculty and staff two weeks ago. Last week, the university announced that some employees would be furloughed.

      Furloughs are sometimes used as defensive measures, Rodgers said. They can better position colleges should their financial situations get worse, “i.e., this fall, if it turns out that students, for whatever reason, don’t come back.”

      Guilford College in North Carolina has furloughed 133 people, more than half of its nonfaculty employees.

      “Many of the jobs that we were looking at were really the jobs that couldn’t be done from home, because they involved direct contact with students,” said Jane Fernandes, president of Guilford. “We decided that just to help — not to solve anything — but to help our budget get to the end of the year, we would furlough staff.”

      Marquette University announced Wednesday it would furlough approximately 250 employees beginning in mid-April. Bob Jones University, a private evangelical university in Greenville, S.C., also announced Wednesday that about 50 employees would be furloughed, with the potential for more down the road.

      The furloughs don’t appear to be cutting into faculty ranks at this time, although faculty numbers are likely to be affected by already announced hiring freezes, reductions in pay and other actions at colleges and universities around the country.

      The first round of furloughs and layoffs is typically operationally easier on colleges, Rodgers said.

      “Those initial layoffs and furloughs typically are — you have to be careful when you say this — not too difficult for the university to administer,” Rodgers said. “If you get into the situation where a lot of students choose not to come back to campus and you have to implement a more broad-based reduction, that would be more challenging for any university to implement … because then you have to cut into core programming.”

      Employees who work on campuses for third-party vendors that contract with colleges are also being laid off. Bon Appétit Management Company, which provides dining services to many colleges around the country, has furloughed many of its employees. Contract workers are not usually considered employees of the college they work at, and they face an uncertain future until students return to campus.

      Colleges are borrowing money to bolster their cash positions, but not to support recurring operations, including payroll, Rodgers said.

      “We view unfavorably any organization that borrows money to support recurring operations, including for payroll purposes,” he continued.

      June is likely to be a key decision point on future furloughs and layoffs, Rodgers said, because the June 30 end of the fiscal year will be approaching. Colleges will be working out their budgets for the new 2021 fiscal year.

      “They’re trying to see how this is going to impact their fiscal ’21 budget,” he said. “They’re having to make assumptions that may be very difficult to make as far as what enrollment to anticipate under scenario one, scenario two, scenario three.”

      https://insidehighered.com/news/2020/04/10/colleges-announce-furloughs-and-layoffs-financial-challenges-mount
      #USA #Etats-Unis

  • Des #mensonges_d’Etat – édito #2 de la #Confinée_Libérée

    Le gouvernement a pris trop tard les mesures pour protéger la population. Le bilan morbide qui s’allonge de jour en jour, notamment dans les #quartiers_populaires (https://www.lemonde.fr/planete/article/2020/04/04/coronavirus-la-seine-saint-denis-confrontee-a-une-inquietante-surmortalite_6), le confirme, tout comme le nombre de plaintes déposées contre l’État (https://plaintecovid.fr). De premières publications de journalistes ou de chercheur·ses permettent de mieux saisir les manquements graves du gouvernement. Pascal Marichal montre ainsi dans cet article de la Vie des Idées (https://laviedesidees.fr/Savoir-et-prevoir.html), à partir d’une lecture de la revue Science (https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/01/outbreak-virus-china-declared-global-emergency), que le gouvernement aurait pu et dû prévoir la pandémie actuelle. La même revue annonçait l’inévitable basculement dans une phase de pandémie dans une publication datant du 25 février 2020. Pourquoi les agent·es du Ministère de la Santé n’ont-ielles pas pris en compte ces productions scientifiques pour orienter leur action ? Les ont-ielles volontairement ignorées ? Qu’en est-il de la question des masques ? Une enquête de radio France (https://www.franceinter.fr/comment-la-france-a-sacrifie-sa-principale-usine-de-masques#xtor=EPR-5-[) montre que la dernière usine française de fabrication de masques a fait faillite en 2018 suite à l’arrêt des commandes de l’État, qui a cessé de constituer les stocks qui font aujourd’hui si cruellement défaut aux soignant·es. L’enquête de Mediapart (https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/france/020420/masques-les-preuves-d-un-mensonge-d-etat) révèle, entre autres choses, que la pénurie de masques a été sciemment dissimulée au grand public et, tandis que la porte-parole du gouvernement affirme que la population n’a pas besoin de masques car elle ne saurait pas les utiliser, l’Académie de médecine (https://www.lemonde.fr/planete/article/2020/04/04/faut-il-generaliser-le-port-du-masque-le-discours-officiel-s-inflechit_60355) recommande un recours plus large. Alors, partout, la production artisanale et solidaire de masques se développe, l’auto-organisation prend le relai.
    Les mensonges, l’#incompétence, la #surdité aux résultats de la recherche et la destruction obsessionnelle des services publics sont responsables de la situation dramatique dans laquelle nous nous trouvons. Le monde “d’après” semble tout aussi effrayant : dérogations au #Code_du_travail, accentuation des #inégalités sociales face au virus, renforcement de l’#arbitraire_policier, en particulier dans les quartiers populaires où résident nombre des travailleur·ses qui assurent le maintien des activités essentielles à l’ensemble de la société.

    Alors que le #déconfinement s’annonce long et complexe (https://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/article/2020/04/07/les-enjeux-du-deconfinement-expliques-en-schemas_6035827_4355770.html), en particulier à l’#université (https://academia.hypotheses.org/22143#more-22143), l’organisation collective est plus nécessaire que jamais. Il s’agit bien sûr de poursuivre nos #luttes, notamment contre la précarité des #vacataires (https://universiteouverte.org/2020/04/06/comment-ne-pas-payer-les-vacataires-confine%c2%b7es) et l’exploitation des travailleur·ses effectuant des tâches sous-traitées (https://universiteouverte.org/2020/04/07/sous-traitance-maltraitance-dans-nos-facs-et-labos). Mais il s’agit d’aller plus loin encore.
    Le mensonge sur la pénurie de masques n’est ni anecdotique, ni un fait isolé. Dans les politiques de l’enseignement et la recherche, le détournement des mots est également devenu une constante, voire un outil de gestion. Ces dernières années, le ministère de l’enseignement supérieur et de la recherche (#MESRI) a systématiquement camouflé la réalité de ses politiques par des mensonges purs et simples : annoncer plus de moyens pour la recherche, tout en coupant les financements pérennes des laboratoires ; dire lutter contre la précarité, tout en baissant le nombre de postes ouverts ; annoncer ouvrir l’université, tout en multipliant par 15 les frais d’inscriptions pour les étudiant·es étranger·es extra-communautaires, selon le plan désigné par l’antiphrase (https://universiteouverte.org/2019/03/25/laelia-veron-deconstruit-le-discours-dedouard-philippe-bien-lyriq) “Bienvenue en France” (https://universiteouverte.org/tag/bienvenue-en-france).
    Ainsi, alors qu’Emmanuel Macron assurait que personne ne subirait de “pertes de revenus liées au COVID-19”, c’est dans une anodine “foire aux questions” de son site que le MESRI annonce le non-paiement des vacataires pendant la crise (https://universiteouverte.org/2020/04/06/comment-ne-pas-payer-les-vacataires-confine%c2%b7es). Alors que le gouvernement s’était engagé à abandonner les réformes en cours, la #LPPR (https://universiteouverte.org/loi-pluriannuelle-de-programmation-de-la-recherche) continue ses avancées masquées (https://academia.hypotheses.org/22196) à base d’#ordonnance et de #décrets (https://ufsecgt.fr/IMG/pdf/sntrs_tractlppr60420.pdf).

    Les mensonges sont exposés.
    Nous savons ce que valent paroles et engagements ministériels.
    Maintenant, il nous faut nous organiser pour renforcer nos solidarités, contrer la politique criminelle de ce gouvernement, construire une recherche et une université publiques, ouvertes et émancipatrices pour toutes et tous.
    Confiné·es, mais pas déconfit·es, nous sommes plus que jamais prêt·es à la lutte ! Et la rentrée 2020 n’est pas loin…


    https://universiteouverte.org/2020/04/08/des-mensonges-detat-edito-2-de-la-confinee-liberee
    #mensonge_d'Etat #mensonge #mensonges #coronavirus #covid-19 #France #Seine-Saint-Denis #plainte #masques #stocks #surmortalité #Plaintel #le_monde_d'après #stratégie_du_choc

  • Scénarios de #déconfinement de l’#école à l’#université : #septembre, est-ce si loin ? Une synthèse à J+21

    Si l’heure est à l’espoir d’un déconfinement, les modalités de ce dernier sont loin d’être connues. Tant que le remède miracle, le vaccin ou même des tests sérologiques fiables (pour vérifier la fameuse immunité de groupe) ne seront pas disponibles, la situation ne pourra en rien revenir à la « normale ». Aussi, envisager la rentrée, même en septembre, passe par une multitude de scénarios à rêver en amont, afin d’imaginer quel arc narratif nous allons emprunter dans quelques mois : autrement dit, se reposer sur un retour à la normal me semble aussi illusoire que d’imaginer les pires des scénarios (dans lequel nous sommes d’ailleurs en ce moment !).

    Pour ma part et à ce jour dimanche 5 avril (J+21 de confinement), je suivrai donc le scénario sans plus d’aide médicale que celle que nous avons maintenant. C’est le scénario le plus pessimiste. Mais il peut se mélanger avec d’autres événements positifs qui viendraient l’assouplir. Je ne parlerai pas des évaluations, examens ou concours, j’évoquerai juste l’organisation concrète et matérielle des retours en classe à partir d’une revue de presse et informations en provenance de contacts en Europe (Belgique, Italie, Espagne) et en Chine.
    Que savons-nous des zones qui commencent le déconfinement scolaire dans le primaire et le secondaire (Chine principalement) ?

    Voilà trois semaines qu’élèves et étudiant-es ont été plongé-es de force dans une « école / université à la maison » et déjà, beaucoup espèrent ardemment un retour dans des salles de classe. Alors que la Chine a pris des mesures drastiques face au Covid-19 depuis fin janvier, où en sommes-nous deux mois après ? Sur un territoire qui fait 15 fois la France et dont la population est 20 fois plus importante, toutes les zones ne sont pas touchées de la même façon. En particulier Wuhan identifiée comme « community spread of covid », ressemble fort à certaines zones européennes actuelles. Il faut savoir qu’en dehors du Hubei (province de Wuhan), les cas ont été présumés tracés et pistés, une doctrine appliquée également à Taïwan ou Hong Kong par ex. Je laisse en tirer les conclusions sur le statut de Paris et la France dans cette configuration.

    Des éléments venus de Chine donnent déjà quelques indications sur ce qui est possible en ce qui concerne les réouvertures d’écoles[1]. Regardons d’abord quelques informations données par la presse en français (Euronews, 17 mars) à propos d’une école (primaire apparemment) située dans une zone à faible taux de contamination (donc l’Ile de France et le Grand Est, ne rêvez pas trop). On y retrouve ces éléments d’organisation de classe :

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLO80bdw6vI&feature=emb_logo

    Un autre article en anglais (repris par la BBC, 17 mars) précise encore les modalités de reprise avec des repas servis individuellement, des bus scolaires avec des trajets adaptés, et une rentrée placée sous le signe de l’apprentissage des gestes de protection.

    Les campus sont également fermés pour éviter des contaminations extérieures ce qui signifie concrètement que les lycéens sont en internat et que des universités ont actuellement à disposition des dortoirs – cités universitaires en Chine.

    D’après mes informations directes croisées et lectures d’articles (cf. liens indiqués), certain-es lycéen-nes de zones épargnées sont de retour en classe et doivent prioritairement :

    Porter des masques
    Maintenir la distanciation sociale
    Manger à des horaires différents
    Prendre leur température trois fois par jour
    Respecter très strictement les gestes barrière (ainsi que leur famille)

    Par ailleurs, les enseignant-es font cours avec des masques. Comme vous l’avez sûrement déjà vu, les citoyen-nes chinois-es sont suivis par QR-codes qui leur permettent l’accès aux bâtiments et commerces en fonction de leur « certificat de santé ». Ces mesures s’appliquent aussi pour l’accès aux écoles et campus.

    On comprend donc que la politique chinoise repose principalement sur la prévention avec trois mesures principales : port du masque, distanciation sociale et surveillance constante de la température. On peut ajouter suivi par certificat, qui est une mesure structurelle du régime, pour l’heure pas envisagée par la France.
    Cela semble facile ? Non. Car soumis à conditions. Tour d’horizon

    En effet, la doctrine chinoise de réouverture implique qu’il n’y ait eu AUCUN cas ajouté en 30 jours. Cette simulation par ordinateur (en date du 29 février 2020) explique comment un virus (pas forcément le Covid, et on sait que le Covid est très virulent) se propage en milieu scolaire. On en a vu de très belles, je préfère celle-ci, plus explicite et concrète. C’est très simple. Elle présente quatre scénarios possibles en cas d’ouverture d’une école et un seul cas importé :

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=yVDVtAoC-FM&feature=emb_logo

    sans masque ni mesure,
    avec masque,
    avec confinement des cas,
    avec confinement des cas et des autres élèves.

    Dans tous les cas, tout le monde se retrouve contaminé à J+7 environ et la conclusion est : on ne peut pas ouvrir l’école sans risque de contaminer tout le monde.

    L’Agence chinoise de contrôle commun des mécanismes de prévention (traduction approximative) a répondu à des questions de journalistes lors d’une conférence de presse au sujet des réouvertures d’écoles (31 mars) :

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KObIkhAOwmA&feature=emb_logo

    Elle signale à la 12e minute que c’est le contrôle de la pandémie qui permettra ces réouvertures (notamment à travers l’hébergement et la mise en place des mesures de précautions).

    Les écoles doivent être prêtes à une potentielle apparition de cas et faire remonter les informations en temps réel. Au sujet des masques, le port serait plutôt recommandé en classe et pas en plein air.

    À la 20e minute, une journaliste pose la question de la réouverture des universités, en particulier pour les personnels et étudiant-es qui doivent faire des manipulations en laboratoire. En réponse, à partir du 1er avril, des universités vont rouvrir progressivement en fonction des régions.

    L’approche recommandée est « layered » c’est-à-dire graduelle : d’abord reviendront « les graduates et les scientifiques liés à des projets ». Aussi, les retours des étudiant-es seront conditionnés au degré de « risque » de leur région d’études et d’origine (ceux en provenance de régions fort frappées devront attendre). C’est apparemment ce groupe-témoin qui va servir à mettre en place des protocoles de protection avec des règles très strictes, liées aussi aux besoins scientifiques des recherches. Mais l’ouverture de l’université suit la même logique que les écoles primaires et secondaires : elles ne peuvent rouvrir que si l’épidémie est « controlled », que les « school arrangements have been prepared » et que les « safe guarding manners are in place »[2].

    Le responsable rappelle aussi de façon très stricte le besoin impérieux des universités et localités de préparer en amont des « plans de réponse d’urgence » spécifiques et différents des écoles (i.e. une fois un cas identifié : que fait-on ?).

    Aussi, alors que la rentrée universitaire devait avoir lieu ce printemps en Chine, très peu d’universités ont annoncé des ouvertures, et dans des conditions très strictes et limitées, on le voit. Tout se passe en distanciel et probablement en sera-t-il ainsi pour le semestre entier, en particulier pour les premiers cycles. Nous devons également en Europe il me semble envisager cette option même pour septembre, sachant que les campus français, souvent multi-sites et en ville, ne sont pas compatibles avec une isolation de la population étudiante (et qui travaille à côté).

    Côté italien (dans un article de La Stampa, du 3 avril), il est surtout question dans la presse des examens et du bac, avec des sessions complémentaires envisagées en septembre.

    En Espagne, les annonces restent encore à court terme et mentionnent juste le fait que les cours en présentiel ne reprendront pas cette année dans trente établissements (voir El Pais, en date du 3 avril).

    En Belgique, pour l’heure, ce sont aussi les modalités d’examens qui occupent. À l’Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), elles sont adaptées, avec le maintien d’examens sur place en amphi mais à capacités réduites (1 étudiant sur 3) et si aucune solution n’est possible (update 6/04) et un panachage examens en ligne (plus d’infos prévues le 20 avril). L’année scolaire serait prolongée jusqu’au 10 juillet (idée abandonnée finalement, update : 6/04).

    En France, c’est aussi la question des examens (MCCC) et du bac qui concentre toute l’attention. Seuls deux articles récents évoquent une suite, l’un en revenant surtout sur le fait que « rien ne sera comme avant » (par @Manuel_MC et @cauthemayou) : c’est vrai, mais un peu vague. L’autre s’intéresse aux problèmes juridiques et d’organisation liés à la numérisation massive des enseignements avec un entretien avec Olivier Faron, l’administrateur général du CNAM, organisme d’enseignement supérieur à distance (1er avril). Dans cet article, O. Faron revient aussi sur un point faible de la numérisation du supérieur, l’absence d’offre concertée (et on l’a tristement constaté avec la multiplication de plateformes privées pour « l’école à la maison ») :

    « L’enjeu majeur qui est devant nous est de savoir comment notre offre de formation au niveau national peut être déclinée en ligne de façon régulée et concertée. Nous avons besoin d’un plan de numérisation de nos ressources de l’ESR. Il y a de très belles réalités (FUN, les UNT ; etc.), mais elles ne sont pas coordonnées. L’offre globale dont nous avons besoin n’existe pas. »

    Cette lacune impliquerait selon lui d’éditorialiser nos offres d’enseignement et de coordonner une offre nationale (type CNED). Ce vœu pieux me paraît ici trop ambitieux pour être mis en place cet été et dans un contexte de crise.

    Autre point aveugle, on ne dispose que de très peu d’informations sur les collègues enseignant-es qui ont fait cours aux enfants de soignant-es ces dernières semaines, alors qu’ils sont un groupe-témoin très important pour les scénarios futurs de réouverture.
    Comment réduire des classes et des groupes ? comment échelonner les horaires ? en avant les fictions !

    On peut se mettre à imaginer plein de pistes de solutions, plus ou moins réalisables, plus ou moins efficaces. Il y a fort à parier que les municipalités seraient des acteurs importants dans cette réorganisation potentiellement totale. Il se peut que la rentrée soit étrangement fractionnée, soit avec des zones de vacances qui n’iraient plus jusqu’à C mais jusqu’à M ou Z par régions ou zones ! (ce serait le « retour progressif » évoqué par Blanquer le 3 avril et l’approche « layered » chinoise).

    On pourrait imaginer aussi des écoles à mi-temps (2 jours ½) ou des groupes en présence une semaine sur deux (reste le problème des fratries qui ne seraient pas synchrones) et des scénarios aussi différents si des transports collectifs scolaires sont nécessaires (le ramassage en campagne qui brasse toutes les écoles au petit matin).

    Dans les lycées, le maintien du groupe classe serait une mesure importante pour éviter la dissémination des élèves (finies les options, retour aux filières, désolée pour la réforme de Blanquer) ainsi que des salles dédiées pour éviter la dispersion des cas. Mais comment empêcher de toute façon des contaminations intra-familiales ?

    On peut imaginer aussi comme cela se fait dans des lycées français à l’étranger (voir l’organisation par exemple du Lycée français de Kyoto avec le CNED) : des cours à distance avec des périodes en présentiel en groupe tutoré.

    En lieu et place de la cantine, si des réductions de services sont à envisager, des casse-croutes maison en classe (beaucoup ont connu cela dans l’ancien temps, quand les services de cantine n’étaient pas disponibles partout) ou services en plateau individuels (version chinoise). Imaginons en France les horaires décalés : les 6e arrivent à 8h, les 5e à 8h20, etc. comme les récréations, etc. On évite ainsi que les élèves se croisent dans les espaces communs… mais tout cela serait-il suffisant ? que faire pour les élèves dont la santé est la plus fragile ou dont les parents sont particulièrement à risque ?

    Et question ultime : comment évaluer équitablement les acquis dans ce contexte ? Un article du 24 mars publié sur le site du WBFO (Toronto Buffalo – National Public Radio) à propos des conditions « stressantes » de travail en ligne (« école à la maison » mais aussi « université à la maison ») évoque aussi le problème de l’évaluation de ce qui a été « enseigné » pendant la période d’apprentissage à distance. Comment savoir ce qui a été acquis ? ne faudrait-il pas tout simplement reprendre le trimestre manqué depuis le départ ? c’est, avec le bac et les examens, la grande question traitée actuellement. Mais elle ne doit pas masquer le risque que la reprise – même tardive – n’en soit pas une complètement et qu’il faille en plus décaler le sacro-saint programme pour aider ceux qui n’ont pas bénéficié de l’illusoire « continuité pédagogique ». La question risque de se reposer en septembre.
    Et dans le supérieur ? peut-on imaginer une rentrée Covid ?

    Pour imaginer la transposition de ces contraintes à l’Université, on peut légitimement s’interroger sur des modalités de reprise en cas d’absence de solution médicale (vaccin, traitement efficace, tests dont les résultats je le rappelle ne sont pas pérennes, sauf à tester la sérologie pour l’immunité). Parmi les quelques pistes à imaginer, comment casser les énormes cohortes en amphi ? le problème de manque de place en TD ? On verra peut-être arriver des formations en alternance (5 semaines en présentiel, 5 semaines à distance ?) ou des cours magistraux à distance avec des TD en présentiel, en tout cas, s’il n’y a pas de déblocage radical, difficile d’imaginer des emplois du temps à l’identique pour 2020-21.

    À ce jour, 5 avril, soit J+21 de confinement, la ministre Frédérique Vidal ne s’est prononcée sur presque rien. Chaque université compose selon ses moyens et compétences : on peut être sûr qu’il n’y aura aucune harmonisation nationale des diplômes obtenus cette année, les commissions CFVU se réunissant actuellement sur Zoom pour valider les nouvelles modalités de MCCC. Et cette validation, aussi urgente soit-elle, n’est qu’une étape minime face à la rentrée qui nous attend en septembre.

    Autre problème très pratique, si les écoles primaires et du secondaire n’ouvrent pas entièrement ou suivant des échelons progressifs (à partir de critères inconnus, évidemment), comment les parents d’élèves (qui sont aussi enseignant-es) pourront-ils travailler ? si tout le monde reprogramme ses événements en septembre/octobre, comment allons-nous faire entrer en trois mois en un seul, alors que déjà nos semestres impairs sont toujours surchargés, épuisants et entièrement consacrés à l’intégration des étudiant-es et la mise en œuvre de l’année ?

    Pour avoir fait à de nombreuses reprises des maquettes de licence (et master récemment), et travaillé à mutualiser au maximum des cours pour répondre aux demandes de réduction budgétaires, je mesure à quel point les mesures de prévention sanitaire vont à l’encontre des modèles que nous avons récemment mis en place (notamment dans mon UFR avec des blocs transversaux et complémentaires partagés par plusieurs départements).

    Je présume, qu’à l’image du début de crise, c’est la cacophonie qui va régner, au prétexte des adaptations nécessaires à chaque situation. Le problème est la surcharge de stress qui va s’ajouter à des injonctions dont nous savons d’expérience qu’elles aiment à être contradictoires et sans moyens supplémentaires (le fameux : « faites plus avec moins, et surtout débrouillez-vous »).

    Il est évident que les établissements en zones rurales et urbaines ne seront pas soumis aux mêmes restrictions, que les IUT et les PACES ne rentrent pas dans les mêmes schémas d’enseignement. Tout ceci n’est pour l’heure que fiction, parmi tant d’autres : mais c’est en imaginant le plus de scénarios possibles, et surtout les plus critiques (le retour à la normale étant le scénario nécessitant le moins d’imagination), que l’on s’approchera d’une version possible de la réalité prochaine. Ceux de l’Éducation nationale et de l’ESR en tout cas se développent aujourd’hui, après trois semaines de confinement, dans le plus grand des secrets (sûrement pour ne pas nous « paniquer »). Blanquer annonce encore une rentrée en mai. On se demande vraiment comment.

    De mon côté, si je devais penser à une seule chose en septembre, c’est préparer des services en pensant d’ores et déjà aux cours qui pourraient passer à distance, et de se compiler fictivement des petits syllabus d’avance… juste au cas où. Car à l’heure actuelle, on ne voit pas comment une rentrée normale pourrait avoir lieu.

    Magali Nachtergael
    Maîtresse de conférences en littérature, arts et culture contemporaine
    Université Sorbonne Paris Nord
    Ancienne directrice du département de littérature
    Autrice de maquettes de licence et master

    [1] A ce stade, je ne fais pas de distinguo radical entre école et université, le concept de regrouper des gens dans des salles pendant plusieurs heures étant le même, avec des contraintes variées.

    [2] Pour l’instant les étudiants à l’étranger (1.2 – 1.4 millions) sont bloqués et ils seront avisés de leur possible retour dès que la situation le permettra. Leur situation inquiète beaucoup le gouvernement chinois, et la mobilité étudiante est un enjeu majeur de cette crise sanitaire.

    https://academia.hypotheses.org/22143
    #septembre_2020 #le_monde_d'après #éducation #confinement #rentrée_2020 #rentrée_universitaire

  • A settembre possibile riapertura anno scolastico con didattica a distanza. Azzolina conferma, “piano già pronto”

    Non è uno scenario fantascientifico quello di una apertura in modalità didattica a distanza per il 2020/21. Ci sarebbero tutti i sentori in quella “fase 2” dell’emergenza che potrebbe significare per le scuole ancora chiusura.
    In cosa consisterà la fase 2?

    Si tratta di un piano ancora da delineare nei dettagli, ma già qualche idea circola tra gli esperti. Si tratterà di una lenta riapertura delle attività e di ritorno alla normalità, ma durante la quale sarà necessario “convivere col virus”.

    Con molta probabilità, indossare mascherine e guanti sarà una regola. Ieri lo scienziato Burioni ha affermato che con le mascherine dovremo conviverci per un po’. Altra questione riguarderà le distanze, con le quali sarà necessario prendere confidenza durante una lunga “fase 2”.
    Fase 2 e scuola

    Di certo è che se l’emergenza dovesse perdurare le scuole sarebbero le prime imputate, non potendo garantire la sicurezza richiesta. Basti pensare alle aule che non consentono di certo una distanza di un mentre tra un alunno ed un altro o tra gli studenti e il docente, mentre il Ministro ha già affermato che non si tornerà in classe con le mascherine.

    L’unica soluzione è quindi quella della didattica a distanza, per la quale al Ministero si sta lavorando alacremente. Da un lato dando indicazioni ben precise sulla sua “esecuzione”, dall’altro trasformandola in un servizio da garantire per gli studenti (al meno secondo quanto contenuto nella bozza di decreto che probabilmente sarà varanto quest’oggi). Infine, fornendo aggiornamento e contenuti a scuole e docenti.
    Le parole del Ministro

    E’ stato lo stesso Ministro ad aver confermato la possibilità di un prosieguo della DaD in autunno, ieri, durante la trasmissione “Che tempo che fa”.

    “E’ previsto un piano per riprendere le scuole in modalità in distanza se si riproponesse il problema virus anche in autunno?” ha chiesto Fazio. “E’ uno degli scenari a cui stiamo pensando”, ha risposto Lucia Azzolina. “Penso al problema atavico alle classi pollaio in cui è difficile tenere il metro di distanza. Con lo staff del Ministero lavoreremo a tutti gli scenari”.

    Così, se da un lato il Ministro ha ribadito che le scuole non riapriranno se non ci sarà certezza per la salute e il virologo Burioni, ospite da Fazio, ha risposto che la scelta è politica, la scuola si prepara ad un autunno difficile.

    https://m.orizzontescuola.it/a-settembre-possibile-riapertura-anno-scolastico-con-didattica-a-distanza-azzolina-conferma-piano-gia-pronto/amp
    #éducation #écoles #coronavirus #confinement #continuité_pédagogique #le_monde_d'après #Italie

    Ajouté à cette métaliste sur le même sujet mais au niveau européen:
    https://seenthis.net/messages/839830

    #didactique

  • Contribuez à la #consultation du collectif #LeJourdAprès


    –-> 11 thèmes à discuter

    Thème 1 - "Le plus important, c’est la #santé !" : quel #système_de_santé demain ?

    Thème 2 - Métro, boulot, robot” : quel monde du #travail voulons-nous ?

    Thème 3 - “A consommer avec modération” : vers une société de la #sobriété ?

    Thème 4 - “Des liens plutôt que des biens” : comment retisser des #solidarités ?

    Thème 5 - “Éducation et #jeunesse” : comment construire une #société_apprenante ?

    Thème 6 - “L’homme face à la machine” : peut-on humaniser le #numérique ?

    Thème 7 - “Une #démocratie plus ouverte” : comment partager le #pouvoir ?

    Thème 8 - “L’avenir de nos #territoires” : quel nouveau contrat pour les renforcer et préserver leur diversité ?

    Thème 9 - L’Europe dans le monde” : comment recréer une #solidarité_européenne et internationale ?

    Thème 10 - “Notre richesse est invisible” : comment mieux évaluer le bien-commun ?

    Thème 11 - "Le nerf de la guerre" : quel financement & quel nouveau #partage_des_richesses ?

    https://lejourdapres.parlement-ouvert.fr
    #le_monde_d'après #futur #consommation #solidarité #éducation #solidarité_internationale #bien_commun #richesse #pauvreté

    • Autour de l’éducation, voici un commentaire reçu via la mailing-list Facs et labos en lutte, le 06.04.2020 :

      Je suis allé voir sur leur site (appelé judicieusement « #le_jour_d'après » pile une semaine après la #tribune appelant à un futur écologique féministe et social et signée par 18 organisations : une bonne façon de reprendre le nom et de mettre le flou (de façon voulue ou non je ne me prononcerai pas).

      Quand on regarde les sujets cela paraît intéressant, ça couvre plusieurs choses (sans questionner l’#extractivisme, le #colonialisme par exemple non plus, dont dépend pourtant le numérique).
      Mais quand on fouille dans chaque thème, on aperçoit déjà un sacré biais sur la vision du jour d’après de ces députés :

      thème sur le soin :
      « il est aussi évident que notre système de soins a montré des limites inquiétantes [...] manque d’investissement dans la recherche (comme par exemple en #intelligence_artificielle » ? Le lien coronavirus -> médical -> recherche -> #IA est à m’expliquer... drôle de vision de la recherche en tout cas... Très #LPPR compatible...

      Thème sur l’éducation :
      « La crise nous a montré que de nouvelles façons d’apprendre sont possibles et à encourager : continuité pédagogique en ligne, mobilisation sans précédent des #EdTech, industrialisation des #Moocs et de la formation continue en ligne, cours et astuces via les #réseaux_sociaux »
      Super nouvelle pour toute la start-up éducation, une belle vision de l’#apprentissage !

      Encore plus orientant, la plateforme ne s’arrête pas à une consultation mais propose des #ateliers. Il y en a 3 pour l’instant et le moins qu’on puisse dire c’est que ça laisse songeur...
      « le jour d’après sera numérique ou ne sera pas ».
      Pour l’atelier « leçons à tirer de la crise » c’est #Laurent_Berger secrétaire général de la CFDT (pour la retraite à point ne l’oublions pas) qui est invité.
      Belle #démocratie_participative où on invite toujours les mêmes...

      à mon sens on ne peut que rester sceptique et prudent quand on sait d’où viennent les députés de la tribune (#Cédric_Villani signataire est aussi auteur d’un des rapports de la LPPR)... Est-ce l’arrivée d’un #grand_débat_bis ? Encore une fameuse/fumeuse initiative de démocratie participative complètement biaisée d’avance ?
      En tout cas au vu de l’organisation ça semble être un sacré bulldozer et ça n’est pas le plus rassurant.

    • A mettre en regard des (encore trop gentilles) propositions d’Attac :

      4 mesures d’urgence
      – L’ arrêt immédiat des activités non indispensables pour faire face à l’épidémie.
      – Les réquisitions des établissements médicaux privés et des entreprises afin de produire dans l’urgence masques, respirateurs et tout le matériel nécessaire pour sauver des vies.
      – La suspension immédiate des versements de dividendes, rachats d’actions et bonus aux PDG.
      – La décision de ne pas utiliser les 750 milliards d’euros de la BCE pour alimenter les marchés financiers mais uniquement pour financer les besoins sociaux et écologiques des populations.

      Dès maintenant et à long terme
      Il ne s’agit pas ensuite de relancer une économie profondément insoutenable écologiquement et socialement ! Nous demandons que s’engagent sans plus attendre des politiques publiques de long terme pour ne plus jamais revivre ça :
      – Un plan de développement de tous les services publics, en France et dans le monde.
      – Une fiscalité bien plus juste et redistributive, un impôt sur les grandes fortunes, une taxe sur les transactions financières renforcée et une véritable lutte contre l’évasion fiscale.
      – Un plan de réorientation et de relocalisation solidaire de l’agriculture, de l’industrie et des services, pour les rendre plus justes socialement, en mesure de satisfaire les besoins essentiels des populations et de répondre à la crise écologique.

      https://france.attac.org

    • Ce truc du parlement ouvert, c’est pas des députés qui se font un supplément d’âme ?

      Quand on regarde les sujets cela paraît intéressant, ça couvre plusieurs choses (sans questionner l’#extractivisme, le #colonialisme par exemple non plus, dont dépend pourtant le numérique).

      Niet, le jour d’après qui nous revend du partage de la connaissance et du numérique à tire-larigot !

    • Je vois, je vois ... Et sinon, pour le hashtag que j’avais initié ici même, (en l’occurence « le jour d’après ») je me sens un peu con. Une idée pour un éventuel détournement de LEUR « jour d’après » ?

      {edit] :
      * idée n°1 : « La nuit d’après » ?
      * idée n°2 : « Le Grand-Soir d’après » ?
      * idée n°3 : « the mess after » ?

    • 58 parlementaires appellent les Français à construire le monde d’après

      Des parlementaires de différentes sensibilités politiques lancent un appel invitant les Français à imaginer un « grand plan de transformation de notre société » à l’issue de la crise épidémique. Une consultation est ouverte à partir de samedi et pour une durée d’un mois, pour recueillir les propositions.

      Construire ensemble le monde de l’après-crise, c’est l’ambition de 58 parlementaires de différentes sensibilités politiques, pour la plupart députés, qui lancent un appel en ce sens aux citoyens et aux forces vives du pays (voir ci-bas). Pour écrire « notre avenir commun », ils organisent, jusqu’au dimanche 3 mai, une grande consultation ouverte à tous.

      Chacun est invité à contribuer sur la plateforme en ligne lejourdapres.parlement-ouvert.fr ou à se prononcer sur un certain nombre de propositions avancées par les signataires de cet appel. Emmenés par Matthieu Orphelin (Libertés et Territoires), Aurélien Taché (LaREM) et Paula Fortezza (ex-LaREM), ils pensent qu’"il y aura un avant et un après coronavirus" qui nécessitera bien plus qu’un « simple plan de relance ». Ils plaident pour établir collectivement un « grand plan de transformation de notre société et de notre économie » et estiment qu’il « faudra réapprendre la sobriété, la solidarité et l’innovation ». Les députés à l’origine de cette initiative sont issus de plusieurs groupes de l’Assemblée nationale (La République en Marche, Libertés et Territoires, Mouvement démocrate, Socialistes et apparentés, UDI Agir et Indépendants, non-inscrits).

      Cette crise « a violemment révélé les failles et les limites de notre modèle de développement, entretenu depuis des dizaines d’années. Elle nous rappelle le sens de l’essentiel : notre souveraineté alimentaire, notre besoin de sécurité sanitaire européenne, notre production locale pour des emplois de proximité, le besoin de relever les défis environnementaux, de réapprendre à vivre en concordance avec la nature, de réinventer le lien social et le vivre-ensemble, de développer la solidarité internationale plutôt que de favoriser le repli sur soi » écrivent les parlementaires dans leur appel.
      Des propositions tous azimuts

      Pour alimenter la réflexion sur la société de demain, des ateliers participatifs, visionnables en ligne, avec de grands témoins comme Laurence Tubiana, Laurent Berger et Cynthia Fleury, seront également organisés.

      Onze thèmes sont soumis à la discussion : la santé, le travail, les solidarités, le bien commun, le numérique, les territoires, le partage des richesses, etc. Autant de sujets sur lesquels les parlementaires avancent déjà des propositions, parfois déjà entendues lors de débats à l’Assemblée nationale. Parmi ces propositions : une revalorisation de 200 euros nets mensuels pour les aides à domicile, aides-soignantes, infirmières et autres agents hospitaliers, une TVA réduite sur les biens de consommation issus de l’économie circulaire, une relocalisation de l’activité industrielle en France et en Europe, un renforcement de 5 milliards par an des investissements des collectivités territoriales dans la transition écologique, une taxation du kérosène sur les vols intérieurs, la création d’une réserve solidaire de bénévoles associatifs, la revalorisation des salaires et des carrières des enseignants pour la rentrée de septembre 2020, la création d’un revenu universel dès l’âge de 18 ans.

      Autres propositions : une augmentation du barème des droits de succession et de mutation, une plus grande progressivité de l’impôt, une révision du barème de la flat tax, l’ajout d’impôt sur les liquidités pour compléter l’impôt sur le fortune immobilière, le fléchage du cibler le crédit impôt recherche vers les entreprises qui relocalisent, la mise en place d’un green new deal européen, d’un plan de relance par l’investissement abondé par une taxation européenne sur les transactions financières et d’une taxe carbone aux frontières de l’Europe,

      « Une synthèse de la consultation sera rendue publique avant mi-mai », indique le texte de l’appel. Avec à la clé, ambitionnent les parlementaires à l’origine de cette initiative, un plan d’action politique à décliner en mesures législatives.

      http://www.lcp.fr/actualites/58-parlementaires-appellent-les-francais-construire-le-monde-dapres

  • Outbreaks like coronavirus start in and spread from the edges of cities

    Emerging infectious disease has much to do with how and where we live. The ongoing coronavirus is an example of the close relationships between urban development and new or re-emerging infectious diseases.

    Like the SARS pandemic of 2003, the connections between accelerated urbanization, more far-reaching and faster means of transportation, and less distance between urban life and non-human nature due to continued growth at the city’s outskirts — and subsequent trans-species infection — became immediately apparent.

    The new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, first crossed the animal-human divide at a market in Wuhan, one of the largest Chinese cities and a major transportation node with national and international connections. The sprawling megacity has since been the stage for the largest quarantine in human history, and its periphery has seen the pop-up construction of two hospitals to deal with infected patients.

    When the outbreak is halted and travel bans lifted, we still need to understand the conditions under which new infectious diseases emerge and spread through urbanization.
    No longer local

    Infectious disease outbreaks are global events. Increasingly, health and disease tend to be urban as they coincide with prolific urban growth and urban ways of life. The increased emergence of infectious diseases is to be expected.

    SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) hit global cities like Beijing, Hong Kong, Toronto and Singapore hard in 2003. COVID-19, the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, goes beyond select global financial centres and lays bare a global production and consumption network that sprawls across urban regions on several continents.

    To study the spread of disease today, we have to look beyond airports to the European automobile and parts industry that has taken root in central China; Chinese financed belt-and-road infrastructure across Asia, Europe and Africa; and in regional transportation hubs like Wuhan.

    While the current COVID-19 outbreak exposes China’s multiple economic connectivities, this phenomenon is not unique to that country. The recent outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for example, shone a light on the myriad strategic, economic and demographic relations of that country.
    New trade connections

    In January 2020, four workers were infected with SARS-CoV-2 during a training session at car parts company Webasto headquartered near Munich, revealing a connection with the company’s Chinese production site in Wuhan.

    The training was provided by a colleague from the Chinese branch of the firm who didn’t know she was infected. At the time of the training session in Bavaria, she did not feel sick and only fell ill on her flight back to Wuhan.

    First one, then three more colleagues who had participated in the training event in Germany, showed symptoms and soon were confirmed to have contracted the virus and infected other colleagues and family members.

    Eventually, Webasto and other German producers stopped fabrication in China temporarily, the German airline Lufthansa, like other airlines, cancelled all flights to that country and 110 individuals who had been contact traced to have been in touch with the four infected patients in Bavaria were advised by health officials to observe “domestic isolation” or “home quarantine.”

    This outbreak will likely be stopped. Until then, it will continue to cause human suffering and even death, and economic damage. The disease may further contribute to the unravelling of civility as the disease has been pinned to certain places or people. But when it’s over, the next such outbreak is waiting in the wings.
    Disease movements

    We need to understand the landscapes of emerging extended urbanization better if we want to predict, avoid and react to emerging disease outbreaks more efficiently.

    First, we need to grasp where disease outbreaks occur and how they relate to the physical, spatial, economic, social and ecological changes brought on by urbanization. Second, we need to learn more about how the newly emerging urban landscapes can themselves play a role in stemming potential outbreaks.

    Rapid urbanization enables the spread of infectious disease, with peripheral sites being particularly susceptible to disease vectors like mosquitoes or ticks and diseases that jump the animal-to-human species boundary.

    Our research identifies three dimensions of the relationships between extended urbanization and infectious disease that need better understanding: population change and mobility, infrastructure and governance.
    Travel and transport

    Population change and mobility are immediately connected. The coronavirus travelled from the periphery of Wuhan — where 1.6 million cars were produced last year — to a distant Bavarian suburb specializing in certain auto parts.

    Quarantined megacities and cruise ships demonstrate what happens when our globalized urban lives come grinding to a halt.

    Infrastructure is central: diseases can spread rapidly between cities through infrastructures of globalization such as global air travel networks. Airports are often located at the edges of urban areas, raising complex governance and jurisdictional issues with regards to who has responsibility to control disease outbreaks in large urban regions.

    We can also assume that disease outbreaks reinforce existing inequalities in access to and benefits from mobility infrastructures. These imbalances also influence the reactions to an outbreak. Disconnections that are revealed as rapid urban growth is not accompanied by the appropriate development of social and technical infrastructures add to the picture.

    Lastly, SARS-CoV-2 has exposed both the shortcomings and potential opportunities of governance at different levels. While it is awe-inspiring to see entire megacities quarantined, it is unlikely that such drastic measures would be accepted in countries not governed by centralized authoritarian leadership. But even in China, multilevel governance proved to be breaking down as local, regional and central government (and party) units were not sufficiently co-ordinated at the beginning of the crisis.

    This mirrored the intergovernmental confusion in Canada during SARS. As we enter another wave of megaurbanization, urban regions will need to develop efficient and innovative methods of confronting emerging infectious disease without relying on drastic top-down state measures that can be globally disruptive and often counter-productive. This may be especially relevant in fighting racism and intercultural conflict.

    The massive increase of the global urban population over the past few decades has increased exposure to diseases and posed new challenges to the control of outbreaks. Urban researchers need to explore these new relationships between urbanization and infectious disease. This will require an interdisciplinary approach that includes geographers, public health scientists, sociologists and others to develop possible solutions to prevent and mitigate future disease outbreaks.

    https://theconversation.com/outbreaks-like-coronavirus-start-in-and-spread-from-the-edges-of-ci
    #villes #urban_matter #géographie_urbaine #covid-19 #coronavirus #ressources_pédagogiques

    ping @reka

    • The Urbanization of COVID-19

      Three prominent urban researchers with a focus on infectious diseases explain why political responses to the current coronavirus outbreak require an understanding of urban dynamics. Looking back at the last coronavirus pandemic, the SARS outbreak in 2002/3, they highlight what affected cities have learned from that experience for handling the ongoing crisis. Exploring the political challenges of the current state of exception in Canada, Germany, Singapore and elsewhere, Creighton Connolly, Harris Ali and Roger Keil shed light on the practices of urban solidarity as the key to overcoming the public health threat.

      Guests:

      Creighton Connolly is a Senior Lecturer in Development Studies and the Global South in the School of Geography, University of Lincoln, UK. He researches urban political ecology, urban-environmental governance and processes of urbanization and urban redevelopment in Southeast Asia, with a focus on Malaysia and Singapore. He is editor of ‘Post-Politics and Civil Society in Asian Cities’ (Routledge 2019), and has published in a range of leading urban studies and geography journals. Previously, he worked as a researcher in the Asian Urbanisms research cluster at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore.

      Harris Ali is a Professor of Sociology, York University in Toronto. He researches issues in environmental sociology, environmental health and disasters including the social and political dimensions of infectious disease outbreaks. He is currently conducting research on the role of community-based initiatives in the Ebola response in Africa.

      Roger Keil is a Professor at the Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University in Toronto. He researches global suburbanization, urban political ecology, cities and infectious disease, and regional governance. Keil is the author of “Suburban Planet” (Polity 2018) and editor of “Suburban Constellations” (Jovis 2013). A co-founder of the International Network for Urban Research and Action (INURA), he was the inaugural director of the CITY Institute at York University and former co-editor of the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research.

      Referenced Literature:

      Ali, S. Harris, and Roger Keil, eds. 2011. Networked disease: emerging infections in the global city. Vol. 44. John Wiley & Sons.

      Keil, Roger, Creighton Connolly, and Harris S. Ali. 2020. “Outbreaks like coronavirus start in and spread from the edges of cities.” The Conversation, February 17. Available online here: https://theconversation.com/outbreaks-like-coronavirus-start-in-and-spread-from-the-edges-of-ci

      https://urbanpolitical.podigee.io/16-covid19

    • Extended urbanisation and the spatialities of infectious disease: Demographic change, infrastructure and governance

      Emerging infectious disease has much to do with how and where we live. The recent COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak is an example of the close relationships between urban development and new or re-emerging infectious diseases. Like the SARS pandemic of 2003, the connections between accelerated urbanisation, more expansive and faster means of transportation, and increasing proximity between urban life and non-human nature — and subsequent trans-species infections — became immediately apparent.

      Our Urban Studies paper contributes to this emerging conversation. Infectious disease outbreaks are now global events. Increasingly, health and disease tend to be urban as they coincide with the proliferation of planetary urbanisation and urban ways of life. The increased emergence of infectious diseases is to be expected in an era of extended urbanisation.

      We posit that we need to understand the landscapes of emerging extended urbanisation better if we want to predict, avoid and react to emerging disease outbreaks more efficiently. First, we need to grasp where disease outbreaks occur and how they relate to the physical, spatial, economic, social and ecological changes brought on by urbanisation. Second, we need to learn more about how the newly emerging urban landscapes can themselves play a role in stemming potential outbreaks. Rapid urbanisation enables the spread of infectious disease, with peripheral sites being particularly susceptible to disease vectors like mosquitoes or ticks and diseases that jump the animal-to-human species boundary.

      Our research identifies three dimensions of the relationships between extended urbanisation and infectious disease that need better understanding: population change and mobility, infrastructure and governance. Population change and mobility are immediately connected. Population growth in cities - driven primarily by rural-urban migration - is a major factor influencing the spread of disease. This is seen most clearly in rapidly urbanising regions such as Africa and Asia, which have experienced recent outbreaks of Ebola and SARS, respectively.

      Infrastructure is also central: diseases can spread rapidly between cities through infrastructures of globalisation such as global air travel networks. Airports are often located at the edges of urban areas, raising complex governance and jurisdictional issues with regards to who has responsibility to control disease outbreaks in large urban regions. We can also assume that disease outbreaks reinforce existing inequalities in access to and benefits from mobility infrastructures. We therefore need to consider the disconnections that become apparent as rapid demographic and peri-urban growth is not accompanied by appropriate infrastructure development.

      Lastly, the COVID-19 outbreak has exposed both the shortcomings and potential opportunities of governance at different levels. While it is awe-inspiring to see entire megacities quarantined, it is unlikely that such drastic measures would be accepted in countries not governed by centralised authoritarian leadership. But even in China, multilevel governance proved to be breaking down as local, regional and central government (and party) units were not sufficiently co-ordinated at the beginning of the crisis. This mirrored the intergovernmental confusion in Canada during SARS.

      As we enter another wave of megaurbanisation, urban regions will need to develop efficient and innovative methods of confronting emerging infectious disease without relying on drastic top-down state measures that can be globally disruptive and often ineffective. This urges upon urban researchers to seek new and better explanations for the relationships of extended urbanisation and the spatialities of infectious disease - an effort that will require an interdisciplinary approach including geographers, health scientists, sociologists.

      https://www.urbanstudiesonline.com/resources/resource/extended-urbanisation-and-the-spatialities-of-infectious-disease
      #géographie_de_la_santé #maladies_infectieuses

    • Cities after coronavirus: how Covid-19 could radically alter urban life

      Pandemics have always shaped cities – and from increased surveillance to ‘de-densification’ to new community activism, Covid-19 is doing it already.

      Victoria Embankment, which runs for a mile and a quarter along the River Thames, is many people’s idea of quintessential London. Some of the earliest postcards sent in Britain depicted its broad promenades and resplendent gardens. The Metropolitan Board of Works, which oversaw its construction, hailed it as an “appropriate, and appropriately civilised, cityscape for a prosperous commercial society”.

      But the embankment, now hardwired into our urban consciousness, is entirely the product of pandemic. Without a series of devastating global cholera outbreaks in the 19th century – including one in London in the early 1850s that claimed more than 10,000 lives – the need for a new, modern sewerage system may never have been identified. Joseph Bazalgette’s remarkable feat of civil engineering, which was designed to carry waste water safely downriver and away from drinking supplies, would never have materialised.

      From the Athens plague in 430BC, which drove profound changes in the city’s laws and identity, to the Black Death in the Middle Ages, which transformed the balance of class power in European societies, to the recent spate of Ebola epidemics across sub-Saharan Africa that illuminated the growing interconnectedness of today’s hyper-globalised cities, public health crises rarely fail to leave their mark on a metropolis.
      Coronavirus: the week explained - sign up for our email newsletter
      Read more

      As the world continues to fight the rapid spread of coronavirus, confining many people to their homes and radically altering the way we move through, work in and think about our cities, some are wondering which of these adjustments will endure beyond the end of the pandemic, and what life might look like on the other side.

      One of the most pressing questions that urban planners will face is the apparent tension between densification – the push towards cities becoming more concentrated, which is seen as essential to improving environmental sustainability – and disaggregation, the separating out of populations, which is one of the key tools currently being used to hold back infection transmission.

      “At the moment we are reducing density everywhere we can, and for good reason,” observes Richard Sennett, a professor of urban studies at MIT and senior adviser to the UN on its climate change and cities programme. “But on the whole density is a good thing: denser cities are more energy efficient. So I think in the long term there is going to be a conflict between the competing demands of public health and the climate.”

      Sennett believes that in the future there will be a renewed focus on finding design solutions for individual buildings and wider neighbourhoods that enable people to socialise without being packed “sardine-like” into compressed restaurants, bars and clubs – although, given the incredibly high cost of land in big cities like New York and Hong Kong, success here may depend on significant economic reforms as well.

      In recent years, although cities in the global south are continuing to grow as a result of inward rural migration, northern cities are trending in the opposite direction, with more affluent residents taking advantage of remote working capabilities and moving to smaller towns and countryside settlements offering cheaper property and a higher quality of life.

      The “declining cost of distance”, as Karen Harris, the managing director of Bain consultancy’s Macro Trends Group, calls it, is likely to accelerate as a result of the coronavirus crisis. More companies are establishing systems that enable staff to work from home, and more workers are getting accustomed to it. “These are habits that are likely to persist,” Harris says.

      The implications for big cities are immense. If proximity to one’s job is no longer a significant factor in deciding where to live, for example, then the appeal of the suburbs wanes; we could be heading towards a world in which existing city centres and far-flung “new villages” rise in prominence, while traditional commuter belts fade away.

      Another potential impact of coronavirus may be an intensification of digital infrastructure in our cities. South Korea, one of the countries worst-affected by the disease, has also posted some of the lowest mortality rates, an achievement that can be traced in part to a series of technological innovations – including, controversially, the mapping and publication of infected patients’ movements.

      In China, authorities have enlisted the help of tech firms such as Alibaba and Tencent to track the spread of Covid-19 and are using “big data” analysis to anticipate where transmission clusters will emerge next. If one of the government takeaways from coronavirus is that “smart cities” including Songdo or Shenzhen are safer cities from a public health perspective, then we can expect greater efforts to digitally capture and record our behaviour in urban areas – and fiercer debates over the power such surveillance hands to corporations and states.

      Indeed, the spectre of creeping authoritarianism – as emergency disaster measures become normalised, or even permanent – should be at the forefront of our minds, says Sennett. “If you go back through history and look at the regulations brought in to control cities at times of crisis, from the French revolution to 9/11 in the US, many of them took years or even centuries to unravel,” he says.

      At a time of heightened ethnonationalism on the global stage, in which rightwing populists have assumed elected office in many countries from Brazil to the US, Hungary and India, one consequence of coronavirus could be an entrenchment of exclusionary political narratives, calling for new borders to be placed around urban communities – overseen by leaders who have the legal and technological capacity, and the political will, to build them.

      In the past, after a widespread medical emergency, Jewish communities and other socially stigmatised groups such as those affected by leprosy have borne the brunt of public anger. References to the “China virus” by Donald Trump suggest such grim scapegoating is likely to be a feature of this pandemic’s aftermath as well.

      On the ground, however, the story of coronavirus in many global cities has so far been very different. After decades of increasing atomisation, particularly among younger urban residents for whom the impossible cost of housing has made life both precarious and transient, the sudden proliferation of mutual aid groups – designed to provide community support for the most vulnerable during isolation – has brought neighbours together across age groups and demographic divides. Social distancing has, ironically, drawn some of us closer than ever before. Whether such groups survive beyond the end of coronavirus to have a meaningful impact on our urban future depends, in part, on what sort of political lessons we learn from the crisis.

      The vulnerability of many fellow city dwellers – not just because of a temporary medical emergency but as an ongoing lived reality – has been thrown into sharp relief, from elderly people lacking sufficient social care to the low-paid and self-employed who have no financial buffer to fall back on, but upon whose work we all rely.

      A stronger sense of society as a collective whole, rather than an agglomeration of fragmented individuals, could lead to a long-term increase in public demands for more interventionist measures to protect citizens – a development that governments may find harder to resist given their readiness in the midst of coronavirus to override the primacy of markets.

      Private hospitals are already facing pressure to open up their beds without extra charge for those in need; in Los Angeles, homeless citizens have seized vacant homes, drawing support from some lawmakers. Will these kinds of sentiments dwindle with the passing of coronavirus, or will political support for urban policies that put community interests ahead of corporate ones – like a greater imposition of rent controls – endure?

      We don’t yet know the answer, but in the new and unpredictable connections swiftly being forged within our cities as a result of the pandemic, there is perhaps some cause for optimism. “You can’t ‘unknow’ people,” observes Harris, “and usually that’s a good thing.” Sennett thinks we are potentially seeing a fundamental shift in urban social relations. “City residents are becoming aware of desires that they didn’t realise they had before,” he says, “which is for more human contact, for links to people who are unlike themselves.” Whether that change in the nature of city living proves to be as lasting as Bazalgette’s sewer-pipe embankment remains, for now, to be seen.

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/26/life-after-coronavirus-pandemic-change-world
      #le_monde_d'après

    • Listening to the city in a global pandemic

      What’s the role of ‘academic experts’ in the debate about COVID-19 and cites, and how can we separate our expert role from our personal experience of being locked down in our cities and homes?

      This is a question we’ve certainly been struggling with at City Road, and we think it’s a question that a lot of academics are struggling with at the moment. Perhaps it’s a good time to listen to the experiences of academics as their cities change around them, rather than ask them to speak at us about their urban expertise. With this in mind, we asked academics from all over the world to open up the voice recorder on their phones and record a two minute report from the field about their city.

      Over 25 academics from all over the world responded. As you will hear, some of their recordings are not great quality, but their stories certainly are. Many of those who responded to our call are struggling , just like us, to make sense of their experience in the COVID-19 city.

      https://cityroadpod.org/2020/03/29/listening-to-the-city-in-a-global-pandemic

    • Ce que les épidémies nous disent sur la #mondialisation

      Bien que la première épidémie connue par une trace écrite n’ait eu lieu qu’en 430 avant J.-C. à Athènes, on dit souvent que les microbes, et les épidémies auxquels ils donnent lieu, sont aussi vieux que le monde. Mais le Monde est-il aussi vieux qu’on veutbien le dire ? Voici une des questions auxquelles l’étude des épidémies avec les sciences sociales permet d’apporter des éléments de réponse. Les épidémies ne sont pas réservées aux épidémiologistes et autres immunologistes. De grands géographes comme Peter Haggett ou Andrew Cliff ont déjà investi ce domaine, dans une optique focalisée sur les processus de diffusion spatiale. Il est possible d’aller au-delà de cette approche mécanique et d’appréhender les épidémies dans leurs interactions sociales. On verra ici qu’elles nous apprennent aussi beaucoup sur le Monde, sur l’organisation de l’espace mondial et sur la dimension sociétale du processus de mondialisation.

      http://cafe-geo.net/wp-content/uploads/epidemies-mondialisation.pdf
      #épidémie #globalisation

    • Città ai tempi del Covid

      Lo spazio pubblico urbano è uno spazio di relazioni, segnato dai corpi, dagli incontri, dalla casualità, da un ordine spontaneo che non può, se lo spazio è pubblico veramente, accettare altro che regole di buon senso e non di imposizione. È un palcoscenico per le vite di tutti noi, che le vogliamo in mostra o in disparte, protagonisti o comparse della commedia urbana e, come nella commedia, con un fondo di finzione ed un ombra di verità.
      Ma cosa accade se gli attori abbandonano la scena, se i corpi sono negati allo spazio? Come percepiamo quel che rimane a noi frequentabile di strade e piazze che normalmente percorriamo?

      Ho invitato gli studenti che negli anni hanno frequentato il seminario “Fotografia come strumento di indagine urbana”, ma non solo loro, ad inviarmi qualche immagine che documenta (e riflette su) spazio pubblico, città e loro stessi in questi giorni. Come qualcuno mi ha scritto sono immagini spesso letteralmente ‘rubate’, quasi sentendosi in colpa. Eppure documentare e riflettere è un’attività tanto più essenziale quanto la criticità si prolunga e tocca la vita di tutti noi.

      Appunti di viaggio – Iacopo Zetti Ho avuto modo, per una serie di evenienze, di attraversare Firenze di mattina e di sera. Aspettavo il silenzio ed infatti l’ho ascoltato. Il silenzio non è quello dei luoghi extraurbani. ...
      Inferriata – Eni Nurihana L’inferriata de balcone ricorda sempre di più le sbarre carcerarie 23 marzo 2020, 15:11
      Situazioni di necessità – Chiara Zavattaro Le strade della zona di Sant’Ambrogio a Firenze
      Ora d’aria – Antonella Zola Ho avuto la possibilità di scattare queste foto dopo 10 giorni di quarantena completa, in cui ho rinunciato a qualunque contatto con il mondo esterno. Alla fine sono dovuta uscire ...
      Firenze – Agnese Turchi Firenze - Agnese Turchi
      Nostalgia di Silenzi – Gabriele Pierini
      Il recinto – Laura Panichi In un libro che ho letto in questo periodo di “reclusione”, Haruki Murakami dice che quando si prova ad uscire da una gabbia alla fine si finisce sempre per trovarci ...
      Spazio solidale – Jacopo Lorenzini
      Castagneto Carducci – Cristian Farina Chissà se dall’alto qualcuno si è accorto che ci siamo fermati solo per un attimo Da lontano si scorgano i monumenti fermi nel tempo, quasi come noi, fermi nello spazio
      Firenze, mercoledì 18/03/20 ore 15.30 circa – Leonardo Ceccarelli Firenze, mercoledì 18/03/20 ore 15.30 circa - Leonardo Ceccarelli
      Firenze, marzo 2020 – Giulia D’Ercole Firenze, marzo 2020 - Giulia D’Ercole
      Feriale d’altri tempi – Dario Albamonte La mia fortuna è quella di vivere in campagna e di potermi muovere liberamente e avere molto spazio a disposizione senza varcare i confini di casa mia. Quello che mi ...
      L’architettura è fatta di mattoni e PERSONE – Laura Pagnotelli L’architettura è fatta di mattoni e PERSONE. Esse sono il fine ultimo del costruire, del dare vita a spazi sempre nuovi. Senza la loro presenza, dell’architettura non resta che una scatola vuota, priva ...
      Il traffico di Firenze – Veronica Capecchi Il Traffico di Firenze, oggi è scomparso, e lascia intravedere la città, profondamente diversa e silenziosa. Una città che è sempre viva, oggi priva della sua vitalità, dei suoi rumori, una ...
      Dalla finestra – Lucio Fiorentino Ho sentito dei rumori nella strada sotto la mia finestra e ho immaginato l’atmosfera scura di un film di Bergman, (goffamente) ho cercato di riprodurla Nel palazzo di fronte alla mia ...
      Livorno, 28 marzo – Giulia Bandini Luoghi affollati di ricordi vie trafficate di emozioni ormai vinte dal tempo ma vive nella mente di chi sa sperare forte
      Sesto Fiorentino: la piana senza smog – Alice Giordano Sesto Fiorentino: la piana senza smog - Alice Giordano
      Lari e Pontedera – Silvia Princi Ritorno alle origini – Perignano di Lari (Pi), 23 marzo 2020 La semina del trattore, rappresenta uno dei pochi segni di vitalità umana e meccanica,in questo periodo di quarantena e di ...
      A distanza sociale nel parco: Zurigo – Philipp Klaus A distanza sociale nel parco: Zurigo - Philipp Klaus
      Galleggiare in un mondo irreale – Alessio Prandin

      http://controgeografie.net/controgeografie/citta-ai-tempi-del-covid

    • Coronavirus Was Slow to Spread to Rural America. Not Anymore.

      Grace Rhodes was getting worried last month as she watched the coronavirus tear through New York and Chicago. But her 8,000-person hometown in Southern Illinois still had no reported cases, and her boss at her pharmacy job assured her: “It’ll never get here.”

      Now it has. A new wave of coronavirus cases is spreading deep into rural corners of the country where people once hoped their communities might be shielded because of their isolation from hard-hit urban centers and the natural social distancing of life in the countryside.

      The coronavirus has officially reached more than two-thirds of the country’s rural counties, with one in 10 reporting at least one death. Doctors and elected officials are warning that a late-arriving wave of illness could overwhelm rural communities that are older, poorer and sicker than much of the country, and already dangerously short on medical help.

      “Everybody never really thought it would get to us,” said Ms. Rhodes, 18, who is studying to become a nurse. “A lot of people are in denial.”

      With 42 states now urging people to stay at home, the last holdouts are the Republican governors of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa and Arkansas. Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota has suggested that the stricter measures violated personal liberties, and she said her state’s rural character made it better positioned to handle the outbreak.

      “South Dakota is not New York City,” Ms. Noem said at a news conference last week.

      But many rural doctors, leaders and health experts worry that is exactly where their communities are heading, and that they will have fewer hospital beds, ventilators and nurses to handle the onslaught.

      “We’re behind the curve in rural America,” said Senator Jon Tester, Democrat of Montana, who said his state needs hundreds of thousands of masks, visors and gowns. “If they don’t have the protective equipment and somebody goes down and gets sick, that could close the hospital.”

      Rural nurses and doctors, scarce in normal times, are already calling out sick and being quarantined. Clinics are scrambling to find couriers who can speed their coronavirus tests to labs hundreds of miles away. The loss of 120 rural hospitals over the past decade has left many towns defenseless, and more hospitals are closing even as the pandemic spreads.

      Coronavirus illnesses and deaths are still overwhelmingly concentrated in cities and suburbs, and new rural cases have not exploded at the same rate as in some cities. But they are growing fast. This week, the case rate in rural areas was more than double what it was six days earlier.

      Deaths are being reported in small farming and manufacturing towns that barely had a confirmed case a week ago. Fourteen infections have been reported in the county encompassing Ms. Rhodes’s southern Illinois hometown of Murphysboro, and she recently quarantined with her parents, who are nurses, as a precaution after they got sick.

      Rich ski towns like Sun Valley, Idaho, and Vail, Colo., have some of the highest infection rates in the country, and are discouraging visitors and second homeowners from seeking refuge in the mountains. Indian reservations, which grapple daily with high poverty and inadequate medical services, are now confronting soaring numbers of cases.

      In some places, the virus has rushed in so suddenly that even leaders are falling ill. In the tiny county of Early in southwest Georgia, five people have died. And the mayor and the police chief of the county seat, Blakely, are among the county’s 92 confirmed cases. It has been a shock for the rural county of fewer than 11,000 people.

      “Being from a small town, you think it’s not going to touch us,” Blakely’s assistant police chief, Tonya Tinsley, said. “We are so small and tucked away. You have a perception that it’s in bigger cities.”

      That is all gone now.

      “You say, wait a minute, I know them!” she said. “It’s, like, oh my God, I knew them. I used to talk to them. I knew their family. Their kids. It’s a blow to the community each time.”

      Even a single local case has been enough to jolt some people out of the complacency of the earliest days of the virus, when President Trump spent weeks playing down the threat and many conservative leaders brushed it aside as politically driven hysteria.

      In Letcher County, Ky., which got its first case on Sunday, waiting for the disease to arrive has been unnerving. Brian Bowan, 48, likes the daily briefings by Gov. Andy Beshear, a Democrat, and he is glad for the governor’s relatively early actions to close nonessential businesses. Without them, Mr. Bowan said, “we could have a really bad pandemic. We could be like California or New York.”

      In Mississippi, a mostly rural state, the virus had spread to nearly every county by April, with more than 1,000 cases and nearly two dozen deaths reported, causing health care workers to wonder, nervously, when the governor would issue a stay-at-home order. Last week, he finally did, and doctors at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson breathed a sigh of relief.

      “There was this chatter today at the medical center, people saying ‘Oh thank goodness — we need this to get people to realize how serious this is,’ ” said Dr. LouAnn Woodward, the hospital’s top executive.

      While Americans are still divided on whether they approve of how Mr. Trump has handled the crisis, the virus is uniting nearly everyone in the country with worry — urban and rural, liberal and conservative. More than 90 percent of Americans said the virus posed a threat to the country’s economy and public health, according to a Pew Research Center poll conducted from March 19 to March 24.

      “Some of the petty things that would be in the news and on social media before have sort of fallen away,” said David Graybeal, a Methodist pastor in Athens, Tenn. “There’s a sense that we are really in this together. Now it’s, ‘How can we pull through this and support one another in this social distancing?’ ”

      In Mangum, Okla., a town of 6,000 in the western part of the state, it all started with a visit. A pastor from Tulsa appeared at a local church, but got sick shortly thereafter and became the state’s first Covid-19 fatality.

      Then somebody at the local church started to feel unwell — a person who eventually tested positive for coronavirus.

      “Then it was just a matter of time,” said Mangum’s mayor, Mary Jane Scott. Before realizing they were infected, several people who eventually tested positive for the virus had moved about widely through the city, including to the local nursing home, which now has a cluster of cases.

      Over all in the town, there are now three deaths and 26 residents who have tested positive for the coronavirus — one of the highest infection rates in rural America.

      “You’d think in rural Oklahoma, that we all live so far apart, but there’s one place where people congregate, and that’s at the nursing home,” she said. “I thought I was safe here in Southwest Oklahoma, I didn’t think there would be a big issue with it, and all of a sudden, bam.”

      Mangum now has an emergency shelter-in-place order and a curfew — just like larger towns and cities around the United States.

      Just as New Yorkers have gotten accustomed to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s daily televised briefings, residents of Mangum have turned to the mayor’s Facebook page, where she livecasts status updates and advisories. On Monday night, it was the recommendation that residents use curbside pickup when going to Walmart, a broadcast that garnered more than 1,000 views in the hour after she posted it.

      “Since we have no newspaper, it’s the only way I know to get the word out,” she told viewers, after inviting them to contact her personally with any questions or concerns.

      She also has encouraged residents to step out onto their lawns each night at 7 p.m. where she leads them in a chorus of “God Bless America.”

      The virus has complicated huge swaths of rural life. Darvin Bentlage, a Missouri rancher, says he is having trouble selling his cattle because auctions have been canceled. In areas without reliable internet access, adults are struggling to work remotely and children are having to get assignments and school updates delivered to their door.

      Rural health providers are also challenged. A clinic in Stockton, Kan., turned to a local veterinarian for a supply of masks and gowns. One rural hospital in Lexington, Neb., was recently down to its last 500 swabs. Another in Batesville, Ind., was having its staff members store their used masks in plastic baggies in case they had to sterilize and reuse them. In Georgia, a peanut manufacturer in Blakely donated a washer and dryer to the local hospital for its handmade masks and gowns.

      The financial strain of gearing up to fight the coronavirus has put much pressure on cash-strapped rural hospitals. Many have canceled all non-emergency care like the colonoscopies, minor surgeries and physical therapy sessions that are a critical source of income.

      Last month, one hospital in West Virginia and another in Kansas shut their doors altogether.

      “It’s just absolutely crazy,” said Michael Caputo, a state delegate in Fairmont, W.Va., where the Fairmont Regional Medical Center, the only hospital in the county, closed in mid-March. “Across the country, they’re turning hotels and sports complexes into temporary hospitals. And here we’ve got a hospital where the doors are shut.”

      For now, there is an ambulance posted outside the emergency room, in case sick people show up looking for help.

      Michael Angelucci, a state delegate and the administrator of the Marion County Rescue Squad, said the hospital’s closure during the pandemic is already being felt.

      On March 23, emergency medics were called to take an 88-year-old woman with the coronavirus to the hospital, Mr. Angelucci said. Instead of making a quick drive to Fairmont Regional, about two minutes away, Mr. Angelucci said that the medics had to drive to the next-nearest hospital, about 25 minutes away. A few days later, she became West Virginia’s first reported coronavirus death.

      https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/04/08/us/coronavirus-rural-america-cases.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgty
      #cartographie #visualisation

    • Coronavirus in the city: A Q&A on the catastrophe confronting the urban poor

      ‘While all populations are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, not all populations are affected equally.’

      Health systems in the world’s megacities and crowded urban settlements are about to be put under enormous strain as the new coronavirus takes hold, with the estimated 1.2 billion people who live in informal slums and shanty-towns at particular risk.

      To understand more about the crisis confronting the urban poor, The New Humanitarian interviewed Robert Muggah, principal of The SecDev Group and co-founder of the Igarapé Institute, a think tank focused on urban innovation that has worked with the World Health Organisation to map pandemic threats and is supporting governments, businesses, and civil society groups to improve COVID-19 detection, response, and recovery.

      What has so far been a public healthcare crisis in mostly wealthier cities in East Asia, Europe, and the United States appears likely to become an even graver disaster for countries with far less resources in Latin America, Africa, and South Asia.

      Cities from Lagos to Mumbai to Rio de Janeiro have started locking down, but for residents of crowded slums the unenviable choice is often between a greater risk of catching and spreading disease or the certainty of hunger. Social distancing, self-isolation – handwashing even – are impossible luxuries.

      This interview, conducted by email on 29-30 March, has been edited for length and clarity.
      TNH: A lot has been made about the risks of coronavirus in crowded refugee and displacement camps – from Greece to Idlib. Do you feel the urban poor have been a little neglected?

      Robert Muggah: While all populations are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, not all populations are affected equally. Lower-income households and elderly individuals with underlying health conditions are particularly at-risk. Among the most vulnerable categories are the homeless, migrants, refugees, and displaced people. In some US cities, for example, undocumented migrants are fearful of being tested or going to the hospital for fear of forcible detainment, separation from their families, and deportation. In densely populated informal settlements and displaced person camps, there is a higher likelihood of infection because of the difficulties of social distancing. The limited testing, detection, isolation, and hospitalisation capacities in these settings mean we can expect a much higher rate of direct and excess mortality. The implications are deeply worrying.

      The COVID-19 pandemic is a totalising event – affecting virtually every country, city and neighbourhood on the planet. It is also laying open the social and economic fault lines in our urban spaces. Predictably, many governments, businesses, and societies are looking inward, seeking to shore up their own health capacities and provide for their populations through aid and assistance. Yet the virus is revealing the extent of economic and social inequalities within many countries, including among OECD members. In the process, it is exposing the deficiencies of the social contract and the ways in which certain people – especially the elderly, poor, homeless, displaced – are systematically at-risk. While media attention is growing, there is comparatively limited investment in protecting refugees and displaced people facing infectious disease outbreaks. As public awareness of the sheer scale of infection, hospitalisation, and case fatalities becomes clearer in lower- and middle-income settings, we can expect this to change; at which point it may be too late.
      TNH: Can you give us a sense of the scale of the problem in the world’s megacities and slums, where social distancing and self-isolation are a fantasy for many?

      Muggah: According to the UN, there are about 33 megacities with 10 million or more people. There are another 48 cities with between five and 10 million. Compare this to the 1950s when there were just three megacities. Most of these massive cities are located in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Many of them are characterised by a concentrated metropolitan core and a sprawling periphery of informal settlements, including shanty-towns, slums, and favelas. Roughly 1.2 billion people live in densely packed informal settlements characterised by poor quality housing, limited basic services, and poor sanitation. While suffering from stigmas, these settlements tend to be a critical supply of labour for cities, an unsatisfactory answer to the crisis in housing availability and affordability. A challenge now facing large cities is that, owing to years of neglect, informal settlements are essentially “off the grid”, and as such, difficult to monitor and service.

      There are many reasons why large densely populated slums are hotbeds for the COVID-19 pandemic and other infectious disease outbreaks. In many cases, there are multiple households crammed into tiny tenements making social distancing virtually impossible. In Dharavi, Mumbai’s largest slum, there are 850,000 people per square mile. Most inhabitants of informal settlements lack access to medical and health services, making it difficult to track cases and isolate people who are infected. A majority of the people living in these areas depend on the services and informal economies, including jobs, that are most vulnerable to termination when cities are shut down and the economy begins to slow. Strictly enforced isolation won’t just lead to diminished quality of life, it will result in starvation. A large proportion of residents also frequently suffer from chronic illnesses – including respiratory infections, cancer, diabetes, and obesity – increasing susceptibility to COVID-19. These comorbidities will contribute to soaring excess deaths.

      All of these challenges are compounded by the systemic neglect and stigmatisation of these communities by the political and economic elite. Violence has already erupted in Ethiopia, Kenya, India, Liberia, and South Africa as police enforce quarantines. In Brazil, drug trafficking organisations and militia groups are enforcing social distancing and self isolation in lieu of the state authorities. In Australia, Europe, and the United States, racist and xenophobic incidents spiked against people of Asian descent. There is a real risk that governments ramp up hardline tactics and repression against marginalised populations, especially those living in lower-income communities, shanty-towns, and refugee and displaced person camps.
      TNH: How seriously were international aid agencies and other humanitarian actors taking calls to scale up urban preparedness and response before this pandemic, and to what extent is COVID-19 a wake-up call?

      Muggah: The global humanitarian aid sector was aware of the threat of a global pandemic. For more than a decade the WHO, several university and research centres, and organisations such as the CDC, the Wellcome Trust, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have publicly warned about the catastrophic risks of pandemic outbreaks. The international community experienced a series of jolting wake-up calls with SARS, H1N1, Ebola, and other major epidemics over the past 20 years, though these were typically confined to specific regions and were generally rapidly contained. Although fears of potential outbreaks emerging from China were widely acknowledged, the sheer speed and scale of COVID-19 seems to have caught most governments, and the aid community, by surprise.

      With notable exceptions such as Singapore or Taiwan, there has not been major investment in preparing cities for dealing with pandemics, however. Most attention has been focused on national capacities, and less on the specific capabilities of urban governments, health and social safety-net services. Together with Georgetown University’s Center for Health Sciences and Security, the Igarape Institute highlighted the importance of networks of mayors to share information and strategies in 2018. This call was highlighted by the Global Parliament of Mayors in 2018 and 2019. Starting in March 2020, the Bloomberg Foundation established a mayors network focusing on pandemic preparedness in the US. The Mayors Migration Council, World Economic Forum, and UN-Habitat are also looking to ramp up assistance to cities. What is also needed are systems to support mayors, city managers, and health providers in lower- and middle-income countries.
      TNH: Part of the problem is that cities are unfamiliar territory for humanitarian responders, with many new actors to deal with, from local governments to gangs. What relationships and skill sets do they need to cultivate?

      Muggah: Well before the COVID-19 pandemic, many humanitarian agencies were already refocusing some of their operations toward urban settings. International organisations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, Médecins Sans Frontières, and Oxfam set up policies and procedures for engaging in cities. There is a growing recognition across the relief and development sectors of the influence and impacts of urbanisation on their operations and beneficiary populations. This is more radical than it sounds. For at least half a century, most aid work was predominantly rural-focused. This was not surprising since most people in developing countries lived in rural or semi-rural areas. This has changed dramatically, however, with more than half of the world’s population now living in cities. Over the next 30 years, roughly 90 percent of all urbanisation will be occurring in lower- and middle-income countries – predominantly in Africa and Asia. The aid community only started to recognise these trends relatively recently.

      Working in urban settings requires changes in how many international and national aid agencies operate. For one, it often depends less on direct than indirect delivery, working in partnership with municipal service providers. It also requires less visible branding and marketing strategies, shoring up the legitimacy of public and non-governmental providers with less focus on the contribution of relief agencies. In some cases, aid agencies are also required to work with, or alongside, non-state providers, including armed groups. For example, in some Brazilian, Colombian, and Mexican cities organised crime and self-defence groups are engaged in social service provision, raising complex questions for aid providers about whether and how to support vulnerable communities. Similar challenges confronted aid agencies working to provide relief in Ebola-stricken villages in eastern DRC.

      A diverse range of skill sets is required to navigate support to cities affected by epidemics, including COVID-19. Some cities may need accounting assistance and expertise in budgeting to help them rapidly procure essential services. Other cities may require epidemiological and engineering capabilities to help develop rapid detection and surveillance, as well as “surge” capacity including emergency hospitals, clinics, and treatment centres. A robust communications and public outreach strategy is essential, particularly since uncertainty can contribute to social unease and even disorder. Moreover, rapid resource injections to help cities provide safety nets to the most vulnerable populations are critical, particularly as existing resources will be redirected to shoring up critical infrastructure and recurrent expenses will be difficult to cover owing to reduced tax revenue.

      TNH: Name three things aid agencies need to do quickly to get to grips with this?

      Muggah: There are a vast array of priorities for aid agencies in the context of pandemics. At a minimum, they must rapidly coordinate with public, private, and non-governmental partners to ensure they are effectively contributing rather than creating redundancy or unintentionally undermining local responses. Humanitarian organisations must also act rapidly, especially in the face of an exponential crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Agencies cannot let perfection be the enemy of the good, and focus on delivering with speed and efficiency, albeit while being mindful of the coordination challenges above. Aid agencies must also be attentive to the health, safety, and wellbeing of their own personnel and partners – they must avoid at all costs becoming a burden to hospital systems that are already overwhelmed by the crisis.

      The first thing aid agencies can do is reach out to frontline cities and assess basic needs and their organizational potential to contribute. A range of priorities are likely, including the importance of ensuring there are adequate tests kits and testing capacities, sufficient trained health professionals, medical supplies (including ICU and ventilation capacities), and related equipment for frontline workers. Providing supplementary capacity as needed is essential. Consider that in South Sudan there are believed to be just two ventilators, and in Liberia there are reportedly only three. Other critical priorities are ensuring the integrity of the local food supply and attention to critical infrastructure. This may involve deploying a surveillance system for monitoring critical supplies, providing supplementary cash and food assistance without disrupting local prices, and ensuring a capability to rapidly address distribution disruption as they arise. Aid agencies can also help leverage resources to settings that are neglected, helping mobilise funds and/or in-kind support for over-taxed public services.
      TNH: Cities like Singapore and Taipei, Hangzhou in China – to an extent Seoul – have had some success in containing COVID-19. What can other cities learn from their approaches?

      Muggah: Cities that are open, transparent, collaborative, and adopt comprehensive responses tend to be better equipped to manage infectious disease outbreaks than those that are not. While still too early to declare a success, the early response of South Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan to the COVID-19 pandemic stands out. Both Taipei and Singapore applied the lessons from past pandemics and had the investigative capacities, testing and detection services, health systems and, importantly, the right kind of leadership in place to rapidly take decisive action. They were able to flatten the pandemic curve through early detection thus keeping their health systems from becoming rapidly overwhelmed.

      Not surprisingly, cities that have robust governance and health infrastructure in place are in a better position to manage pandemics and lower case fatality rates (CFR) and excess mortality than those that do not. Adopting a combination of proactive surveillance, routine communication, rapid isolation, and personal and community protection (e.g. social distancing) measures is critical. Many of these very same measures were adopted by the Chinese city of Hangzhou within days of the discovery of the virus. Likewise, the number, quality, and accessibility (and surge capacity) of hospitals, internal care units, hospital beds, IV solution and respirators can determine whether a city effectively manages a pandemic, or not. The SecDev Group is exploring the development of an urban pandemic preparedness index to help assess health capacities as well as social and economic determinants of health. A digital tool that provides rapid insights on vulnerabilities will be key not just to planning for the current pandemic, but also the next one.
      TNH: You’ve spoken in the past about the need to develop a pandemic preparedness index. INFORM has one and Georgetown Uni has a health security assessment tool. Are these useful? What is missing?

      Muggah: The extent of a city’s preparedness depends on its capacity to prevent, detect, respond, and care for patients. This means having action plans, staff, and budgets in place for rapid response. It also requires having access to laboratories to test for infectious disease and real-time monitoring and reporting of infectious clusters as they occur. The ability to communicate and implement emergency response plans is also essential, as is the availability, quality and accessibility of hospitals, clinics, care facilities, and essential equipment.

      To this end, the Center for Global Health Science and Security at Georgetown University has created an evaluation tool – the Rapid Urban Health Security Assessment (RUHSA) – as a resource for assessing local-level public health preparedness and response capacities. The RUHSA draws from multiple guidance and evaluation tools. It was designed precisely to help city decision-makers prioritise, strengthen, and deploy strategies that promote urban health security. These kinds of platforms need to be scaled, and quickly.

      There is widespread recognition that a preparedness index would be useful. In November of 2019, the Global Parliament of Mayors issued a call for such a platform. It called for funding from national governments to develop crucial public health capacities and to develop networks to disseminate trusted information. The mayors also committed to achieving at least 80 percent vaccination coverage, reducing the spread of misinformation, improving health literacy, and sharing information on how to prevent and reduce the spread of infectious disease. A recent article published with Rebecca Katz provides some insights into what this might look like.
      TNH: All cities are not equal in this. Without a global rundown, do you have particular concerns for certain places – because they are transmission hubs that might be hit worse, or due to existing insecurity and instability?

      Cities are vulnerable both to the direct and indirect effects of COVID-19. For example, cities with a higher proportion of elderly and inter-generational mingling are especially at risk of higher infection, hospitalisation, and case fatality rates. This explains why the pandemic has been so destructive in certain Italian, Spanish, and certain US cities in Florida and New York where there is a higher proportion of elderly and frequent travel and interaction between older and younger populations. By contrast, early detection, prevention, and containment measures such as those undertaken in Japanese, South Korean, and Taiwanese cities helped flatten the curve. Yet even when health services have been overwhelmed in wealthier cities, they tend to have more capable governments and more extensive safety nets and supply chains to lessen the secondary effects on the economy and market.

      Many cities in Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and Latin America are facing much greater direct and indirect threats from the COVID-19 pandemic than their counterparts in North America, Western Europe, or East Asia. Among the most at-risk are large and secondary cities in fragile and conflict-affected countries such as Afghanistan, Colombia, DRC, Iraq, Myanmar, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, and Venezuela. There, health surveillance and treatment capacities are already overburdened and under-resourced. While the populations tend to be younger, many are facing households that are already under- or malnourished and the danger of comorbidity is significant. Consider the case of Uganda, which has one ICU bed for every one million people (compared to the United States, which has one ICU bed for every 2,800 people). Specific categories of people – especially those living in protracted refugee or internal displacement camps – are among the most vulnerable. There are also major risks in large densely populated cities and slums such as Lagos, Dhaka, Jakarta, Karachi, Kolkata, Manila, Nairobi, or Rio de Janeiro where the secondary effects, including price shocks and repressive police responses, as well as explosive protests from jails, could lead to social and political unrest.
      TNH: The coronavirus itself is the immediate risk, but what greater risks do you see coming down the track for poorer people in urban settings?

      Muggah: The most significant threat of the COVID-19 pandemic may not be from the mortality and morbidity from infections, but the political and economic fallout from the crisis. While not as infectious or lethal as other diseases, the virus is obviously devastating for population health. It is not just people dying from respiratory illnesses and organ failures linked to the virus, but also the excess deaths from people who are unable to access treatment and care for existing diseases. We can expect several times more excess deaths than the actual caseload of people killed by the coronavirus itself. The lost economic productivity from these premature deaths and the associated toll on health systems and care-givers will be immense.

      “The most significant threat of the COVID-19 pandemic may not be from the mortality and morbidity from infections, but the political and economic fallout from the crisis.”

      COVID-19 is affecting urban populations in different ways and at different speeds. The most hard-hit groups are the urban poor, undocumented migrants, and displaced people who lack basic protections such as regular income or healthcare. Many of these people are already living in public or informal housing in under-serviced neighbourhoods experiencing concentrated disadvantage. The middle class will also experience severe impacts as the service economy grinds to a halt, schools and other services are shuttered, and mobility is constrained. Wealthier residents can more easily self-isolate either in cities or outside of them, and usually have greater access to private health alternatives. But all populations will face vulnerabilities if critical infrastructure – including health, electricity, water, and sanitation services – start to fail. Cut-backs in service provision will generate first discomfort and then outright protest.

      Most dangerous of all is the impact of COVID-19 on political and economic stability. The pandemic is generating both supply and demand shocks that are devastating for producers, retailers, and consumers. Wealthier governments will step in to enact quantitative easing and basic income where they can, but many will lack the resources to do so. As income declines and supply chains dry up, panic, unrest, and instability are real possibilities. The extent of these risks depend on how long the pandemic endures and when vaccinations or effective antivirals are developed and distributed. Governments are reluctant to tell their populations about the likely duration, not just because of uncertainties, but because the truth could provoke civil disturbance. These risks are compounded by the fact that many societies already exhibit a low level of trust and confidence in their governments.

      https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/interview/2020/04/01/coronavirus-cities-urban-poor

    • Les enjeux économiques de la #résilience_urbaine

      La notion de #résilience pour qualifier la capacité d’une ville à affronter un #choc, y compris économique, n’est pas nouvelle, mais elle revêt, en pleine crise du coronavirus, une dimension toute particulière.

      Les villes, en tant que #systèmes_urbains, ont toujours été au cœur des bouleversements que les sociétés ont connus. Pour autant, les fondements du paradigme économique qui gouverne les villes sont restés les mêmes. L’essor des capacités productives exportatrices et l’accroissement des valeurs ajoutées guident encore l’action locale en matière d’#économie.
      Corollaire d’un monde globalisé qui atteint ses limites, la crise sanitaire ébranle ces fondamentaux et en demande une révision profonde. Ainsi, au cœur de la crise, les ambitions de #relocalisation_industrielle, de #souveraineté_économique, d’#autonomie_alimentaire semblent avoir remplacé (au moins temporairement) celles liées à la #croissance et à la #compétitivité.

      https://www.pug.fr/produit/1798/9782706148668/les-enjeux-economiques-de-la-resilience-urbaine
      #livre #Magali_Talandier

  • Bio-austerity and Solidarity in the Covid-19 Space of Emergency

    #Bioterity is not found only in the intimate biology of the self, and in one’s own essential incapacity to deal with these dynamics of genetics and infection, but also in the circulatory regimes between those intimacies and other wider ecologies.

    Episode 1: https://www.societyandspace.org/articles/bio-austerity-and-solidarity-in-the-covid-19-space-of-emergency
    Episode 2: https://www.societyandspace.org/articles/bio-austerity-and-solidarity-in-the-covid-19-space-of-emergency-epi

    #austérité #bio-austérité #coronavirus #le_monde_d'après #biotérité (?) #bio-austérité #infections #génétique

  • #Immunity_passports' could speed up return to work after Covid-19

    “Immunity passports” for key workers could be a way of getting people who have had coronavirus back into the workforce more quickly, scientists and politicians in the UK have suggested.

    Researchers in Germany are currently preparing a mass study into how many people are already immune to the Covid-19 virus, allowing authorities to eventually issue passes to exclude workers from restrictive measures currently in place.

    The study, which is yet to finalise funding, would involve testing the blood of more than 100,000 volunteers for coronavirus antibodies from mid-April. The test would then be repeated at regular intervals on an accumulatively larger sample of the population, to track the pandemic’s progress.

    The shadow health secretary, Jonathan Ashworth, said: “Germany appears to be leading the way in the testing and we have much to learn from their approach. I’ve repeatedly called for more testing and contact tracing in the UK, and we should be looking at initiatives like this closely.”
    Coronavirus: the week explained - sign up for our email newsletter
    Read more

    The results of the German study, organised by the government’s public health body, the Robert Koch Institute, the German Centre for Infection Research, the Institute for Virology at Berlin’s Charite hospital and blood donation services, would make it easier to decide when and where schools in the country could reopen, and which people are safe to go back to work.

    “Those who are immune could be issued with a kind of vaccination pass that would for example allow them to exempted from restrictions on their activity,” said Gerard Krause, head of epidemiology at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in Braunschweig. The German government has not yet officially commented on the proposal for such a certificate made by scientists.

    Dr Philippa Whitford, an SNP MP and former surgeon, said immunity passports could be used specifically for key workers in healthcare in the UK but would be difficult to roll out more widely across the country because of the level of administration needed.

    Whitford, who is also chair of the all-party parliamentary group for vaccines, said the length of time someone may have immunity after they have had Covid-19 was still largely unknown. Someone contracting Sars, which is also a coronavirus, did not have long-term immunity – potentially only up to a year after the infection.

    Prof Peter Openshaw, a member of the government’s new and emerging respiratory virus threats advisory group, said people who have recovered and test positive for coronavirus antibodies should no longer be infectious themselves and would be expected to have at least some immunity to the virus.

    He said the worse case scenario – based on what is known about immunity to coronaviruses that cause common colds – is that former patients would have only partial resistance for about three months.

    “It could be that this coronavirus causes a pretty robust immune response, which is durable and protective for much longer, maybe a year or even five years, but we don’t know because it’s a new virus,” he said.

    Immunity passports are a “reasonable provisional measure”, Openshaw said, but he stressed that people granted the passports would have to be kept under close observation to ensure they were not becoming reinfected.

    “In subsequent monitoring, it would be really important to determine whether those who do return to normal circulation are in fact protected,” he said.
    But Openshaw said it would be “highly inadvisable” to breach the government’s lockdown rules and intentionally risk infection.

    “Although there are risk factors for severity of illness and admission to intensive care, quite a high proportion who are being admitted are otherwise well and do not have those risk factors,” he said.

    “It would be putting your life at risk to try and catch it at the moment. It would be much better to adhere to social distancing and to wait for the vaccine.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/30/immunity-passports-could-speed-up-return-to-work-after-covid-19?CMP=sha
    #le_monde_d'après #passeport #frontière_mobile #frontières_mobiles #corps #contrôles_frontaliers #frontières #immunité #passeport_d'immunité #mobilité #Allemagne

    ping @reka @fil @mobileborders