Blacks and the Pandemic

Country will be challenged to guarantee equitable participation among Brazilians during pandemic

José Vicente

This Wednesday (13th), as we complete 132 years of the Abolition of Slavery in Brazil, in a surprising and distressing way, we now know the capacity of destruction caused by the pandemic of the novel coronavirus.

The pandemic reveals our ridiculous human fragility. It challenges society's high capacity to organize, coordinate and structure resources and logistics that are essential to enable the construction of a strategy and actions to protect life, health, and physical and material integrity, as well as plan resumption actions for the future.

Manaus. ( Foto: Fabiano Maisonnave/Folhapress) - Fabiano Maisonnave/Folhapress

Its brutal impact and the irradiation of its catastrophic consequences outweighed the other challenges that were already underway, represented by the severe political, economic, and social crisis and the difficulty in promoting urgent reforms. This extremely delicate situation reflected the country's serious problems and challenged, in the same way, all the management and problem-solving capacity of social and political forces.

The inheritance of hundreds of years of slavery, it seems that blacks are the ones who die the most in this pandemic, as they are the most impoverished class. They occupy slums that often do not have drinking water, are exposed to urban mobility that agglomerates - trains, buses, subways. On top of that, they have comorbidities, passing away from quality medical care. Blacks will be punished again. Unviable in their informal work and ineligible for all the social and bureaucratic needs, they will suffer mercilessly to access government resources, return to the job market and keep their wallet at the university hard.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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