Jair Bolsonaro faces harsh criticisms for his casual attitude toward coronavirus as he has dismissed it as a “little flu” and “a fantasy.” On the contrary, Brazilian Favela gangs are in no mood for such fantasies as they have imposed lockdowns.
Highlights: Brazilian Favela Gangs in no Mood for Jair Bolsonaro’s Little Flu Fantasies
- Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro calls Coronavirus a “little flu” and a “fantasy.”
- Healthcare Facilities a Concern in Brazil.
- Brazil’s Poor to Be Worst Hit.
- Favela Gangs in Slums of Rio de Janeiro Worried About Coronavirus.
While the world is shivering with coronavirus concerns on their minds, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is making foolish statements. During an address on Tuesday, he called on mayors and governors to call off restrictions that were imposed to control the spread of coronavirus.
On the contrary, it is the Favela gangs who are showcasing concerns for this pandemic. They have imposed lockdowns in favelas and are using hand sanitizers to ensure people entering the favelas are sanitized.
Hence, when gangs, people who usually cause havoc, are demonstrating maturity, then why is Bolsonaro taking coronavirus concerns so lightly?
Jair Bolsonaro: Coronavirus “a fantasy” and “a little flu”
Although there have been over 621,000 cases and 28,650 deaths in the world since the coronavirus outbreak, there are still some countries that are ignoring this pandemic. One such country is Brazil. Brazil themselves have reported over 3,450 cases and 90 deaths.
Bolsonaro has downplayed the virus by calling it just “a fantasy” as well as “a little flu.” Moreover, he also accused the media of producing fearmongering and stated that the virus is a concern for older generations but not for people like him.
Because of his carelessness, and more importantly, considering that 23 members of his entourage were tested positive for the virus, many also fear that he may himself have the virus. However, Bolsonaro has said that he tested negative for the virus, but refuses to make the results public.
Brazil’s Healthcare A Serious Concern
Health authorities in Brazil are worried about Bolsonaro’s statements as they are aware that their health facilities are worse as compared to other countries. Hence, if the situation were to worsen, then it could easily get out of hand as it has in Italy.
Furthermore, the Health Minister Luis Henrique recently said that Brazil’s health system would likely collapse by the end of April as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Consequently, since Bolsonaro continues to ignore coronavirus concerns, several state governors as well as Favela gangs have taken matters into their own hands to control this pandemic.
Poorest of the Poor Will Be Hit Hardest
There is no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic will have its worst effects on the poorest in society. For example, some Rio de Janeiro’s favelas are having difficulties accessing water, and hence, are unable to adhere to the hygiene protocols recommended to them by health agencies.
Imagine how could tens of thousands of people living on the street adhere to hygiene protocols when they do not have necessities such as food and water. Moreover, imagine them practicing social distancing when their primary source of income is by collecting garbage and recycling it.
Although the government has announced that it will give $40 a month, for three months, to informal workers, this amount will not be enough for the families.
Brazilian Favela Gangs Take Matters Into Their Own Hands
Despite such a heavy burden on his shoulders, Bolsonaro does not seem to consider the crisis as serious enough. In such a time it is ironically Brazilian Favela gangs who are demonstrating signs of maturity.
One would expect gangs to create more disorder in the community, but that is not the case in Brazil. One of the gangs in Rio de Janeiro’s favelas has imposed a curfew as fears continue to increase. As per a report in the Rio newspaper Extra, the gang members told residents,
“We are imposing a curfew because nobody is taking coronavirus seriously.”Guardian
In such a difficult time it seems strange that gangs are demonstrating so much concern while the government seems unmoved. Residents have stated that traffickers in Santa Marta are handing out soap to ensure that no individual enters the favela without being sanitized.
Considering the poor facilities available in Brazil and the number of poor in the country, Bolsonaro’s careless approach could lead to a disaster in the country. For him to call the virus “a fantasy” and a “little flu” are unacceptable considering how many people have been affected around the world.