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4,000 Daily Deaths: 6 Points That Explain Why Brazil Failed To Fight The Pandemic

Ever since the pandemic began, Brazil has never left the front page of newspapers all over the world due to the chaos in the country caused by the coronavirus and the dubious conduct beyond the problem. At the end of March, a year after the first decree of quarantine, the death’s count had already surpassed 300,000.

The recklessness and countless mistakes have led the country to the current situation: Brazil is now the country with the highest rates of daily infections and deaths. So let’s understand the main points that brought the Brazilian population to this and why other countries are closing their doors to them.

Fake news

“The virus was created in a Chinese laboratory by its government.” The phrase was said by many people during this time – including the president Jair Bolsonaro -, even though the World Health Organization has declared the theory is almost impossible. 

That was not the only conspiracy that Bolsonaro compacted with: he also was responsible for spreading false information about medications that could not just heal, but also prevent from the virus. When, actually, nothing but the risk of taking it without prescription was ever proved.

The biggest problem? There are people who really believe him a hundred percent. After all, he is the president. But they shouldn’t, since he is propagating fake news  that can lead to even more obits.


From the masks to the vaccines, everything seems a lie to part of the Brazilian population. Even when specialists, scientists and doctors have said and proved the opposite. 

At the beginning of last month, the Paulista Avenue was the stage for a demonstration against São Paulo’s governor, João Doria, who, once again, has restricted further  quarantine measures. All of the protesters were using yellow and green, Brazil’s colors – now, mostly a symbol to the Brazilian’s extreme right. They were not wearing masks and were also offending whoever passed by wearing them, as the decree dictates.

President Bolsonaro himself refused to wear the masks for a long time and often caused crowds in front of the Alvorada Palace. What to him was only a “little flu” killed more in Brazil than in 109 other countries gathered.

Disregard for quarantine

In March 2020, when the quarantine was decreed in the country, the great majority respected the imposition. Over time, the government began to flex the decree, but not in the same intensity as the population. What started with shopping malls and restaurants without agglomeration, ended up with clandestine parties with thousands of people.

The work of the health and security agents to stop these parties after denunciations grows as the number of infections and deaths. Only in the first half of last March, there were 23,315 denunciations of agglomeration in São Paulo. The month with the highest rate of it is the same month with the highest numbers of deaths. Coincidence? Not at all.

Late purchase of vaccines

In August last year the sale of 70 million doses of the vaccine were offered to Brazil by Pfizer, but the government refused the opportunity and is now racing against time – and the virus – to get its population immunized. Monica Calazans, a nursery worker, was the first person to be vaccinated in the country on January 17th – the same day that the Butantan Institute’s vaccine was approved by Anvisa (National Health Surveillance Agency). Since then, more than 10% of Brazilians received at least the first dose. While in the USA, – which has 115 million more inhabitants than Brazil – 20% of the population has already received both.

The forecast is that everyone in the country will be completely vaccinated by the first months of 2022, but the lack of supplies may delay the date even further.

Political war

Open it. Close it. President said. Government said. The non-centralized decisions ended up, as anyone could imagine, being a personal fight: Brazilian Supreme Court (STF) decided that governors could lead their states with whatever measures were decided to be most appropriate for their situation, and Jair Bolsonaro was not happy with this decision.

The president, who was against the closure measures, got into a personal dispute with the governors who did not agree with him, such as João Doria from São Paulo. And the population, in the middle, did not know who to follow.

The constant change of Health’s Ministry -3 until now- has also not helped  to avoid the calamity instaured here. Mandetta, Teich, Pazuello, and now Marcelo Queiroga. Three doctors and one general. Who has lasted longer so far? The one who had never done anything in a healthy area before.

Health system collapse

Covid-19 was discovered still at the end of 2019 and the World’s Health Organization released the situation as a calamity in the beginning of 2020, but still no improvements were made to prepare our health system for what was coming. Of course, no one could predict what would happen, but the authorities knew there was a threat coming and did nothing about it.

Now people have kind of gotten used to hearing the daily rate of deaths in the news. It, saddely, has become part of their routines. What people can never get used to is seeing someone they love dying in an improvised hammock in the hall without oxygen. The only thing left to do is cry. Cry in the same hall the one they loved died. Around other people dying in an improvised hammock in the hall without oxygen. 

So, the question is: what it’s killing the most, the virus or negligence?


The article above was edited by Giulia Lozano Pacini.

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Júlia Polo

Casper Libero '24

A journalist in the making who likes to talk about politics, fashion, soccer and whatever it´s aloud.
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