As heavy as an elephant: anxiety and loss of life expectancy in young Brazilians

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This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Laura A. Martinhago, a 18 years old from Maringá-PR Brazil and a medical student at Unicesumar University. She 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 writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

Agencia Brasil announced in June 19, 2021 that Brazil had 10% of vaccinated people, but about 500,000 lives taken by COVID-19, ranking the 7th place in the world ranking, with 1 death per 1 million inhabitants.1-2 Why is the process so slowly? It’s evident that it results from the weak government support against the pandemic, which made it hard for science and researchers to inform the population about preventive measures such as the correct use of masks and the benefits of social distancing, which were not effectively seen. The pandemic brought many consequences beyond death caused directly from the virus, and mental health problems are one of these consequences, especially involving the youth.

Young people have lost a year including the college preparatory course, and getting into Higher Education became too hard even with studying by yourself, since the selection processes were canceled due to the state of emergency in the cities where exams would be applied. Besides this, there were other problems surrounding young people, such as difficulties involving job and financial conditions, spending time with family (since the possibility of contagion  and having a loss is large) and constantly attacks of fake news in the social media. All of these problems make it very susceptible for young people to develop mental health disturbances. A Brazilian survey found prevalences of 40.4%, 52.6 and 43.5% of sadness, frequent nervousness and sleep disorders respectively, during the pandemic. Groups most susceptible to these problems were young adults, women and people with history of depression.3

Financial collapse also took part in Brazil during the COVID-19 pandemic, causing countless families to go through precarious situations and leading young people, pressured by this new reality, to drop out of higher education. About 4 million Brazilians have left the studies during the pandemic, with a 16.3% rate of college dropout,4 i.e, 16.3% of young people who abandoned the dream of getting a diploma and entering the job market in the area desired.

Brazil is definitely not supporting young people, leading to the growing of future adults frustrated with life. In addition to biological sequelae caused by the COVID-19 vírus, the country will also suffer form a mental health disturbances epidemic surrounding young Brazilians, who will be overburdened during and after the pandemic due to anxiety and loss of life expectancy.


  1. Peduzzi Pedro. Brasil registra mais de 500 mil mortos por covid-19 [internet]. 2021 [cited June 24, 2021]. Agência Brasil. Available from
  2. Ritchie H, Ortiz-Ospina E, Beltekian D, Mathieu E, Hasell J, Macdonald B, et al. Statistics and Research – Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19) [internet]. 2021 [accessed June 24, 2021]. Our World in Data. Available from
  3.  Barros MBA, Lima MG, Malta DC, Szwarcwald CL, Azevedo RCS, Romero D, et al. Relato de tristeza, depressão, nervosismo, ansiedade e problemas de sono na população adulta brasileira durante a pandemia de COVID-19. Epidemiologia e Serviços de Saúde. 2020; 29(4). Available from,50%2C5
  4. Saldaña Paulo. Cerca de 4 milhões abandonaram estudos na pandemia, diz pesquisa [internet]. 2021 [cited June 24, 2021]. Folha de S. Paulo. Available from

About the author

My name is Laura A. Martinhago, I’m 18 years old, I’m from Maringá-PR Brazil and a medical student at Unicesumar University. Currently LEO-D at IFMSA Brazil Unicesumar and member of Scientific local team, which gave me many opportunities in Scientific research.


  1. Most people –including scientists, academics, doctors, and other formally educated folks– are rather profoundly perplexed and befuddled by the various absurdities of the Covid disaster (e.g., the back-and-forth shifting of scientific decrees, the censorship of valid data, the fraudulent fabrication of exaggerated numbers of “covid cases,” etc.). They cannot really make sense out of it all.  At best, they can DESCRIBE the absurdities but they cannot explain WHY it is happening and explain WHAT the governing authorities truly are.

    Why is that? It is because they lack pieces of vital knowledge, a lack that hinders and disables accurate coherent full understanding (therefore, it impairs the proper decision-making process and the potential for profound constructive action).

    Those “missing” pieces of knowledge right in front of our noses are described in a comprehensive article  called “The 2 Married Pink Elephants In The Historical Room –The Holocaustal Covid-19 Coronavirus Madness: A Sociological Perspective  & Historical Assessment Of The Covid “Phenomenon”” by Rolf Hefti at w w w d o t  CovidTruthBeKnown  d o t c o m).

    Without a proper understanding, and full acknowledgment, of the true WHOLE problem and reality, no real constructive LASTING change is possible for humanity.

    “Finding individuals who can think for themselves now is like finding diamonds in a sewer.” (Unknown)

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