Congress passed legislation responding to the novel coronavirus threat last night, and it included two weeks of paid sick leave for workers who have either contracted the coronavirus or been told by a doctor to stay home because of their symptoms, and we may well have our foot in the door to get paid sick leave legislation for all workers -- but not if we sit on our hands! Hence the National Women's Law Center helps you tell your Congressfolk to pass paid sick leave legislation for everyone. Everyone's not going to get the coronavirus, after all, but everyone is going to get sick from something sooner or later, or will need to take care of a sick family member sooner or later, and we all deserve to be able to take a day or two off to take care of ourselves and our families without having to worry about whether we'll lose our jobs or whether we'll be able to pay all the bills. Furthermore, Americans deserve better than having to worry about whether a sick worker will make them sick. See? Paid sick leave protects us all, and protecting us all is our government's job.
Meanwhile, Color of Change (among many other groups) helps you tell our local, state, and federal governments to release as many folks as possible from prisons and detention centers so that they don't all die in a coronavirus outbreak. Don't be the one who squeals YOU CAN'TZ LETZ TEH PRIZONURZ OUTZ INTO TEH STREETZ TEH MURDURZ!!!!!, because you know as well as I do that a) hard criminals comprise a small number of folks in jail, b) "as many folks as possible" would exclude them, and c) most folks being held in jails and detention centers -- without being convicted of a crime, I feel compelled to add -- are there for nuisance crimes. Also consider that prisons are probably the most densely-populated places on Earth; think maybe the virus can spread like lightning under those conditions? Consider, finally, that helping people to live, no matter what they've done, is humane policy. I've seen my fellow Americans have very little trouble being good to each other lately, and it's heartening, though not surprising. But it's well past time our politicians followed suit.
Finally, some time ago we discussed the plight of the Thai seafood workers, who face numerous abuses, ranging from torture, beatings, and executions to forced 20-hour work days and forced ingestion of methamphetamines in order to keep working; sadly, they still face these abuses, so the International Forum for Labor Rights helps you tell the Thai government to do something about the plight of seafood workers. Migrant workers testify that the laws generally favor employers and boat owners, which is not a tremendous surprise, but we should resist the urge to go numb at yet another report of that. And certainly the Thai government should resist the urge to pass a bunch of laws with bite that they don't enforce! This is often the way of things in the developing world -- legislatures will pass good laws, but governments either refuse to enforce them or let utterly corrupt people enforce them. Don't let such observations make you cynical, because your duty remains the same: to confront injustice and, ultimately, to defeat it.