A careful reading of the news published by the various media points to the absence of references about rural workers. In a country, considered the largest producer of commodities in the world, this may cause some strangeness at first. In fact, rural workers are overshadowed, denied by the wider society. I intend to contribute so that this fog that covers them is removed so that people can see them as essential in this moment of the pandemic that is plaguing us.
Since the confirmation of the first case of Covid-19 in Brazil, on February 26th, state and municipal governments have used their large prerogatives to control contamination and minimize the impacts of the pandemic. The president’s position opened up space for sub-national governments to rise to the position of protagonists in the crisis. After two months, the questions are: what are the main measures adopted by the municipalities; what is the speed and stability of the response of the local government officials; what relationship predominated between mayors, governors, and the president?
In times of a pandemic, I am concerned that discriminatory positions are gaining strength. And I think the anti-discrimination/anti-racist struggle needs to take action! After all, racist discrimination manifests itself through many formulas and brings with it subterfuges that impose on others a History that denies political and social rights and maintains the hierarchies sown with the African Diaspora. One is mistaken whether thinks that discrimination and racism only manifest themselves against black people when it is something insidious and corrodes social structures from inside as if it were a drill that penetrates the wood to make it hollow, fragile. Racist discrimination is associated with other social markers of difference that are used not to show the beauty of the plurality of being diverse, but to point out differences as inequalities.
Since Bolsonaro assumed the Presidency of the Republic, education, science, and culture have suffered a major breakdown. The collection of inept, cartoonish, and even clearly fascist ministers is concrete proof of the contempt with which these areas have been viewed by the government.
If there is an almost immediate finding to be made – although little care is taken when it comes to the situation – it is that the COVID-19 pandemic has considerable consequences for all spheres of social life. In this sense, our proposal is, from the sum of our research experiences on technology and education, to draw lines of analysis that help to understand some of the developments of the processes of virtualization of education in basic and higher education. We start from a perspective that does not demonize or believe in catastrophic visions concerning technology, but that proposes to think about its many uses and the many contexts in which it is inserted, to better understand the challenges that these uses contain.
On March 25th, 2020, the Ministry of Health published a handbook that defines guidelines on the "Dead body management in the context of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)". This handbook provides technical recommendations to avoid contamination of both health professionals, who handle these bodies directly, and relatives during burials. Nonetheless, what do these guidelines mean regarding funerals on the relatives' perspective? What are the impacts of coronavirus on death rituals?
In the prior times of capitalism, technology optimism and pollution naturalization expressed the elites' tolerance for the undesirable industrial effects: to ensure business continuity, technology was supposed to solve the problems created by technology, argued some experts. Meanwhile, environmental problems affected the poor around the factories. Today, the naturalization of the epidemic and technological optimism in the health's management crisis are the words of authoritarian neoliberalism and social-Darwinism. They express what the anthropologist Eric Fassin called "xenophobia at any expense” in Europe. In its Brazilian version, "racism at any expense", and suggests the priority of business over the health of the most unprotected, mostly black and poor.
Outbreak, epidemic, and pandemic are terms of the technical universe of epidemiology for the temporal, geographical, and quantitative classification of an infectious disease. They are fundamental to management and control processes, defining levels of attention, and action protocols. In the case of Covid-19, for example, when a large number of people in the city of Wuhan, China, started to have a serious and unknown respiratory infection in a short time, the alarm for the beginning of an outbreak went off. The presence of a new variety of the Corona-type virus was quickly identified and, in a short time, similar cases also appeared in other cities and regions of the country and abroad. It was the beginning of the epidemic. Still, as the numbers of the disease continued to rise in more countries and continents, covering almost the entire globe, WHO decreed what is considered the worst-case scenario, the pandemic.
If it is not new that, in the news, science, economics and politics editorials get mixed up - when discussing the exploration of oil fields or the release of transgenic seeds, for example - during a pandemic the way our life in society depends and is intertwined to non-human elements becomes even clearer. However, how has social theory understood the role of such a powerful agent, like COVID-19, in the production and alteration of our modern forms of societies? And what is its contribution to thinking and acting in the contemporary world?
The COVID-19 pandemic arrived in Brazil with some delay, but with disproportionate force, due to the inability of the public power to come up with an effective response to contain the spread of the coronavirus. According to data from Johns Hopkins University, on March 1st the world reached 88,600 infected people and 3,000 deaths, while Brazil had only 2 cases and the first death occurred on March 17th. On April 2nd, the world reached 1 million cases, and 53 thousand deaths and Brazil reached 7.9 thousand cases (0.8% of the global total) and 299 deaths (0.6% of the total). On April 15th, the world reached 2 million cases and 135 thousand deaths and Brazil presented 28.3 thousand cases (1.4% of the global total) and 1.7 thousand deaths (1.3% of the total). Eleven days later, on April 26th, the world reached 3 million cases and 207 thousand deaths, while Brazil reached 61.9 thousand cases (2.1% of the global total) and 4.2 thousand deaths (2% of the total).