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Issue #1909      March 30, 2020

WHAT CAN A COMMUNIST DO DURING A PANDEMIC?

COVID-19 has not only changed the way we live but if you’re a communist like me, it’s changed the way we organise. Before the Coronavirus outbreak, we would organise in at our branches; we would attend rallies, stand with comrades on the picket-line, among other activities – it was a life filled with lots of social events.

However, COVID-19, in a few short months, has completely changed this way of life, and we are now forced to rethink how we can perform our revolutionary duty.

As editor-in-chief of The Workers’ Weekly Guardian, my immediate thoughts go to our party paper as this is the last week of our printed edition until COVID-19 is contained. Comrades who are wondering what they can do with their time are more than welcome to contribute by writing letters or articles. I find the process of writing to be a great way to articulate my thoughts, and I encourage all comrades to put their ideas on paper.

As a rank-and-file comrade, my thoughts go to how my branch can operate during this crisis. Many branches have already clued in to the idea that going online (with applications like Skype, Zoom, Discord, etc.) is best to continue their work. I think this can extend to many other kinds of activities that comrades can participate in (such as digital campaigning) and it will be interesting to see how our party mobilises.

As a communist, I think about what I can do in order during these times. Since I cannot organise in the streets, I look for opportunities to communicate with comrades across the left to coordinate a response to the government’s actions and making sure they’re held accountable. I am also taking it as an opportunity to sharpen my ideological understanding by reading Lenin (along with Stalin and other Soviet political economists). I think using this time to read the great thinkers of our political tradition provides an opportunity for us to come our even sharper when we are back on the streets, fighting for the working-class.

Whatever it is we do, we need to be as diligent as possible with our time. Especially when working from home, one can quickly become lethargic, as the days blur into one another. However, if we stay in touch with our comrades, we can find solace in solidarity, and come out of the COVID-19 a stronger, more united, party.

Next article – FIGHTING COVID-19 IN CUBA, CHINA, AND THE UNITED STATES

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