Not only has the coronavirus COVID 19 completely turned our lives upside down within the span of just a few weeks, but it has also exposed the various contradictions and hypocrisy prominent in the capitalist society.
For a great number of working class people, life in the US is going to change rapidly. Several companies have already been laying off workers as the global health crisis continues and things begin to shut down. Low-wage workers, many of whom are already facing homelessness and struggling to feed their children, are going to find themselves with considerably less income.
Unemployment numbers hit record highs recently, with 3.2 million people applying for the service. And a report from the Economic Policy Institute predicts that 300,000 people in Washington State could lose their job by the summer. Manufacturing and supply-chain companies, travel and tourism, as well as consumer service providers like theaters, stores, restaurants, and hair salons, have been the source of these cuts. If the outbreak continues, it is predicted that virtually all industries will follow.
Mutual aid supports people who are self-isolated, especially those without nearby family, elderly people, and people with disabilities or underlying health conditions. The following are the mutual aid organizations available in Washington:
Puget Sound COVID-19 Mutual Aid is a Seattle-based solidarity network, prioritizing those who are sick, disabled, quarantined without pay, elderly, undocumented, queer, black, indigenous, and/or people of color, including those displaced from Seattle to the nearby areas. If you would like food or other supplies dropped off at your front door, you are welcome to use this form. There is a resource guide available to check out here. You are also welcome to donate here.
Tacoma Mutual Aid Collective works in solidarity with communities in Tacoma to promote resources, knowledge, and skill-sharing across the neighborhoods. They are currently working on free food programs for kids who are forced out of school. A grocery program is also available here. You are also welcome to support them here.
Common Stash Mutual Aid in So-Called Olympia gathers and redistributes herbal remedies, over-the-counter cough medication, and other supplies to people. They work to take care of the ill and making sure they are getting the resources they need. You can support them on their Instagram here.
At a time like this, cooperation is needed more than ever and mutual aid is becoming increasingly popular. Anxiety is currently overwhelming a lot of people and it is refreshing to see mutual aid organizations in Washington, as well as local support groups, are working to provide people with what they need and boost their morale.
Mutual Aid groups have also been forming across the country and world, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. They have formed to combat both the inefficiencies of nation-states around the globe and to support those left behind by their policies.