Expendable Heroes?

You can buy this great lawn sign on Etsy, but you might want to get out a black marker and add  “Deserve Hazard Pay” at the bottom. Most essential workers in the U.S. are still in suspense regarding the possibility of  compensation for their forced exposure to Covid-19 infection. The big question is when and if the HEROES act proposed… Read more →

The Covid-19 Care Penalty

In the U.S., as elsewhere, essential workers have been rightly praised for their willingness to take on additional risk and stress. Their commitment to helping patients, students, and customers face-to-face went beyond the ordinary requirements of earning a paycheck. Yet some essential workers faced more serious risks of infection than others, and differences in pay among them were also significant.… Read more →

Responsibility Time

If there was ever a time we urgently needed to know more about time use, that time has come. The Covid-19 pandemic utterly changed daily rhythms for many sequestered households and the “opening up” process closed down some old routines. I’ve done extensive work with time use data, have been in touch with several people/groups trying to measure the impact… Read more →

The Homemade Value-Added Stabilizer

“Shelter in place” mandates in the early stages of the U.S. Covid-19 pandemic required many people to stay home, cook their own meals, school their own children, and entertain themselves.  Unpaid work served not only as a social safety net, but also as an automatic stabilizer. While it didn’t dampen fluctuations in official Gross Domestic Product, as did unemployment insurance,… Read more →

Italian Feminists: In Defense of Caregivers

“The recent ‘Cura Italia’ (Care for Italy) decree, issued by the Italian Government, does not “take care” of domestic workers, home-based caregivers for the elderly and child minders.”  This is the first sentence in a petition being circulated by the feminist magazine Ingenere, published here in English (and I’ve borrowed their beautiful picture of a woman’s folded hands).  They are… Read more →

The Care Theory of Value

As the COVID-19 pandemic rages through the U.S., many hospitals are laying off or cutting the pay of doctors and nurses, even those working on the front lines. Unable to perform the elective surgeries (including face lifts and knee replacements) that are their best moneymakers, hospitals are  taking huge losses on  pandemic victims. By one estimate, their COVID-19 treatment costs will… Read more →

Are We All Care Workers Now?

Who, exactly, are care workers, other than  the people we need most right now, as the covid-19 pandemic overlays the division of labor with a new division of risk? I’ve long been an advocate of using the term “care worker” rather than “caregiver” even though the work can be and often is, at least in part, a gift. Because care–whether… Read more →

View from a Blue Rurality

We are the lucky ones, distancing in an already pretty distanced place. On country roads, plenty of space for walking, biking, breathing easy. One neighbor says not to worry because another neighbor has forty rolls of toilet paper, which her boyfriend nabbed before the shit hit the fan. If need be, we can beg for some. Rio the border collie… Read more →

Care Work Network: Distillations_1

As of March 30, 2020… Very helpful discussions of Covid19 social impact have unfolded on the Care Work Network list.  Some impressions and engagements especially relevant to the U.S. are listed below.  A forthcoming post will summarize some comments  from the global South. (You can learn more about Care Work Network here. To subscribe to the listserv, email Darcie Boyer with your… Read more →