As the Coronavirus continues to spread across the world, the full range of negative effects that the pandemic will have on the economy, supply chains, and the prices of basic goods is only now becoming apparent to economists and the masses of people. It is clear now that the general situation for the masses of people is going to worsen in the coming months, due to a major economic crisis kicked off by the virus.

A key way that this has played out already in China is inflation of food prices. This sparked protests in Hubei province on March 14th despite of the Chinese state’s nationwide lockdown. This protest came about in response to the arrest of a food seller who sought to help others evade the ever-increasing prices of groceries by reselling food and other essential goods at more affordable prices.

An image of the March 14th protests in Hubei province following the arrest of an underground food seller and rising food prices.

For at least a month, consumer prices have surged as supply chains were ruptured and production ground to a near halt, a result of the measures the Chinese government has taken to contain the virus. Medical supplies have become increasingly expensive, driven by price gouging and supply chain disruptions. Meat prices have soared as well, especially after disruptions in chicken-feed supply chains forced farmers to prematurely slaughter more than 100 million chickens.

The fascist laws of the Chinese state, the incredible wastefulness of food supply chains under capitalism, and the rising food inflation and economic turmoil within China have tested the patience of the Chinese people. They have responded with spontaneous protests against the state in response to these injustices. As the Coronavirus crisis deepens it is likely we will see similar situations all around the world, as supply chain disruptions and logistical tangles ripple outward and send food prices skyrocketing. In this situation people have to come together to support each other in the struggle.