During the pandemic, the essential nature of care work has been made more clear. The value of the work that was being done in the shadows, by the nannies and cleaners who can no longer come into our buildings, is now suddenly obvious as we try to live without it. The infrastructure that we don’t usually define as “care,” from our public school system to our grocery stores, is now apparent as such. The connections that we didn’t know existed, like those made among strangers offering each other mutual aid, are now our lifelines. But to Fraser’s point, we’re also seeing how our system has devalued that work—whether it’s the precarious conditions for teachers and domestic workers or the lack of universal child care to help essential workers do their jobs right now.
Reshaping Canada’s caregiving system
If every caregiver took one week off, our care systems would collapse before noon on the very first day. Maybe even earlier. The sustainability of...