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When I look out of my window here in Rio de Janeiro, I see something I never going to forget. The famous Ipanema beach bathed in sun, without a single human being.

two weeks ago introduced the local authorities a prohibition to be on the beaches, and it is complied with to the letter.

There are many – and certainly stronger, the symbols on the koronaens time here in Brazil, but for me this is something special. Many associate the Rios beaches with luksusliv and wealth, but the fact is that the beaches are some of the most democratic in the brazilian class society.

Rio’s world-famous beach, Ipanema, is empty after the authorities ‘ efforts are in the works.

Photo: Arnt Stefansen / NRK

the Rich and the poor families, enjoying life virtually side by side, and on the beach is one little busy of who you are, or what you have or don’t have.

When Rios beaches are empty, it is seriously – really seriously.

Quarrels and conspiracies

of Course full of speculation and conspiracy theories in a country where this, also in normal times, is almost a national pastime.

More or less making well-grounded contributions surveys tell us that more than a million brazilians can die of the virus, depending on what one puts in the work.

And just action have been the major stridstemaet here in Brazil the last few weeks. The country’s president, høyrepopulisten Jair Bolsonaro, which the first virusfaren as “a fantasy”, then he called it a “gripezinho” – a small flu.

Social media said stop

the President refuses to introduce national measures to prevent infection. He has driven an extensive campaign on its yndlingsarena, social media, to counteract the extensive measures that have been implemented by regional and local leaders – that here in Rio de Janeiro.

President Jair Bolsonaro has said no to the national measures against korona. Local authorities have, nevertheless, introduced strict measures.


But in the last week, and with the social media enough of utspillene from Bolsonaro and his never resting sons, no. 1, nr. 2 and no. 3, as he at the military show call them.

Two videos that show the president in obvious violation of the smittetiltakene from his own health minister, was simply removed by Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – a blistering defeat for the man who has largely based his mediemakt on these internet giants.

a Lot of travel – I’m getting

In a time where many norwegians in utlendighet seeking a safe haven in the fatherland, I have chosen in be here in Brazil – knowing that there is a chance to take in the current situation.

From my apartment I have a view to the more of Rios favelaer, fattigkvartalene where around two million of the city’s residents live.

The nearest is less than a mile away, and I think a lot of what can happen if koronaviruset run amok in these overcrowded areas, where people are impoverished, hygiene poor and health care is absent.

Here in Rio de Janeiro’s largest favela, Rocinha, population around 100,000 people. The big nightmare is what will happen under a korona-epidemic.

Photo: Arnt Stefansen / NRK – to get rid of the old

When I last visited a favela, for a couple of weeks ago, was the fear to touch and feel, and one of the residents, the 18-year-old Brennan Cesaro trusted me their thoughts about korona:

– I think this is a virus that is designed to get rid of the old. They are the only one item of expenditure, especially for our government, which is keen to get the economy moving, ” he says, and looks questioningly at me.

I can’t exactly say I agree, but I understand his desperate attempts to find answers, in a time full of distrust of the country’s leadership.

And the 28-year-old favela-resident Genivaldo Santos says he is terrified of what might happen:

– We are completely unprotected. I think it’s only God who can save us now, ” he says.

God against satan

There are many here in Brazil call upon Our Lord in this situation. Particularly active is the evangelical frikirkene, the so-called pinsemenighetene, which has millions of followers among Brazil’s poor.

Many pinsekirker defy ban on assemblies, and their relatives fear that they are older to become infected.


Several of them have refused to abide by government edicts about social distance. The mighty kirkelederen Silas Malafaia, an important supporter of president Bolsonaro, has been the court ruling that religious preaching may be exempt from the government’s measures.

“This virus is the work of satan, and only God can protect you against the corona,” is the popular pastor’s message to his followers.

Many of those who participate in the activities of the church are old and sick, and their relatives now comes with strong criticism of the danger they are exposed to. The mother of a friend of me is over sixty, and have diabetes and high blood pressure.

But she refuses to listen to her daughter’s plea to stay home. “I put my trust in God,” she says.

Read also: Social media delete the posts from the Brazil’s president Read also: Latin America – koronaens next big victim?

Metro wagons in the city of Curitiba is disinfected to prevent koronasmitte among the passengers.

Photo: DANIEL CASTELLANO Story scares

In extreme times grabs one of the extreme historic parallels, and I see the Italian newspapers that people now are reminded about the black plague in the mid 1300’s – the worst pandemic in history.

This was 150 years before Brazil was a country, so here there is a pandemic of later date, people are reminded about, namely died of Spanish flu, which ravaged the world in several waves, in the period of 1918-1920.

The terrible influensaepidemien took the lives of between 50 and 100 million people worldwide, and in the autumn of 1918 came the hit to Rio, where it spread with uncanny speed.

died of Spanish flu killed 15,000 in here in Rio, and the authorities are prepared for the worst. Here is the new graves prepared in Brazil’s largest cemetery.


All businesses were closed in a short time, and people died so frequently that many of the bodies were lying in the streets for a long time,” writes the historian Mary del Priore in an article in the storavisen O Globo.

The extreme conditions meant that we don’t yet know exactly how many that died, but it is estimated that there dødstallet was around 15,000 here in Rio de Janeiro, which was Brazil’s capital at this time.

Now we cross our fingers here in the city under the sugar loaf, for that tragedy a hundred years ago should not repeat itself.

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