Rio de Janeiro

Coronavirus: The Rio carnival for the first time since 1932 has not taken place – Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro : –

In one of the most beautiful seaside towns in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, on the avenue where the samba schools parade instead of the famous carnival, we have quite simply transformed the “sambodromo” into a vaccination space, a bit as if to remind everyone that the hour is serious and that popular unconsciousness in the face of this scourge is no longer to be silenced.

Ultimately, the Cariocas will not see their samba schools parade at the legendary “sambodromo” during the Rio carnival this year. It is a first since 1932 that officially the best samba school is crowned. The year 2021 therefore, Dame Covid-19 obliges, will see the samba schools put away their multicolored flourishes in the cupboards, hoping for a better future. Postponed for July the carnival was finally canceled, a real disaster. It is because the pandemic is raging in Rio and in Brazil.

It is therefore a real tragedy for the 80,000 people who live from it. Craftsmen such as seamstresses, carpenters, sculptors, float builders, dancers and other related trades who often only have this annual income to meet their needs. And if it hurts a popular layer this tragedy, which moreover is national, does even more damage to the economy of Rio de Janeiro (tourism etc…).

But it is not only in Rio that Brazil is suffering from the health crisis. Affected by a second very virulent wave, the second most bereaved country in the world with more than 239,000 deaths, has so far only authorized two vaccines, the CoronaVac and that of the Anglo-Swedish group AstraZeneca. More than 5 million of the 212 million Brazilians have already received at least one dose. But the vaccination campaign which had started at the same time as Morocco for lack of stock of doses is practically at a standstill in various states and cities of the country.

In Brazil, the health situation remains very tense in the country and cities like Sao Paulo, Manaus and Rio de Janeiro are suffering the martyrdom. Hospitals are starving for oxygen and intensive care units are saturated. Hence containment and other measures because the governorates are under pressure. But it is in  Manaus, a city of more than two million inhabitants that the pandemic hurts the most. The common people die, in the hospital or alone at home, the wealthy or the political class, live relatively protected and do not worry much about the pandemic which strikes their fellow citizens. And even among the latter there are supporters of the plot or those unaware of the gravity of the situation.

In Manaus as in Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo in working-class neighborhoods and other favelas, there is little impression of a pandemic. The Brazilians work, go out into the streets as if nothing had happened, oblivious to the danger. Several factors have led to this situation. With the negligence of the population of its non-respect of barrier gestures (social distancing, disinfection of the hands or the wearing of the mask) we can put in the basket and in general, the very precarious medical infrastructure particularly in Manaus , great social inequality and above all a very corrupt political class unable to manage the pandemic.

Like President Jair Bolsonaro, the latter minimizes the impact of the pandemic. And if we add to this the appearance of a new variant of the coronavirus of which very little is known, we can easily imagine where Brazil is heading in the light of a truly desperate situation and of local and federal authorities downright overwhelmed by events.

Melissa Galbraith
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.