Bolsonaro Refuses to Lockdown; Cases in Brazil Decline Anyway

We’re publishing a third postcard from our Brazilian correspondent today in which he explains that infections, hospitalisations and deaths are declining across Brazil, in spite of President Bolsonaro’s stubborn refusal to lock down in the face of overwhelming pressure. Which is just as well, says our correspondent, because it’s impossible to lock down the population of Brazil. Here’s an extract:

Bolsonaro may be an ass, he may be an environmental disaster, he might be far too close to criminals, and he might be a little too fond of hydroxychloroquine, but you gotta say it… the man has balls.

If a new variant, rapidly rising deaths, overstretched hospitals, travel bans, and international condemnation from the pro-lockdown crowd wasn’t going to lead to a lockdown, nothing ever would.

In Brazil, lockdown will never work, of course. And the funny thing is: everyone knows it. The media, the state governors, the scientists… everyone. Their demands are strictly political. This is a country where the vast majority of people work in the informal economy and can’t stay home, and an even larger proportion will simply do what they like anyway and dare the police to enforce it, who can’t and won’t. The super rich, who run the country, wouldn’t take kindly to being stopped from jetting off to Mexico, or Dubai, or the Maldives, or Miami. At one point, some small town Brazilian mayors put up fences on popular beaches to discourage mixing. Brazilian holidaymakers ripped them down and set up on the sand en masse.

The state governors, too, know the futility of lockdown, even as they scream for one. How do we know? Because they won’t impose lockdowns in their own states. They know such measures would be unenforceable and devastating… for them at the polls, as well as for the local economy, so they instead come up with the weakest restrictions possible, just enough to say they are doing something, and then blame the Government for why they can’t do more. The whole thing is a farcical game.

Worth reading in full.

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