Here we publish a preliminary and unofficial translation of the document "¡ENFRENTEMOS COMO PUEBLO EL CORONAVIRUS, ENGENDRO DE LA PUTREFACCIÓN IMPERIALISTA! by "El Pueblo" from Chile.


MAPA workers from Celulosa Arauco occupied street 160 and pushed for an effective quarantine in their homes. Picture and title from



In view of the enormous discrediting of the government and the "authorities", in the following article we will deal with aspects of health, work and care, trying to contribute to the information and education of the people in the midst of the health crisis caused by the coronavirus, taking care of the need to contribute with scientific information and a proletarian perspective, i.e. from the revolutionary point of view of the poor in the countryside and in the city.

They lied to us so much, we don't believe them anymore.

Speaking of Coronavirus, a ñañita (old Mapuche woman) in her seventies, who lives in western Santiago, tells us in her enormous popular wisdom: "This is what the rich have done in other countries to feed them to the poor. Another girl from the same city tells us: "I don't believe in the coronavirus, they exaggerate, Piñera is lying". What other reaction can we expect from the masses? If only a few days ago all people would realize that we are governed by a madman, a manager who represents the interests of the imperialists, especially the USA, the big bourgeoisie and the big landowners. It would not be surprising that this virus is part of the arsenal of bacteriological, viral and toxic weapons at the disposal of the imperialist powers (especially the USA, such as napalm in Vietnam and anthrax etc.).

The two women, as well as many others who belong to our people, have every right not to believe them, because they have lived a whole life with an old state which told them: "wait!", "get in line!", "fill in the form!", "there are no funds!", "it is not economically viable!", "if you don't pay, you will die!", "you cannot!", "compete for the scholarship, the subsidy, the premium!" and so on. These phrases were heard every time they demanded their right to housing, education, decent work, pensions and health.


But given the abundant information circulating about the coronavirus, we have to ask ourselves what of everything that is said is true? It is said to be fatal for a part of the population that is highly contagious that thousands have died in other countries in recent months (in Italy alone, more than 450 people died in one day between 19 and 20 March 2020).

If it still affects a small percentage of the population in Chile, if it is not fatal for the vast majority, what is the seriousness of the problem? If we do not take strict health measures, this virus will cause the public health system to collapse, and much worse than every season.

In Chile it is already widely recognised that there are two countries: one of the richest and another of the poor, and the health of the latter is of no interest at all to the old state. That is why we, the poor, will pay the greatest cost of this virus with our lungs. In other words, the coronavirus only comes to reinforce a crisis-ridden system, an imperialist system which is creating a crisis of overproduction throughout the world, where more is produced than society can consume. But, in contrast, all these great scientific and technological possibilities to produce for the full benefit of society are hindered by the miserable wages that the majority of workers receive, by the plunder of resources and raw materials by the imperialists, by the veiled slavery to which billions of earthlings are exposed by various means.


Health: What we know about the coronavirus

The following point is a document prepared by nurses in the service of the people, an organisation made up of nurses from the Plaza Dignidad (formerly Plaza Italia), whose purpose is to provide technical and operational information on measures to prevent and control coronavirus infections (COVID-19) in accordance with the recommendations of the health authorities.

A compilation of information produced by health experts at national and international level has been carried out with the aim of contributing to the provision of scientific information to the most vulnerable populations and communities in order to put into context the health moment in which we live as a country. In this way, the aim is to provide the population with tools that will enable them to participate as active participants in their own health, environment and community to achieve the reduction of new cases through COVID-19.

1 What is the coronavirus (COVID-19) and why is it relevant? Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that usually only infect animals, although sometimes they can be transmitted to humans, such as the "New Coronavirus" (COVID-19), a strain (population of microorganisms) of the coronavirus family that has not been previously identified in humans.

Coronaviruses cause diseases ranging from the common cold to more serious conditions such as severe acute respiratory failure.




What is a pandemic?

  • The worldwide spread of a new disease is called a pandemic. An influenza pandemic occurs when a new influenza virus appears, spreads worldwide and most people have no immunity to it.


How is it transmitted?

  • The virus is transmitted from person to person if you have close contact with a sick person. For example, if you live under the same roof, share a room in a hospital, travel for several hours on the same means of transport, care for a sick person without adequate protection, or go to places with a large flow of people, such as cinemas, shopping centres, etc.



A person can become infected with COVID-19 through two propagation mechanisms, namely droplets and contact, which are explained in detail below:

  • Droplet transfer: In this form of transmission, microorganisms are expelled in droplet form by coughing, sneezing, speaking and/or yawning. After being ejected, these droplets only move up to one meter and then either fall onto a surface such as: tables, chairs, mobile phones, clothing, doorknobs or the floor. Healthy people touch the contaminated objects with their hands and then guide them through their eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Contact transmission: direct contact (touching an infected person) and indirect contact (touching a contaminated object)
  • Direct contact: Transmission is possible when the infected body surface of one person comes into contact with the body surface of another, uninfected person, e.g. by touching an infected person through wounds, kissing, hugging, sex, etc.
  • Indirect contact: When the transmission of microorganisms occurs when the infected person comes into contact with an object that is normally inanimate, such as a chair, toy, door handle, mobile phone and/or kitchen utensils that contaminate it, so that an uninfected person comes into contact with these contaminated objects and the disease develops.


 How long does the corona virus last on the surface?

  • According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is not known for sure how long the virus survives on a surface, but it appears to behave like other corona viruses. Studies show that it can survive on a surface from a few hours (2 to 8 hours) to several days (about 5 days). The time varies depending on the conditions, for example: type of surface, temperature, humidity of the environment.


Incubation period of the virus

  • How long is the incubation period?
    • The incubation period is the time between the acquisition of a pathogenic (disease-causing) infection and the appearance of the first symptoms of this disease. Most estimates of the incubation period for 19-IVOCs range from 1 to 14 days and are generally around 5 days.


Population at risk

  • According to estimates by the Ministry of Health (MINSAL), only 2% of those infected have died, but people over 60, children or adults, who suffer from diagnosed diseases such as high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, kidney failure, patients with respiratory diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, cancer, HIV and, according to some studies, pregnant women. These groups are at greater risk of serious complications that can ultimately lead to death.


Signs and symptoms

  •  The most common symptoms include:
  • fever: a value equal to or greater than 38°C is considered as fever
  • Dry cough
  • Respiratory distress: Respiratory distress in adults is the feeling of shortness of breath at rest, rapid breathing, pain when breathing or in the chest when coughing, more frequent restlessness, difficulty breathing in and out.

In some cases there may also be digestive symptoms, such as

  • diarrhoea
  • Abdominal pain


80% of cases have mild symptoms. In more severe cases, the infection can cause pneumonia, severe shortness of breath, kidney failure and even death. As mentioned above, the most severe cases usually occur in the elderly or in people with a chronic disease, such as heart or lung disease or immune deficiency.


  • People with respiratory problems: When is the emergency service to be called?
    •     When you have the first three symptoms: fever, cough and difficulty breathing, you should contact the nearest emergency service.
    •     If you have any doubts, contact Salud Responde, a service available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year round. Telephone number 600 360 7777, you can call from landlines and mobile phones, if you don't have credit, enter your telephone number on the service's website and get a call.



  • There is no specific treatment, but some antiviral agents are used, which have shown some effectiveness in recent studies. There is a treatment for symptom control. It is important to emphasise the negative consequences of self-medication of drugs, which can range from unpleasant symptoms to worsening a disease or triggering an overdose that can lead to death. Proof of this are the recommendations of experts and the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), which have recently been made about NOT USING ibuprofen or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (aspirin, ketorolac, ketoprofen, dipyrone, etc.), as these drugs could aggravate the existing infection and cause major complications.


In this respect, scientific confirmation of this recommendation is still lacking, but the World Health Organisation has stated that this matter is still under investigation and that, in the meantime, the use of paracetamol is recommended in case self-medication is required. The use of antibiotics is absolutely ruled out, as they are effective in preventing and treating bacterial diseases and not viruses.


Protective measures

  • Wash your hands: Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently with an alcohol-based disinfectant gel containing more than 65% alcohol (20-30 seconds) or with soap and water (40-60 seconds)


Why? If you wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcoholic hand disinfectant, all viruses on your hands will be destroyed.



  • Alcohol gel: can be used two or three times, do not use more than this amount, because it has to be washed again with soap and water. Before use, your hands must be clean and dry, free of dust, mud, slime, etc. If not, it is not effective. Finally, apply a generous amount without rinsing.
  • Wash your hands: Before washing your hands, you must remove: rings, watches, bracelets or other objects on your hands and wrists. After washing, the action of closing the tap should be done with your elbow or with a paper towel.
  • Respiratory hygiene: Both you and the people around you must ensure that you maintain good respiratory hygiene, that is
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a handkerchief if you cough or sneeze. Used tissues should be disposed of immediately, and hand washing should follow.
  • Keep a minimum distance of 1 meter between you and any person who coughs, sneezes or has a confirmed or suspected case of coronavirus.
  • Use disposable wipes (or comfort wipes) which should be disposed of immediately and should not be placed in a bag, garment bag, banana etc.
  • DO NOT use any cloth wipes!
  • If it is covered with clothing when you sneeze or cough, remove it and put it in the washing machine immediately, as it is a source of contamination from droplets adhering to clothing.
  • Measures in the apartment: First of all, it is very important to stress that a daily deep cleaning and disinfection of the apartment must be carried out. Furthermore, when returning to the apartment, you should not touch anyone and try not to touch any objects.
  • Take off your shoes at the door before entering.
  • Take off your clothes outside (at the entrance of your house) and put them in a bag directly in the laundry.
  • Leave pockets, wallets, keys, etc. behind. Used outside the house in a box.
  • Take a shower or wash all exposed areas (arms, face, neck and hands) if you cannot shower.
  • Disinfect potentially contaminated items (mobile phones, lenses, keys, work tools, etc.) with alcohol or chlorine.
  • Remove any waste from shopping or paper that can be disposed of (ballots, etc.).
  • Wash clothes, towels and bedding frequently.
  • Use chlorine or alcohol to disinfect the surfaces with which you came into contact when you entered the apartment, such as door handles, keys or some furniture.
  • Masks and gloves, a false sense of security:
  • Only a person suspected or diagnosed with VID-19 should wear a mask to prevent further spread of the disease. In addition, it should be worn by a person who cares for a person infected with the coronavirus.
  • There are two types of masks that are widely used: surgical masks and N95 masks. Surgical masks have a maximum durability of 30 minutes and N95 masks have an optimum durability of 24 hours. Exceeding the wearing time of these masks causes moisture, saliva and mucus accumulation, which promotes the formation of microorganisms in the mouth and nose and facilitates respiratory tract infection. This moisture also reduces the effectiveness of the masks.

Use of the masks:

  • Wear a mask if you have to cough or sneeze.
  • Masks are only effective when combined with frequent hand washing with an alcohol gel solution or with soap and water.
  • If you must wear a mask, learn how to use and dispose of it properly.

How can a mask be fitted, used, removed and disposed of?

  • Before putting on a mask, wash your hands with an alcohol-based disinfectant or with soap and water.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with the mask and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask.
  • Avoid touching the mask while you are wearing it; if you do, wash your hands with alcohol-based disinfectant or soap and water.
  • Change your mask as soon as it gets wet and do not use the disposable masks again for more than 30 minutes.
  • To remove the mask: Remove it from behind (do not touch the front of the mask), immediately dispose of it in a closed container and wash your hands with alcohol-based disinfectant or with soap and water.


Use of gloves: The use of gloves, although its function is to avoid direct contact with a person or a contaminated surface, just as the mask is a two-bladed sword, since people normally touch their face, glasses or rings as a natural reflex action, so that when this happens with gloves on, the droplets adhering to the glove are transferred to the nose or mouth and cause contamination. Therefore, their use should be limited to people inside the home who are in contact with people suspected of having COVID-19, or to disinfect contaminated items in the home.



 Work: Legal recommendations for employees in view of the inactivity of the entrepreneur.

Since the beginning of the "health emergency", hundreds of workers have mobilized in the face of the inertia of their employers, who force them to stay at work, exposing them to infection with the coronavirus. Examples include the workers at the Costanera Center shopping center, Hush Puppies, the strike by Unimarc workers in Copiapó, the construction workers at Pudahuel Airport, the workers at Forestal Arauco and others.

This shows us that, although the law establishes supposed obligations of the entrepreneur to take care of the workers' lives, in reality this is not being fulfilled, so the only way left for us is organization and struggle.

We can expect nothing from the bosses, from the old state and its rotten institutions such as the labour inspectorate and the courts. We as a people, especially workers and farmers, are the creators of all wealth, and only as a people can we protect each other.






What should we as workers do in the event of a health emergency?

First of all, it must be remembered that neither the government of the murderer Piñera nor the Ministry of Labour has the objective of protecting the lives of the working class and their families if this means losing millions of dollars in profits.

Therefore, it is important to know the instruments that the law (Labour Code) provides, but always remember that, in the end, only we can defend our right to health and life at work, and to do so we must overcome our fear, organize and, in many cases, mobilize.

Obligation of the boss to take all measures to protect the life and health of workers. Article 184 of the Labour Code

Firstly, the law lays down the obligation of the employer to take all measures to effectively protect the life and health of workers, which in the current health crisis means that the employer must at least ensure compliance with the measures ordered by the health authority, such as ensuring masks, alcohol gel, sanitary facilities, a distance of one metre between workers, a place to wash hands, etc.

This means that the workers must demand that all the above measures are implemented in our workplace and the company must provide all the necessary means to do so.

What happens if the boss does not do this?

As this is a legal obligation, the Labour Inspectorate should monitor compliance with these measures in the event of non-compliance.

We know, however, that the labour inspectorate is only trying to delay the organisation of the workers and, normally, it will delay the inspection, which exposes us to the risk of contagion resulting from the inefficiency of this institution.

We should therefore make the appropriate complaint, but not wait for the inspection to resolve the problem, because this is an agency that serves the employers.


Can we workers leave the site if our health is at risk? Article 184 bis of the Labour Code

The law gives the worker the possibility to interrupt his work without waiting for his boss's permission and, if necessary, to leave the workplace if he considers, for reasonable reasons, that continuing the work poses a serious and immediate risk to his life or health.

In other words, if we believe that our life or health is in immediate danger, we can leave our workplace without waiting for the company's approval.

To do this, you must inform your employer in writing by sending him an e-mail or letter stating: "By virtue of the provisions of Article 184 of the Labour Code and in view of the serious and immediate danger to my health and physical integrity, I am giving up my job and will inform the Labour Inspectorate as soon as possible. This letter should explain what these risks are.

It is important that the labour inspectorate is also informed as soon as possible of this abandonment of work.


Can my boss retaliate if I leave my workplace to protect my health?

No. The law states that leaving work for safety reasons may not result in a reduction or impairment. If the employer grants a reduction, the worker must complain to the labour inspectorate.

But in the worst case, if the employer has dismissed the worker for abandonment of work or for unjustified absence, the worker must file a complaint with the labour courts. This process takes a long time (between 6 months and 1 year), and as long as the process is not completed, the worker will be dismissed and eventually remain without compensation.

Therefore, the most important thing is that the stoppage or abandonment of work for safety reasons is done collectively, i.e. by an important group of organized workers, be it in a trade union or any other form of organization. Because if the workers do it collectively, the likelihood of retaliation by the employer is less.


What happens if a curfew is imposed?

The company must guarantee the departure of the workers before the curfew begins, giving the workers enough time to return home. If the company does not comply, the above point can be applied.


What does it mean to hold a general strike for the health emergency?

It means that a large number of workers in the various production sectors are paralyzing their functions without the authorization of the entrepreneur. The justification for a general strike is that neither the employers nor the government are taking measures to protect the health and lives of the workers in their workplaces, thereby exposing them to a high risk of infection.

The strike must be carried out in an organised manner, since, in addition to the objective of effectively protecting the health of the working class, it also has an economic objective (stopping production as a means of pressure). But it also has a political aim, because it implies that the workers act as one class against common enemies (the bosses, the old state), i.e. it is a school of revolutionary struggle.



Supply and organisation: the superiority of collective work over individual solutions




The health emergency crisis also expresses itself in an economic crisis that hits the pockets of the poorest. For this reason, on the one hand we must prevent the spread of the virus, but on the other hand we must also fight in various ways to prevent our people from dying, because we are worried about the lack of supplies, to develop proper hygiene and to obtain the necessary food to ensure that our immune system functions properly.

Solving these problems together is quite different from solving them individually. We have already seen great examples of organized struggle these days: As illustrated in the point about work, for example, the workers in the shopping centres, in protest, demanded to reduce their risks by sending customers home, forcing the owners of the retailers to reduce working hours.

We must follow this example and use the immense creativity of the masses to find solutions to each of the problems we face: Why buy from all the families in a block when only one can go, why buy from supermarkets that charge abusive prices and not from wholesalers, and what if we buy from a single kitchen instead of five?

As a people, in a semi-colonial and semi-feudal country, we live in a permanent crisis. This crisis is sometimes less acute, but what we are facing in the coming months is profound and will affect the poorest people in the countryside and in the city. This crisis is the expression of a rotten system that is collapsing, and in such a scenario we will contribute all the more to maintaining a system that only exploits and humiliates us every day, the more unorganized we are.

It is therefore necessary to raise our level of organization in all areas of life, going beyond family organization and taking advantage of the existing community organization. Where they do not exist, we can put them together, coordinate with our neighbours from less to more, using the forms that our people already know and have implemented: joint shopping, joint pots, area meetings, emergency health committees.

It is important to be concerned about the state of health of our neighbours and to use all the means at our disposal to make our needs and demands known, organising ourselves to demand what suits us: masks, disinfectants, remedies, staple foods, etc. The defence of our lives is in our hands, we cannot passively wait for the governments that have never defended us to do so now. It is at the time of the most acute crisis that we will see how money defines everything for them.

As the economic crisis unfolds, we need to organize ourselves and fight against the rising cost of living, while at the same time promoting forms of organization that allow us to cushion these blows.