One-Hundred days that will change the world? A retrospective diary from Brazil

History Professors, Mateus Pereira & Valdei Araujo, of the Federal University of Ouro Preto, chronicle 100 days of corononavirus and it’s ramifications in Brazil and around the globe. (09/04/20)

One hundred days and six questions: how does the pandemic affect the destiny of liberal democracies? How are the new global right-wing dealing with the revaluation of science and journalistic curation? Who will be more capable to fight the pandemic: dictatorships or democracies? Why did it take so long to accept that the pandemic would affect us? What does Bolsonaro’s government win and lose with the pandemic?

To think in a free way about these questions, we built a sort of one hundred day diary since China informed World Health Organization about this new virus. Since then the events evolved in such a way that without this effort of a reflexive pit-stop, we are forced to get our information from “updatism”.

Updatism is a term used to describe the reactionary culture of the far-right, where those in positions of power are able to change their options and actions overnight without reflection or analysis. The new global right have used this news agitation to reinforce its power, the progressive path must be another.

This diary form is inspired by the apocalyptical climate. In streaming channels, films about epidemics such as Outbreak (1995) reinforce this countdown to the inevitable. When will the pandemic peak arrive?   How severe are its consequences, now aggravated by the image of a second wave represented by the economic collapse? In the 1995 movie, the outbreak origins is in some Banana Republic, in our real history it starts into a 11 million people city in the second largest economy in the world.

What we aid to achieve ahead is to write the history of how Covid-19 has infiltrated our lives. Our goal, in this sense, is to present a modest and fragmentary chronologic comprehension of this sad and catastrophic historical experience we are living. We want to think beyond the “updatist” agitation of the possibilities of our near future, during and after this emergency. The “Updatism” so well exploited by the global right wing is one of the consequences of news coverage in constant flux – where the value of truth seems to be confused with novelty value or the update of given information. This system even denies that the recent past should be considered or taken into account. This is the reason why updatists such as Trump, Boris Johnson and Bolsonaro never admit mistakes; they only update their narratives and assumptions when the previous ones are unsustainable.

This is the reason why updatists such as Trump, Boris Johnson and Bolsonaro never admit mistakes; they only update their narratives and assumptions when the previous ones are unsustainable.

Their discourses change according to the context, without needing to take responsibility of denying reality the previous day. That is the reason why the diary, the most basic form of organizing the past, again plays an important critical role.

Navigating through this diary, we believe that you, the reader, can relive and think about the moments when the pandemic left its latent condition to become the reorganizing event of our lives.

1st Day – the Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithm of Canadian company BlueDot makes a series of a possible pandemic. It was December 31, 2019 and China had just alerted WHO about uncommon pneumonia cases in Wuhan, a city with 11 million inhabitants. Meanwhile, in our new Whatsapp group we discussed one of the issues that would torment politicians right on the beginning of the epidemic in Brazil: the raising number of informal workers. The National Research by Housing Sample showed the high unemployment rate and the increase of informality in world labor, which at that moment was around 40%. Not without reason, it is right for that public the main disputes, proposals and policy actions went forward.

8th Day – On January 7, 2020 the virus was identified and baptized as SARS-CoV-2 and its disease provoked by as Covid-19, initials to the English expression Coronavirus Disease 2019. In this moment, the authors of this paper continued to be involved in a project in which the theme had absorbed us for the moment: the Bolsonarism. The identification of a new virus, originator of a Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, brought back immediately to memory the SARS recent events of 2002-2003 that had a limited range and was rapidly contained. Although inevitable, understanding Covid-19 as a SARS 2.0 would be a great mistake.

12th Day – On January 11, two days after the first death caused by the new virus, what mobilized us was the research that showed the black and female face of Brazilian neopentecostals. We asked about the practices that progressive sectors could use to connect to this fundamental part of today’s electorate, especially on how to keep some electors away from the enchantment zone of the so-called right-wing “costumes” agenda – which had captured values and these people’s feelings. Alternatively, still, on how to give an emancipatory significance to a specific part of these values.

14th Day- in Thailand on January 13,  the first case of the virus outside of China was registered.

17th Day – On January 20, China registered the third death and more than 200 infections. Some of these cases were identified outside Hubei province, where Wuhan is located. On this day, we analyzed a research database that showed Bolsonaro as the politician with most social media and Youtube interactions. On 2019, he posted 5.708 times and had 731,4 million reactions, comments and shares. The “interaction average” of a single post was of 128.000. Showing, at that moment, that his reactions followed the logic of social media.

22nd Day – Mid way through January, it became clear to the world the virus would not stagnate on Asia, as it was with the previous experience, SARS-Coronavirus 1.0. Towards the end of the month, the United States, Nepal, France, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Corea, Vietnam and Taiwan had their first cases. A report from Exame magazine on the 21st highlighted that there were more than 7.000 people infected and the disease was beyond Chinese borders. The transmission velocity was relativized by the end of death rates being lower than other viruses, even from SARS-Coronavirus 1.0.

24th Day- At this point the number of deaths in China only increased and, on January 23, Wuhan is put under an effective quarantine, with the suspension of airplane and train transports. Besides Wuhan, Xiantao and Chibi, two other cities from the Hubei province had also entered into an effective quarantine. After the following day, the holiday of January 24-30 had started, celebrating the Chinese New Year. Millions of people went on trips, in and outside the country. At the same time, Beijing cancelled the festivities as a way to contain the virus spread. At that point, public news in China indicated 25 deaths and 600 with the disease. According to WHO, the outbreak was not, still, a public emergency of international preoccupation, once that there was no evidence the virus had spread outside China. On the other hand, it was the first time we noticed the rising risks of a global pandemic, throughout a report called “Why does Coronavirus arouse fear of a pandemic” published in Nexo. The news still used historical comparison between 2002-2003 SARS and 2019 one. In this same report, there was an indication of a possible victim of Covid-19 in Belo Horizonte.

31st Day-  On January 30, WHO declared the new coronavirus a global emergency, once the number of deaths in China jumped to 170, with 7.711 cases all over the country. India and The Phillipines confirmed their first cases as well. Our first concerns, in this moment, were the rising prestige of Minister of Human Rights Damares Alves amongst the poor, and at the same time, we were enthusiastically following Italy’s “Sardines Movement”.

On that special day, many AI reports anticipating the possibility of a pandemic were published. Throughout access of airplane tickets, Canadian AI BlueDot “predicted” with lots of certainty, the virus spread outside China. On this matter, CEO and BlueDot Founder made a statement: “We know that one can not trust the governments to provide timely information.” We can catch news of probable outbreaks, small whispers, forums and blogs indicating some sort of uncommon event happening. Basically, the AI created alerts throughout the news, in 65 languages, flight companies database and news of disease outbreaks in animals. Founded in 2014, the company and its creator, with an initial investment of US$ 9,4 million, was a specialist in infectious diseases in Toronto, also working during the SARS-COVID 1.0 in 2003, which had also reached Canada, infecting 375 people and killing 44 in Toronto. In the AI’s owner words, the solution to pandemics is the anticipation provided by Artificial Intelligence.

32nd Day- On January 31, New York Times correspondent asked: “SARS was mortal in Canada. Is the country ready for Coronavirus?”. According to him, Toronto’s health care system became chaotic and confusing during the SARS outbreak 17 years ago. He affirmed that the motivated changes from that crisis would probably be tested once again. Therefore, at the end of January, on a smartphone one could play Plague Inc and follow in real-time the number of confirmed cases and victims of Sars-Covid 2.0 in the world. A website made by Johns Hopkins monitored the spread of the disease.

There was an illusion above us that Sars-Covid 2.0 could stop in Asia. In addition, there was a projection that Sars-Covid 2.0 death rate would be smaller than Sars-Covid 1.0. Although, a website report from Revista Piaui, also published on the last day of January, alerted: “The smaller virus death rate is good news for people infected, but not necessarily is something positive in terms of the public health care system”. The same report signaled to one of the main risks brought by the virus: “There is a silent variable that can difficult the containment strategy of the new coronavirus, based on quarantine and isolation: the transmission capacity by people that, although infected, do not show any symptoms”. Moreover, this was one of the great disease differences from 2.0 to 1.0 versions. At the same moment, a report relativized the concern about the epidemic, because in Brazil there were bigger odds in contracting measles. Throughout February, “it was easier to contract dengue than the new virus”, as many people said at that moment.

35th Day- On February 03 Chinese authorities believed in containing the epidemic. Chinese Foreign Affairs Spokeswoman accused the United States of creating and spreading havoc about the new coronavirus.

41st Day- On February 09, a day after the record-breaking construction of a second hospital built by the Chinese government to attend infected patients, SARS-COVID 2.0 odds of being less lethal started to fall. China had 811 deaths and surpassed 2002-2003 SARS total global deaths.

53rd Day – On February 20, all of the 87% of the new cases were in China, with more than 2.000 deaths and 74.000 infected. However, the authorities’ database showed that the number of infections still decreased. The virus had spread out and outbreaks begun in other countries, such as South Korea, Iran and Italy. On this day, South Korea announced its first death.

54th Day- the Italian government announced the beginning of a 50,000 people quarantine. It was February 21 and Italy had registered its first death. On the following day, main Italian newspapers had alarming headlines: “The virus in Italy: one death in Veneto” (Corriere Della Sera); “Virus, the scared North” (La Repubblica); “Virus in Italy, quarantine for 50.000” (24 Ore) ; “Coronavirus, first dead in Italy”; “The virus advances, North in Quarantine” (Il Messaggero); “Infected Italy” (il Giornale); “Stop everything” (Il Manifesto). For many Italians these headlines were nothing but an exaggerated alarmism of an unnecessary exaggeration.

58th Day- On February 26, Folha de Sao Paulo published an interview with Wanderson Oliveira, epidemiologist, with the title: “Minister of Health Secretary alerts to ‘infodemia” about coronavirus”. The epidemiologist responsible for dealing with Coronavirus in Brazil, appointed by the Ministry of Health, affirmed that we were living under an “infodemia”. Gathered with the states’ representatives Oliveira said “information is perishable” because “there is not enough time for the system to adapt to new evidence”. From the news’ perspective, and from the pandemic dynamic itself, updatist logic seems to deepen. According to Oliveira, database runs through the hands, once we are living in a real-time epidemic.

Infodemia is one of the catchwords of the moment. Starting from the use of Oliveira, we found a New York Times report on February 07, 2020, saying that WHO was working with social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and Google to fight fake news spread about the disease. The reporting cited the word to deal with the situation. Until the moment, there are only Catalan and Finish entries on Wikipedia about the word. Cataloinan page sustains that the term “is used by WHO to make reference about false information, general alarming provoked by misinformation and conspiracy theories. The phenomenon relates to fake news and the absence of info checking before sharing. The page related to it in Lusophone Wikipedia calls it “Misinformation on Covid-19 pandemic”. The Finnish page says that Washington Post used the word during SARS epidemic, in 2003. The acronym meant an enormous amount of wrong or right information, although, in many cases, only a small amount aggregated an informative value.

59th Day- Milan mayor shared on February 27 the “Milan does not stop” video, challenging the quarantine policy. In the same day, Italy registered 14 Covid-19 deaths and 528 confirmed cases. About one month later, the city had more than 4.000 Covid-19 deaths and its mayor had apologized. Meanwhile, in Brazil, there was a discussion if the left wing had died and if the Workers Party had become obsolete. Former president Lula met with the Pope; Bolsonaro led the 2022 pools; and speculations under a possible Luciano Huck candidacy had increased. Moreover, Bolsonaro coup d’etat plans were on the march. In the international scenario, Bernie Sanders success on the Democratic Party primaries in the US was the political headline. There were infection cases in most of the countries of the world.

66th Day- Europe had 41% of the new Coronavirus cases on March 05.

67th Day- Media mainstream noticed the arrival of Brazilian entourage in Florida, on March 07, on an official visit that also included a meeting with president Trump. The headline of Folha is the stockmarket crisis. The pandemic in Brazil occupied a modest place, with a small lateral box informing the 13 cases in the country. The protest against the Supreme Court and the Congress organized by Bolsonarist groups was predominant in the political mainstream news.

68th Day- One of the responsible virologists of the discovery of Zika Virus relativized the pandemic impact in Brazil and highlighted, on March 8, that SARS-Covid 2.0 would not survive the warm temperatures.

72nd Day – Folha’s main headline on March 11 is about the risks of a system collapse in Brazil. On the same day, WHO declared an existing Covid-19 global pandemic. Since then, the pandemic became the main important theme on Folha’s most headlines until the moment we write this paper.

75th Day- on an eminent risk of epidemic spreading, on March 14 the Brazilian mainstream media highlights the scientists’ recommendations: Brazil must stop.

77th Day- Monday, March 16. On the previous day Mateus came back from his six months study trip in Bologna, we were eager to meet once again. Brazil has 15 Sars-Covid-19 cases. The media covered the Sunday protest against the Supreme Court and Congress, with Bolsonaro’s presence, despite the risks of infection. The infection from the members of the President’s trip committee to United States reverberate since March 11, with the first already confirmed on the 12. Until now, Bolsonaro has not published the exams that would confirm that he himself had not been infected. Or, would the president have got infected, but healed with hydroxychroloquine, amongst many other fakes, how can one know? On this day, he talked about the pandemic, in his peculiar, fragmented language way: “It was surprising what happened on the streets, despite this overreaction. There will be trouble, the ones who are old, [the ones] with trouble, [there are the ones who] got some sort of handicap, but it is not all of this they say. Even in China it is almost over”.

78th Day – March 18. Newspapers noticed the first virus death in Sao Paulo. The Senate president and two other Bolsonaro’s ministers tested positive for Covid-19. A report from Outras Palavras asked: “Will the Coronavirus boost impeachment?”. One WHO Brazillian Assistant-Director affirms that Brazilians were underestimating the risk of Coronavirus. A Doctor who treated the first dead patient in Brazil begs for the people to stay at home. Intercept notices company Riachuelo maintained workers in office even with coronavirus confirmed cases. At night, more “panelaços”[1] against Jair Bolsonaro. In addition, the book organized by us (and Bruna Stutz): “From Fake to the fact: outdating Bolsonaro” finished. We still believed we would make public releases. It was just an illusion.

80th Day- March 19. In the left-wing, the concern about the peripheries and most vulnerable ones during the epidemic increases. The Chinese Embassy in Brazil strikes back congressman Eduardo Bolsonaro (no party) and son of the president, who the day previously had accused China of hiding information about the pandemic: “Your words are extremely irresponsible and sound familiar. They are an imitation of your close friends. After coming back from Miami, unfortunately, has got the mental virus, which is infecting the friendship amongst our peoples”. Economists pointed to a depression risk and to the rising of poverty due the pandemic. Brazil was about ten days behind Italy on the rhythm of the epidemic.

83rd Day- March 22, after a long discussion, on the day before we set up a barbecue meeting. Valdei has an asthmatic background and does not know if he still is in the risk group. On the morning of this Sunday, Mateus wakes up coughing, fatigued and with fever: barbecue and re-meeting indefinitely postponed. At night, after having a leaked Whatsapp from entrepreneur Roberto Justus, calling the concerns about the epidemic hysterical, he suffers with protests on Twitter and other social media. He aligns himself with other bolsonarist entrepreneurs who argued in the same direction, such as Madeiro, Havan and Riachuelo owners.

84th Day – March 23, Monday. Boris Johnson recognizes the gravity of the crisis in the United Kingdom and shifts his discourse and previous adopted actions. On March 3, in an interview, he was still boasting to keep shaking hands of Covid-19 victims.

85th Day– March 24. At the same time Bolsonaro retreats on the wage-cut provisional act, the Federal Bank liberates more than R$ 1 Trillion to banks. Reports denounced the owner of Madeiro’s statement – affirming that economy should not stop due to 5 or 7 thousand deaths. The Emergency Family Income was launched in Argentina. Bolsonaro made a substantial differing statement, compared with his two previous ones, criticizing isolation measures. Despite the brief compliments directed to the Minister of Health, he makes an appeal for getting back to normalcy, opposing against the Minister’s recommendations. Bolsonaro criticizes what he called “a press hysteria”, arguing that Italy, as we all know, only followed this path because there are old people and it has a cold weather. Therefore, it was not an example to Brazil. He questions the school shutdowns and suggests only people in-group risks should go to lockdown. He fiercely criticizes the State Governors, accusing them to drive the economy towards a collapse. He names the coronavirus effects “a small flu”, boasts of his athlete historical background and speculates about hydroxychloroquine treatment. More panelaços occurs during his national statement. Immediate reactions also occurred, even from the Senate House’s President, asking for a serious leadership to deal with the crisis. The Japanese Premier requests a year postponement for the Tokyo Olympics. The doctor-nurse from the Public Healthcare System (SUS) of Ouro Preto visits Mateus at home to evaluate if he was a Covid-19 suspect case. WHO sees a big potential on United States becoming the new center of the pandemic crisis.

86th  Day- March 25. Another nurse from Ouro Preto take samples from Mateus’ throat and nostrils. The exam is sent to Ezequiel Dias Foundation in Belo Horizonte. On this day, the fever sets back.

87th  Day – On March 26, Portuguese sociologist Boaventura de Souza Santos affirms that the extreme right-wing fails to fight against coronavirus. At the same time, a Gallup Institute research indicates Trump has the biggest approval since the beginning of his mandate. More than 1,000 coronavirus deaths in U.S. The epidemic advances in Spain, with more than 4,000 deaths and 56,000 confirmed cases. In Latin America, the majority of the governments adopted strict measures.  As for Trump, Covid-19 still is a flu and the American cases were dropping.

88th Day- March 27. Bolsonaro launches public propaganda with the slogan #OBrasilNãoPodeParar[2] , and Intercept shows there is a certain social adherence to this discourse. WHO affirms pandemic evolution in Africa is capital. Some reports come to us that in noble neighborhoods of Vitoria there are thorough virus measurements, with non-dismissed workers, cleaning the space three times a day. On that Friday afternoon, some residents of those buildings must have joined the car protest at the end of the evening, calling for commerce to reopening in Vitoria and Vila Velha, #OBrasilNaoPodeParar. Pope Francis produces one of the most iconic images while walking through an empty Plaza of Saint Peter, carrying with him a crucifix that salved Rome from the Black Death epidemic in 1522 – according to tradition.

89th Day- March 28. A Portuguese newspaper headline synthesizes the country’s concerns with the virus spread: “Covid-19 in Portugual. Heading towards the unknown and trying to delay the march”. One headline, one synthesis, one statement: we are living in a moment where delaying the march can be more prudent than going towards a rapid finish line of a certain future. However, who are the ones to decide whether when and how to delay it? Who is paying for it? Some questions of the good and old politics.

90th Day- March 29. A headline from Folha affirms that the residents of favelas are in hunger and starting to get out on the streets. Trump now refers “the flu” as a pandemic and extends isolation in U.S. He seems concerned: “I only saw those things in distant countries, never in ours”. Meanwhile, Bolsonaro walks around the streets of Distrito Federal, stimulating people to go out. In an unprecedented decision, Twitter decides to remove his recent posts on the same day. In this moment, the statements from Bolsonaro starts to distance from Trump’s, although there is a vast common repertoire.

91st Day- Monday, March 30. Hungarian Parliament gives almost unlimited powers to Prime-Minister Viktor Orban, under the justification of fighting against coronavirus. Amongst them, the possibility of censorship.

92nd Day- March 31. Ministers of Justice and Economy oppose Bolsonaro and support the Minister of Health. Social isolation measures have the support of 60% of Brazilian people, according to a software. 15 Brazilian states use the individual behavioral mapping technology throughout wireless devices. Website O antagonista resumes the last national statement: “ Jair Murphy Bolsonaro. If something can be wrong, it is because is going to be wrong”. Vice-President exalts the Military Dictatorship (1964-1985) on the anniversary of the coup d’etat of March 31, 1964. The authors spend the whole day involved with #DitaduraNuncaMais[3] campaign. Mateus still coughs and has fever. Still he does not have the exam.

93rd Day- April 01. On 07:45 a.m Mariana City Hall confirms the first Covid-19 death in town, a 44 year old man, without any comorbidities and with a probable local infection. Not without some irony, Folha notices on the last national speech the president had altered his tone and seek reconciliation (April’s fool?). He and his political group kept the misinforming war against his own Minister of Health.  The country already registered 42 deaths. Bolsonaro shared a fake video by the means to suggest social isolation can create a shortage crisis. After a fact checking made on the fraud, he says sorry, a very rare gesture that maybe shows how isolated he is. As many study experts said: the fight is against the pandemic and infodemic, both of them at the same time. Fake news and the virus compete to see who gets more viral, that is, who suffers more updating mutations.

94th Day- April 02. The underreporting news gain the headlines. Government announces the reduction and suspension of wages during the pandemic. El Pais affirms providers offering medical supplies against coronavirus have deprecated Brazil for other countries. To use or not to use masks, that is the question?

95th Day- April 03. Global cases reach 1 million. In Brazil, Bolsonaro keeps in collision course with his Minister of Health. Ecuador enters in sanitary collapse. The country ranks eight in the population of the continent, but already registered the second largest number of deaths. Covid-19 ends with 10 million jobs in U.S. Healthcare professionals in Brazil denounce the poor labor conditions in pandemic times. Bolsonarismo spreads very effective narratives amongst the population, especially in the evangelic community. Minister of Health Mandetta is the main target of digital milita: How many amongst them are Twitterbots? Who finances them? What is the leniency role of Facebook, Twitter, and Google with these practices? A research published with the Twitter database shows that, on March 15, the hastag #BolsonaroDay saw an increase, leading to the conclusion that 55% of the posts on this hashtag were made by robots. Brazil’s Judiciary and the Legislative watch everything, impassible: Are they coldly astutes or bestialized creatures?

96th Day- April 04. All first page headlines from Folha are, without exception, dedicated to the pandemic. An audio sent by a friend from Rio Grande do Norte, showing there are calls for “prohibition and criminalization of socialism, communism, and cultural Marxism in Brazil”. The audio keeps asking for the destruction of the Folha de Sao Paulo, who is behind this great conspiracy to break Brazil: “China has bought Italy. From that moment on, at the end of the year, Italy was full of Chinese youngsters spitting and coughing everywhere to spread the virus”, the audio explained. Moreover, continued: Italy is cold and 30% of its population is old, that is why “there was this general slaughter”, the virus only likes the cold. Second, chloroquine is being very useful on the cure of Covid-19, the left-wing governments are using the quarantine to crack Brazil. With the whole country stopped, with massive demission, the people would get moneyless and in hunger, Europe can quarantine once it has a gold-back value of its currency, Brazil does not, this is the communist’s plans to take power in Brazil, they are releasing the arrested. All of this to impeach Bolsonaro, but if he falls Mourao cannot assume, because there was a Constitutional Amendment Proposal number 37 in 2019 that would veto him. There would be another election and Ciro Gomes – financed by the Chinese government, once the Asian country wants to buy all Brazilian companies almost for free: “that is how Brazil would become socialist”.

There is a certain desperation in reading this as a Professor: how can we fight this type of narrative? We can find a cure to the pandemic, but will the infodemic become the new normal?

There is a certain desperation in reading this as a Professor: how can we fight this type of narrative? We can find a cure to the pandemic, but will the infodemic become the new normal?

97th Day- April 05. Bolsonaro and his supporters make a religious fastening against the new coronavirus- and the communist plan to dominate Brazil. Olavo de Carvalho, the guru’s president, defends in his Facebook profile the resignation of Mandetta, using a disrespectful quibble: “Fora, ministro Punhetta”[4]. The minister would be a typical example when a government only select its higher officers by pure ‘technical criteria’, without any regards to their ideological affiliation”. The guru also states, “all the communists want is the opponent trying to beat them escaping from the ideological fight”.

98th Day- Monday, April 06. International press announces the aggravating health situation of Boris Johnson, British premier of the new global right wing, who initially was amongst those who minimized the pandemic effects.  Indigenous thinker Ailton Krenak says that “going back to normal would be the same as converting to negationism and accept the Earth is flat, that we should keep devouring ourselves”. Minister Mandetta almost falls throughout the day. A friend sends an e-mail at the end of the night: “we are being updated as the role of a passive virus transmitter, without any heart and soul”. Due to the pressure of Bolsonaro, the Minster of Health will adopt next week the risky strategy of wide social distancing, that is, reducing isolation in cities and states with 50% of free health capabilities. According the Minister, this will increase the number of infected. Finally, WHO publishes a document about the use of masks, that went from hell to heaven during the pandemic. On the same day, a report affirmed: Deaths by Coronavirus concentrate in few cities of the world: New York has 29% of their Covid-19 casualties in U.S and became the disease’s epicenter. Sao Paulo gathers 40% of the casualties in Brazil. Is Sao Paulo in the path of becoming a new global epicenter?

99th Day- April 07. Estimates point to the fact the pandemic would rise to 22,000 the number of people in extreme poverty conditions in Latin America. In Africa, confirmed cases are above 10,000. Most of the 54 countries have had one case, at least. South Africa, the most affected country, had 1,700 sick ones. Brazil has 114 deaths by coronavirus in 24h, the biggest amount in one day. Total deaths reach 667. Datafolha (a poll research institute of Folha de Sao Paulo) says that 28% of Brazilians do not practice isolation, a very likely percentage of the president’s popular support: are the Whatsapp narratives working? Simultaneously, Folha states the drug defended by the government might not be the salvation expected by many bolsonarists. “The death rates with chloroquine is equivalent to those who do not use it”, says Fiocruz. Whatsapp limits the sending of messages to combat the infodemic: everybody asks, does the limit hold for robots and boosting companies? Landon Spradlin, north-american pastor, dies of Covid-19, famously known to call the pandemic a hysteria. New York has more Covid-19 deaths than September 11. United States ranks first in cases, registering the biggest number of deaths by Coronavirus in one single day, with 1,800 deaths. Trump attacks WHO and China on Twitter. Website O antagonista registers Turkish President “Erdogan rejects social isolation, and the virus advances in Turkey”. “Erdogan had resisted to medical and opposition appeals to order people to stay at home – he insists ‘the wheels of economy need to keep spinning”. Bolsonaro sends his recovery vows to Boris Johnson. Caixa Economica Federal releases an app help to support the R$600 approved by the Congress.

100th Day- April 08. Wuhan, the original epicenter, receives “freedom” as a gift. After 11 weeks, 76 days, the city lockdown comes to an end. There are some concerns, however, of new re-infection waves in China. The Guardian: “Chinese city Wuhan reopens as Boris Johnson goes to the second day of intensive care”. Global cases reach 1,4 million people. Mateus’ test still not ready, but there are visible signs of recovery. Valdei is in isolation at Padre Viegas, a district of Mariana county, city in which the mining companies did not stop their activities. Each day, buses full of workers circle between mines, neighbors, and districts. Who can imagine the next 100 days? Globo notices the financial support excludes 21 million needed workers.

Let us leave to the next chronicle, let us not go any further. Let’s make a reflexive pause to think about the answers to the so many questions that these 100 days left opened. See you soon! Stay at home

[1] Panelaço is a form of popular social protest very often used in Brazil and Latin America in general. It consists of people in a synchronized time starting to hit pans from their balconies while some authority is giving a national speech. In this coronavirus context, Bolsonaro is the “victim” of this massive vocal uprising. Translator’s note.

[2] Brazil cannot stop. N.of T.

[3] No more dictatorship. N.of T.

[4] The quibble refers to the rhyming relationship between the word Mandetta and the most popular way to refer to a male masturbation in Portuguese –“punheta”-, which means, “jerk off”. N of T.

Mateus Pereira & Valdei Araujo are History Professors from the Federal University of Ouro Preto. We would like to thank Andre Luan Nunes Macedo for the translation of this article. 

Featured Image : COVID-19 Outbreak Cases in Minas Gerais, April 5th, 2020.

One thought on “One-Hundred days that will change the world? A retrospective diary from Brazil

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s