This Saturday's protests

Image: Renan Quinalha
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By JOÃO SETTE WHITAKER FERREIRA*

Where is the left that should imagine and think of ways to mark its protest in an innovative and alternative way?

I am against going to the streets. If a person dies because of it, in a few months, I wouldn't forgive myself. And many will die for it. Where is the left that should imagine and think of ways to mark its protest in an innovative and alternative way? I don't know what it could be, but we have to think.

Many say that it is up to them to go to the demonstrations “because there are hundreds of thousands who are forced to use buses and go to the streets, anyway”. So, since the country is shit anyway (and it is, the desperation argument is correct), can we help increase the pressure on the health care system that is literally collapsing? Because thousands are exposed and many are going to die, can we help that even more die in a few months? Others say it has not been proven that the latest demonstration caused more deaths. No? There was a second wave, and among its many causes, apart from the thousands who thought they could go to restaurants, or to the beaches, the demonstrations certainly didn't affect anything? Does anyone have this data?

Those who have the privilege of being able to isolate themselves and not go out have a duty to do so. For it is not an individual issue, nor a political one. It is not a question of courage, of “not being afraid”, as others have written. It is a collective, social issue. But, in Brazil, it's so common to ignore what's beyond our eyes, what we don't see, and do what makes us look good even if it affects others, isn't it? We are anxious, tired, exasperated with so much madness, but the argument that “at this point, it doesn't matter” takes us to the same level as Bozo doing acts around. We will be heroic, but we will screw @s fellow doctors, nurses and so many others who are on the edge of exhaustion.

And many who can isolate themselves, are on the beach or in the country house saying that they support those who will demonstrate. It is not a question of political correctness, of good arguments. It's public health, deaths. The virus is invisible, insidious, and affects the poorest, those who must work because their wealthy and protected bosses force them to. Staying isolated for those who can is a social posture, of transmission links that are broken, and those who can must do it. In France, they left schools open for too long, and now they are scared by the new cases. They saw that for each child contaminated in a school environment, there were 3 to 4 deaths in the sequential chain, in the following months. How many deaths will each person who goes to the act thinking that “it can't be done” be the cause? Could it be that if it's not the grandmother or the uncle, it doesn't matter, why can't you see it and not feel it?

Yesterday they discovered a new variant similar to Indiana in twenty cities in the interior of SP. The transmission rate in Brazil, according to Imperial College, London, is again above 1, which means that transmission is out of control in the country. That every 100 people infected infect another 102. It's much worse than when, a year ago, we isolated ourselves in despair and fear. And we still say that “now we have knowledge of the disease and how it is transmitted”? Is this serious? Let's move towards 700 deaths, eventually we will reach the million. There are increasingly frequent cases of vaccinated people who do not have antibodies. Nelson Sargento left us after receiving both shots. A leftist leader said “we don't want to do it, but there's no way”. Is it so much confidence that putting thousands on the streets will make the difference to get Bozo out of there? The fantastic “he doesn’t” that took 4 million to the streets of Brazil did not hold back the Bolsonarist wave. Now all of a sudden we're going to be able to do that, and “since” we have 500 dead, can we sacrifice a few more for that cause? How many? Ten, a hundred, a hundred thousand?

People are not understanding. Neither the idiots who are living life normally, nor those who, tired, exhausted, want to take to the streets with fair arguments. They do not understand that this will not even prevent deaths from getting even more out of control. Health workers are on edge. And we, we go to the streets to throw more gasoline on the fire that they try to put out, because we say that everything is shit (it really is) and that Bozo is a fascist (it really is), and then we proudly shout “long live the SUS” by being vaccinated? And are we going to despair later because classes don't come back, because the situation doesn't improve?

I'm sorry, I can't understand.

I'm vaccinated, but I won't. Not that I'm not on the left, not that I don't want Bozo to end, I'm not going out of solidarity and respect, I'm not going to create another link. And I will continue shouting as loudly as possible the same slogans as those who are going, because they are all very fair.

More than a thousand people together, in a short time all care practices and protocols become impossible. Unless we're capable of a discipline that's just as well not our style. This is not the time to be neither heroic nor festive. The situation is serious, and it is also serious because we cannot even express ourselves. And so. We have to find other means.

*Joao Sette Whitaker Ferreira is a professor at the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism at USP (FAU-USP).

 

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