In this issue, our main aim has been to illustrate and document the impact of Covid-19 on workers and the experience of the pandemic as an occupational health and safety issue around Europe. As a starting point, Berta Chulvi takes us to the working-class district of El Besòs i el Maresme in Barcelona, where we find, strangely, that infection stops short at the more high-class Avenida Diagonal, as if social class was a literal barrier to it. Bethany Staunton takes a look at how undocumented migrants have experienced the pandemic and asks whether the health crisis has been an instigator for real policy change on the issue of regularisation. Meanwhile, Hugo Boursier went to meet Parisian refuse collectors, applauded in the spring of 2020 for their frontline work in the public health emergency, but who now complain of a lack of recognition and low wages. And in her piece on “long Covid” (the long-term effects of the virus) in the Netherlands, Pien Heuts affirms: “Covid-19 is a lottery: some people suffer few ill effects, while others fall seriously ill and may never recover.”
In the light of the rise of teleworking, and the associated risks of mental distress, Fabienne Scandella deconstructs for us the dark side of the word “resilience”, which is coming back into fashion in some circles. It would also be impossible to talk about the risks of Covid without mentioning the funeral business. Curiously, in Romania, the higher the mortality rate surges, the less work there is for funeral directors; Laura-Maria Ilie and Florentin Cassonnet explain the reasons behind this paradox. In Zagreb, Jelena Prtorić reviews a crisis at the Croatian National Theatre, which revealed serious shortcomings in occupational safety for the theatre’s opera cast. Lastly, Fanny Malinen offers us a glimpse into post-Covid-19 management in Finland, a country heralded as a pandemic success story, bringing to light a climate of ongoing stress among health professionals who are considering a change of career.
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