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This post is also available in (Post também disponível em): Português (Portuguese (Brazil))

Marcela Leiros – From Cenarium Magazine

The new coronavirus pandemic brought down the global economy in 2020 and, Brazil was not immune to the problems caused by restrictions on economic activity and the drop in family income. The need for social isolation to stem the spread of disease caused the turnover of sectors of commerce, industry, and services in the Brazilian economy to plummet last year. This increased the unemployment rate.

Besides, the pandemic also made visible impacts that the lack of cohesion between the federal governments, state, and municipal can have on the lives of Brazilians millions. The lack of leadership during the crisis and the failure to take decisions by stricter measures that could make the pandemic controlled, even at the beginning, are lacking when we look at the new reality in which many Brazilians find themselves, namely poverty.

This idea is reinforced by political scientist Carlos Santiago, who says that the Amazon is going through one of the worst tragedies in history, with thousands of victims. “During the year 2020, there was no harmony between the Executive powers in the planning and actions against Covid-19. The federal government stayed away from states and municipalities, defending precocious measures without scientific recognition. Municipal and state governments were also not in tune”, he emphasized.

Even though there was no lockdown in the first wave of the pandemic, social isolation measures taken served to reduce the number of infections and deaths. A study coordinated by the Joint Brazil-UK Center for Arbovirus Discovery, Diagnosis, Genomics and Epidemiology (CADDE) indicated that social isolation, despite being adopted after the virus spread in 2020, decreased the transmission rate from 3 to 1.6 contaminated per infected person.

“During the year 2020, there was no harmony between the Executive powers in the planning and actions against Covid-19. The federal government stayed away from states and municipalities.” – Carlos Santiago, the political scientist.

But, even though they are extremely necessary these measures contributed to the economic instability, as remembers the economist Orígenes Martins Júnior. “During the year 2020, there was no harmony between the Executive powers in the planning and actions against Covid-19. The federal government stayed away from states and municipalities, defending precocious measures without scientific recognition. Municipal and state governments were also not in tune”, he emphasized.

According to sociologist Luiz Antonio Nascimento, governments needed to listen to science and adopt the necessary isolation measures but combining with this a strong solidarity campaign to help those in need.

“You see, the so-called salaried middle class (who has the power to pressure and form opinions) managed to protect themselves with remote work, rotation of face-to-face work, and with a salary mass capable of withstanding the economic impact. The lower working class, with no fixed salary, was completely exposed and vulnerable and, in just a few days, had to take to the streets in search of work and income,” recalled the sociologist.