The Brazilian Government’s response to the global pandemic ranged from flippant to farcical and must ultimately be deemed a failure. Towards the end of 2020, the country had one of the world’s highest COVID-19 death tolls and its currency the Brazilian real was showing little sign of recovery after hitting a record low against the US dollar. Even as corpses piled up around the world, president Jair Bolsonaro called the coronavirus “a little cold”.
Such thoughtlessness undoubtedly played its part in an, at times, negligent approach to containment. An emergency aid package resulted in eligible (and too many ineligible) citizens receiving US $110 per month, but different states imposed different rules and many of the country’s streets and shops remained crowded.
Depending on where you are traveling, failing to wear a mask can result in a hefty fine and while hand sanitizers are readily available, a study has found up to 80% of them were ineffective in killing COVID-19.
Similarly, while por kilo restaurants (where you pay by the weight of the food you buy) are great for those traveling on a budget, it’s probably best to avoid them during a pandemic. After all, hearty plates of rice, beans, meat and fresh vegetables might not be the only thing you come away with from the buffet table.