Brazil’s Situation With New COVID Variant Shows Scary Portrait of Future

Getting ready for... by Can Pac Swire is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

As America gets vaccinated and people look forward to a return to normal, Brazil’s current situation with the new COVID variant paints a totally different picture. 

It shows a future in which the situation doesn’t get better: it actually gets a lot worse. 

Take the recent example of the case of Brazilian lawyer Rodolpho Sousa. At only 28, Sousa wasn’t worried about COVID. When a client of his was put in jail he went there to bail her out. 

But after the visit to the jail he got a bad cough and was later diagnosed with serious COVID. Waiting in the ER he described a scene out of Hell, with people of all ages wasting away in the hallway around him. 

“There was a woman who was 23 next to me and we spoke. She started coughing and coughing, and the doctors closed the curtain between us. Later they took her out in a black body bag. I was completely terrified,” Sousa recalled. 

Indeed, Brazil’s new variant – which some vaccines may not protect against – is far from the same as the regular types of COVID. It’s much more deadly for young people even those without underlying health problems. 

20200814_classes27 by International Monetary Fund is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Brazil’s Current COVID Situation

At first, Brazil’s COVID situation was fairly similar to every other country. The virus killed those with underlying illnesses or elderly folks. 

Then it mutated and began hitting the young and healthy, killing 880 Brazilians between 20 to 29 in March. The numbers for March also included 3,405 Brazilians between 30 to 39, up 400% from January and 7,170 deaths in those in their 30s in March. 

These alarming numbers paint a troubling picture: about 33% of Brazil’s COVID deaths are now in people under 59-years-old. Deaths among the elderly are half of what they were at their peak as the older folks get vaccinated, but experts say one of the problems is that younger people still don’t really think they’re at risk.

“They’re young and the virus first infected the elderly population, they don’t believe or don’t want to believe that it can be serious. I’ve seen many young patients who are surprised. Others are aware but take risks,” ,” commented Brazilian cardiologist Dr. Suzana Morais. 386,000

So far, Brazil has had 14.2 million cases of COVID overall with 12.6 million of those people recovered and 386,000 deaths. The remaining amount are still very ill with COVID. 

The Bottom Line on Brazil

The fact is that unlike the United States, Canada or Europe, Brazilians don’t have the option to collect nice unemployment checks or get big bailout money. The only checks the government sent out were less than minimum wage. 

Service workers have to work to get food, and the virus is spreading once again as people reenter society. 

Fortunately in Sousa’s case he did recover from COVID. His mom also got sick and recovered. Sadly, Sousa’s 63-year-old dad – a healthy former marathon athlete – got the virus and was hospitalized, dying last week from COVID.

Experts say that only less than half of Brazilians are still social distancing, and that percentage needs to get to at least 70 percent or so to bring down the daily new infection rate. Brazilians are also going back out on vacations and recreational activities, tired of staying indoors or obeying quarantine rules in different Brazilian states. 

Although the reaction of President and Trump ally Jair Bolsonaro was demonized heavily by the liberal media, the situation of Brazil is hard to definitely link to his lack of early action. This is especially true since the arising of the new variant in the north in Manaus is not Bolsonaro’s fault, and the mish mash of policies from different governors leaves Brazilians confused and tired as they try to get on with normal life in the middle of so many people dying.