Brazilian pandemic: far beyond the virus

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr. Manoel Flávio Silva Kanisky, a fifth period medical student at Unicesumar, Maringá, Brazil. He is affiliated with the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writers and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

In spite of scientific evolution and global efforts to face the pandemic in many realms, its third wave still threatens humanity, especially in peripheral countries due to the precarious life quality and lack of basic services, which has been worsening since the beginning of this event. There is so much to be learned from the past year waves and to be adopted by governments, in order to handle medical and socioeconomic chaos in a most humanistic way.

In Latin American countries as Brazil, not only the media widespread ‘’denialist ideal’’ relies the main factor of failure on fighting COVID-19 and its multifaceted effects. Besides the high demand for medical supplies, chronic socioeconomic disorders have been deepened, through increasing unemployment, poverty rate and famine[1]. The government, led by austerity thought, hasn’t established credit policy for the sake of small-medium business, and neither labor protection measures. Nonetheless, the Congress voted for an emergency aid (R$ 600 per month, while the minimum wage is R$ 1100) to the most careless people, which received it during the year before, so the economy minister decreased to almost R$ 250[2], at the same time the pandemic became more serious, with high death rates per day and public hospitals collapse on many cities. Meanwhile, the Brazilian state approved a shameful tax forgiveness to wealthy churches[3] (1 billion of debt) and didn’t change the financial system structure, to which are transferred everyday almost 5 billions. Austerity doesn’t affect them, it’s only evoked towards the welfare policies[4]. Therefore, the most relevant points from this situation are that social issues are neglected and healthcare is seen as a single business, thereby the government efforts to disestablish the public health have been undeniable through fund cuts (specially on the pandemic peak), in opposition to the fact that some countries, such as Spain, have nationalized private hospitals to fight the pandemic.

Another notable lesson from the pandemic is that we need to take care of life and economy, and there is no paradox between them. This false dichotomy is heavily disseminated when more restrictive measures are planned, as if citizens were obliged to decide: ‘’life or work’’, according to the extreme ‘’neoliberal’’ (i)logics. Both options can be possible, nevertheless, it doesn’t depend only on people’s behavior (social isolation, masks and alcohol gel), but specially on a national planning to deal with the pandemic[5]. Simply keeping the active working class is not enough to save lives, and the main goal should be making people stay at home and provide them the necessary conditions for live without the need of going to work and exposing themselves. In order to that, more assistance policies and structural reforms (progressive tax policy) must be implemented by the state, particularly towards ‘’basic’’ survival itens (such as rice, beans, gas cylinder, water…), in order not to increase their prices.

At last, the current Brazilian situation in the pandemic expresses the institutional disservice before all, associated with neoliberal harm to lives and the public healthcare at all.


  1. Santos RT. O neoliberalismo como linguagem política da pandemia: a Saúde Coletiva e a resposta aos impactos sociais. Physis, 2020; 30(2): e300211.

About the author

Manoel Flávio Silva Kanisky, 22 years old, is a fifth period medical student at Unicesumar, Maringá, Brazil.

He is a Local coordinator of IFMSA Brazil Unicesumar, member of  the Endocrinology and Metabology League of Maringá, and research director of the Complementary Medicine League of Maringá.



the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Coronavirus: European roadmap shows path towards common lifting of containment measures

MasterCard @ MWC14: Innovation in times of regulatory uncertainty

Ending the era of dirty textiles

Big data is coming to agriculture. Farmers must set its course

A reality check on inclusive innovation

Trump’s Russophiles under investigation, Europe remains ‘en garde’

How a trade war would impact global growth

This Japanese experiment shows how easily coronavirus can spread – and what you can do about it

UNESCO lists wrestling, reggae and raiho-shin rituals as global treasures to be preserved

Eurozone’s sovereign debt not a problem anymore?

Does the EU want GMOs and meat with hormones from the US?

Why your next work meeting should be a ‘walk-and-talk’

Meet Alice, the battery-powered plane that could herald the age of electric air travel

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “You just don’t know if the oil price will be 20$ or 100$ in the next 2-3 years!” top Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff underscores from Davos

Mobile health technology: Advances, Facilitations and Promotion of Autonomy

A Sting Exclusive: “Cybersecurity Act for safer European Industries and Consumers against cyberthreats”, by MEP Niebler

Why collective action is the key to saving our forests

Commission’s Youth Initiative fails first hurdle by not sufficiently consulting young people

With potential to boost profits by up to 20 per cent, a woman’s place is at work, says UN labour agency

Environmental liability rules need revamping

Lack of involvement, or lack of opportunities?

A roadmap for destination management in the digital economy

ECB: Euro area should smooth out the consumption and income shocks of its members

Coronavirus Global Response: the Commission’s contribution to the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (COVAX)

Why protesters disrupted London Fashion Week

‘Think beyond farm jobs’ to reach sustainable development, UN agriculture chief advises African youth

Top officials say UN will support Bahamas’ rescue, relief efforts as Hurricane Dorian churns in Atlantic

From underestimation to valorization: how mobile technology is transforming global health

All sides in Yemen conflict could be guilty of war crimes, UN experts find

MWC 2016 LIVE: Verizon boasts momentum for IoT platform

“At the Environment Assembly citizens expect clean, not hot air”, the Head of UN Environment in Europe underscores in a Sting Exclusive

Mobile Technology Saving Lives: Changing healthcare systems with simple technological solutions

Stop the waste: UN food agencies call for action to reduce global hunger

Don’t dismiss start-ups founded by millennials. This is how they succeed

Myanmar: Departing UN rights expert still hopeful for democratic transition

Will the end of QE come along with ECB’s inflation target?

Permafrost is thawing so fast it’s gouging holes in the Arctic

Brexit mission impossible: Theresa May was so desperate that had to appoint Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary

European Super League: Why more football is an imperfect solution to sport’s business model problem

Texting is a daily source of stress for 1/3 of people – are you one of them?

ACP-EU Parliamentary Assembly: strengthening the partnership

Everybody against Japan over yen’s devaluation

Nicaragua: MEPs demand an end to repression of political opponents

COVID-19 vaccine development is more global than you might think

What little Cameron got in Brussels seems enough to keep Britain in the EU

It ain’t over until Google says it’s over

Azeri natural gas will keep the EU warm soon

From Policy to Reality: Discrepancies in Universal Health Care Systems across the EU

Is there a de facto impossibility for the Brexit to kick-start?

Militias force nearly 2,000 to leave Libyan capital’s largest shelter for internally-displaced: UNHCR

Visa liberalisation: Commission reports on fulfilment of visa-free requirements by Western Balkans and Eastern Partnership countries

UN chief calls for ‘enlightened self-interest’ from world leaders to save ‘the whole planet’ from climate change

A Europe that Protects: Commission calls for more efforts to ensure adoption of security proposals

World is ‘on notice’ as major UN report shows one million species face extinction

New York City has a plan to fight fast fashion waste. Here’s how it works

Changing world of work needs new jobs strategy

How LA plans to be 1.6°C cooler by 2050

VP McGuinness on women’s rights: “Not an option, but a duty”

Security Union: Commission welcomes political agreement on removing terrorist content online

Discussions kick off among MEPs and national MPs on economic governance

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

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