Currently, 2,000 deaths and 200,000 new infections are reported in Europe in a one day, and it takes approximately ten days for these numbers to double. If this situation is not brought under control, hospitals in the worst-affected countries will be overcrowded and it will take only a few more weeks for the public to receive treatment.
Already, half of the beds in hospitals treating respiratory diseases related to covid-19s in France are filled, and hospital beds in Spain are about half full. Countries such as Britain, Italy and Poland, which currently have about 20,000 cases a day, and countries like Germany and Belgium, which currently has about 14,000 cases, are just a few weeks behind France.
Europe is now on the verge of a massive human loss of life experienced after World War II in the twentieth century. The lives of millions of people are in grave danger. A report by German intelligence in March estimated that about one million people in Germany would die if the virus spread. French President Emmanuel Macron has said on national television that 400,000 people will die in France if emergency measures are not taken immediately.
The wave of strikes, independent of the unions that spread across the auto, metal and engineering industries in Italy last March, then shut down the supply chain in Spain, France and Great Britain, paralyzing industries across Europe.
The Covid-19 epidemic spread throughout the population, and fears of subsequent working class movements led European governments to immediately change their course of action and move towards locking up. It is important to draw political lessons from this experience. Although the working class demonstrates its ability for a policy based on science, it is a spontaneous movement. The initial lockout was made immediately after the strike ended, but state power, banking and industrial control are still in the hands of the financial elite and the trade union bureaucracy. The whole people of Europe are paying the price here.
The growing global war between the world’s major capitalist countries is not allowing the policy of staying at home and demanding large-scale killings. The repatriation of factories already studied by Europe and the United States, the control of major new technologies, and the diversification of supply lines are now an absolute priority. For this very reason, the Trump administration is making the tough choice of doing business first, sacrificing the lives of a section of its own population to prevent the rise of China. Within the framework of European capitalism, it has proved impossible to stop this global epidemic and to follow the policy of staying home scientifically. This involves a conscious political movement of the working class throughout Europe, based on socialist policies against capitalism.