It's (not) the fault (only) of the parties

Image: Luiz Armando Bagolin
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By CARLA TEIXEIRA*

The strategy of blaming parties for the spread of the virus is a diversionary way to confuse the population

Since the first signs of the COVID-19 pandemic, on the ides of March last year, it was clear that it would arrive for everyone. If first within the elite that went to Europe and brought the plague, in a second moment, even more relentlessly, it slaughtered the poor and needy population that depends solely on the Unified Health System (SUS) for medical treatment. After ten months since the beginning of the restrictive measures, we add up the macabre figure of almost 200 thousand deaths and we continue counting without knowing when this mathematics of death will end.

There is no doubt that measures such as social distancing, mask use, gel alcohol and the simple habit of washing your hands are effective in preventing serious contamination and delaying the sick curve that overloads hospitals. It is not a definitive solution, but a palliative one until the vaccine and/or medicine arrives. Despite the efforts of health professionals and the civilized, and minimally informed, part of the Brazilian population that takes restrictive measures very seriously, it is a fact that most people do not have the option of remaining isolated.

The delay in payment of emergency aid, the stipulated symbolic value that is not enough to support a family and the government's difficulty in offering financial support to micro, small and medium-sized entrepreneurs resulted in mass unemployment and people going to the streets to work or guarantee a change for their own survival. The poor are left with the ungrateful options: die of Covid-19 or starve. Meanwhile, the number of buses running in and between cities has decreased significantly. People who were already crowded on a daily basis are subjected to even worse situations with crowded public transport at reduced times, not to mention the maintenance of the operation of large factories and other activities considered essential. Perfect spaces for the spread of the virus.

To contribute to the hell of the pandemic, the President of the Republic (sic) – or chaos captain – disseminates misinformation, continues the anti-vaccination campaign, causes crowds and discourages the use of masks, speaking out against isolation measures to “preserve the economy ”. But, according to the mainstream media, the blame for the crisis and the rise in numbers of dead and contaminated people is the parties and people's lack of adherence to isolation measures. The press attacks the population so as not to have to point out the real culprits: the President of the Republic and the Brazilian Elite who support him. These, yes, are responsible for the almost 200 deaths that we count and all the others that, unfortunately, we will still count.

If the corporate media really harbored any concern about the health of citizens, they should be discussing alternatives to increase the fleet of buses in circulation and avoid overcrowding on public transport; how to guarantee decent financial aid for people to be able to remain in isolation; how to guarantee zero or reduced interest loans to businesses, preventing them from going bankrupt and closing their doors, as has been happening in Brazil, resulting in the unemployment of thousands, millions of people. And, most importantly, how to carry out a wide and free vaccination campaign (as soon as possible!) so that the virus stops spreading and people stop dying. Nines apart from these pointed issues, everything else is hypocrisy and opportunism.

The elite does not want to solve the health crisis problem, but only to guarantee its particular interests based on the neoliberal economic adjustment and the implementation of State dismantling policies. It is obvious that keeping a pandemic denier responsible for solving the public health problem is not going to work. But our elite doesn't care about that. Judging by the recent article published[I] by Fernando Henrique Cardoso in defense of the continuity of the Bolsonaro government, it is clear that there will be no way out without pressure from the people.

The lack of crisis management is the responsibility of the President of the Republic, but the fact that he is at the forefront of crisis management is the fault of our reactionary and regressive elite, formed by the billionaires who became richer at the expense of the 200 lives lost in our country, by neoliberal right-wing politicians (FHC, Huck, Maia, Dória, among others), by the mainstream corporate media and by the parasitic caste of military personnel who, in synergy, allowed Bolsonaro to rise to power and continue to be conniving with his continuity, and the consequent murder.

It is clear that the strategy of blaming parties for the spread of the virus is a diversionary way to confuse the population and not let them understand that the way out of this crisis is not simply “staying at home”, but acting politically so that there are conditions of social isolation and vaccine for all, without exception.

* Carla Teixeira is a doctoral candidate in History at UFMG.

Note

[I]https://oglobo.globo.com/brasil/annus-horribilis-1-24821188

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