"The COVID-19 pandemic is a test. Are we learning anything?" asks Mike Sandler.
"Counterposed to toxic elite priorities, a new politics of environmental protection, energy and resource saving, public health and community mental health is needed. The idea will be that everyone’s basic needs will be met and this protection will have important mental health benefits," writes Brian Davey.
This collective exploration of our response to COVID-19, the phenomenon of enforced absence, and our need for basic sustenance was organised by Afri, Feasta, Irish Seed Savers and Maynooth University on September 11.
Nadia Hansen interviews Dundalk-based social worker Dr Washington Marovatsanga on cultural competence, enforced absence, the relationship between power and knowledge production, the problematic ‘palliative care’ orientation of social work, and a Global South philosophy of collectivism.
"It is a privilege to work from home and therefore lessen one’s risk of being exposed to the virus. Racialized people living in low income households...are not afforded this luxury," writes Nadia Hansen.
"This is a rare chance for systemic change," writes Mike Sandler. "Will we be able to achieve systemic solutions instead of half measures or symbolic but meaningless “show” achievements that do not help people in tangible ways?"