As the global COVID-19 pandemic is upon us, a number of mutual aid groups have started forming across the country. The groups aim at providing community support to those who are more at risk from the virus: be it help with running errands or cooking.
COVID-19 is a novel virus most affecting peoples respiratory systems. While in around 8o% cases the symptoms will be mild, it can lead to death. It is estimated that 2-3 people out of a hundred will die. This can easily mean hundreds of thousands of deaths in UK only.
We must do everything we can to prevent this from happening.
The virus, while very unlikely to kill us all, already proved to be pretty lethal to, even more developed, healthcare systems. It fills hospitals within days and uses-up resources, making it very difficult for healthcare workers to provide all needed help. This, in turn, increases the death toll.
The Tory government is apparently more concerned with making sure the economy won’t collapse rather than with saving peoples lives. So, here is some advice for folk:
People who are at higher risk of COVID-19 related death or life-changing illness: that is, those of us who are older, have pre-existing health conditions, or their immune system is compromised otherwise: please stay home if you can. If you live in the area covered by the Mutual Aid groups listed below, get in touch with them if you need help. None of the listed below groups will ask you for money or other form of payment.
HIV positive folk: please have a look at this link.
People who are at lower risk: remember that you need to do everything you can to stay healthy. This is not exactly to protect your own life, as you already have more than fair chance of survival. It is, however, essential to protect others, and it is your responsibility to your community to do all you can to achieve it.
This means washing your hands and generally sticking to high hygiene standards of both yourself and your surroundings. It means you stay in if you are sick: even if you strongly believe you are not a COVID-19 carrier, it is the risk you should not take right now. If you can, stay in even if you are healthy. There is no need to take unnecessary risks.
It also means that you must cancel that gig you wanted to go to, or that holiday trip you were looking forward to. You must do this to protect the more than vulnerable members of your immediate community and beyond. You also must ensure you don’t put an unnecessary pressure on the NHS, so that they can get on with their life-saving work.
Remember: that old lady you see on your grocery shopping, and that comrade you know is suffering from a long-term illness: it is your job to protect them as much as you can.
Additionally let’s not forget about the homeless people, and others who can not self-isolate easily. If you can, share your resources with them.
UK COVID-19 Mutual Aid Groups:
We have done our best to include all already existing mutual aid groups below. If your group is not listed, or you set one up after this text’s publication, please get in touch and we will fix it. You can reach us either via our Facebook page, or send an email to email@example.com.
- Battersea Covid-19 Mutual Aid
- Lewisham Covid 19 Mutual Aid
- Hackney Covid 19 Mutual Aid
- Waltham Forest Covid 19 Mutual Aid
- Newham Covid-19 Community Support
- Tower Hamlets Covid19 Community Support
- Southwark Mutual Aid Covid 19
- Islington COVID 19 Mutual Aid
- Lambeth Covid 19 Mutual Aid
- Ealing Covid-19 Mutual Aid
- Brent Covid 19 Mutual Aid
- Haringey Covid-19 Mutual Aid
- Havering Covid 19 Mutual Aid
- Greenwich Covid 19 Mutual Aid
- Barnet COVID-19 Mutual Aid
- Kensington COVID- 19 Mutual Aid (link to WhatsApp chat)
- City of London Covid 19 Mutual Aid
- Hounslow Covid-19 Mutual Aid Group
- Camden COVID-19 Mutual Aid
- Volunteer childcare for Healthcare staff during school closures – Covid-19
- Biggin Hill – Self-isolating assistance
Newcastle upon Tyne:
- Newcastle upon Tyne Covid 19 Mutual Aid
- Arthurs’ Hill Covid 19 Mutual Aid
- Byker Corvid-19 Mutual Aid
- Queercare provides assistance for immunocompromised, astmatic or otherwise at additional risk from COVID-19. You can also access useful resources and advice via their page. Queercare has volunteers nationally and is working on organising folk into more local groups and providing advice.A sign-up form is available here.
- A nationwide coordination page was set up: Covid-19 Mutual Aid – UK. Please follow them.
- SWARM Collective has started a hardship fund for UK sex workers in financial crisis due to COVID-19. Please donate if you can.
- Mayday Rooms in London closed until after Easter due to COVID-19 outbreak in the UK.
- Dundee Anarchist Bookfair has been cancelled.
For international perspectives, see Autonomous Groups Are Mobilizing Mutual Aid Initiatives to Combat the Coronavirus from It’s Going Down, and Against the Coronavirus and the Opportunism of the State from Crimethinc.