Latin America is struggling with Covid-19

Latin America is struggling with Covid-19

Brazil has now become the nation with the second highest numbers of Covid-19 cases, after the United States. There are now over 330,000 cases in Brazil with over 21,000 deaths. Sadly, many Latin American nations are severely impacted by the global pandemic due to social inequality and lack of resources. In many places, local authorities are struggling to treat the sick, bury the dead, and aid families that have been economically suffering.

Here are some photos that illustrate the hardships that many Latin American people are experiencing as the deal with sick and dead loved ones, and the added stress of rapid funerals, delayed burials, and mass graves.

Grave diggers in protective suits in Brazil (Reuters)
May 22nd: Freshly dug graves in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Covid-19 intensive care unit in Lima, Peru

City officials say they expect to bury up to 4,500 people in the next month alone. Funeral homes have warned they will run out of wooden coffins by this weekend.

The Guardian
A coffin with the body of a person who is believed to have died from Covid-19 lies wrapped in plastic and covered with cardboard, outside a block of family apartments in Guayaquil.
The situation is dire in Ecuador, where authorities in the city of Guayaquil were unable to cope with the numbers of dying Covid-19 victims. The person in this coffin remained outside his family home for more than 3 days before the authorities could collect him for burial.

Large numbers of Latin Americans live day-to-day on money they make from street trading and other informal work, which is now largely banned. Hunger threatens across the region.


Red is for help, black for violence, blue for medical attention

The red rag phenomenon began a few weeks ago, in the impoverished peripheral neighbourhood of Soacha – on the outskirts of Bogota – where a large majority of the population work informally, without contracts or job security, and live day-to-day off their earnings.

Al Jazeera

When considering our own experiences with lockdown in North America and Western Europe, it is important to understand how lucky we are that we have the luxury to stay in our homes with few worries. In many countries, people earn wages in cash paid daily, and these wages are often only sufficient to purchase food for a single day at a time. That means when there is no work, there is no food that day.

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