Brazil – Not the Disaster We’ve Been Led to Believe

Today I’m publishing a great piece about Brazil, debunking the ‘disaster’ narrative in the international media. In fact, the lifecycle of the epidemic in Brazil has followed the same pattern as everywhere else, provided you break it down into different regions, and in spite of the high death toll it has experienced fewer deaths per million than many European countries, including the UK, and fewer deaths per capita than neighbouring Peru, which has had one of the strictest lockdowns in the world. It’s by the same person who wrote the “Postcard From Brazil“, one of our best international dispatches to date. This new piece is a must read. Here’s an extract:

People without a single clue between them talk like Bolsonaro could have locked down the country by decree and Brazilians would have obeyed passively like in Auckland, and we would have the same death toll as Denmark. These people have never been to Brazil. The effort it would have taken to suppress the unruly and increasingly desperate population of 207 million highly unequal people spread out from megacities to jungle tribes would have required full on martial law being reinstated in a country that was a military dictatorship until the 1960s. Even that might not have worked. Blood would have been shed for sure. Seriously, is this what the ‘progressives’ want? The subjugation of one of the most free spirited countries on Earth by the military? All to try, and surely fail, to snuff out a vírus so deadly you have to be tested to see if you have it? Has the world gone crazy?

Don’t answer that.

The author also makes a very good point about why Brazil’s public health advisors have generally been more sensible than their counterparts in the UK and the US.

Brazil has, without a doubt, some of the world’s best epidemiolgists, virologists, and infectologists, and it is a pleasure to read their non-ideological takes on things. Why? I’d speculate it is because they have actually had consistent, day-in, day-out, on the ground experience dealing with real epidemics (zika, dengue, yellow fever) instead of researching them from the ivory tower. Nobody here generalises about how things might go based on the progress of the Spanish Flu, but instead rely on observation of the unfolding epidemic as it takes place. I’ve even read them putting forward the heretical theory that BLM protests in US states with high levels of immunity (New York, New Jersey, etc.) probably didn’t contribute much to cases, while states that had ‘suppressed’ Covid at first (Florida, California) and had low levels of immunity saw surges as an obvious result of the massive superspreader protests. Refreshing to leave bizarro world for a while, isn’t it?

This piece is highly recommended. Worth reading in full.

Australian Rules Balls

A journalist friend of mine posted this on her Facebook account yesterday. Heartbreaking.

I just spoke to my ‘little’ brother (39) who (like the rest of my family) is Australian; he lives in Queensland. On Aug 1st our 81 year-old mother had a severe stroke. The only reason she survived is that, miraculously, my brother and his family happened to be visiting her at her home in NSW at the time; the difference between life and death. Last week she was discharged from hospital in Wagga and so having spent the previous few weeks packing/disposing of her belongings, my brother prepared to take her back home, where he and his family have rearranged their house to accommodate her.

In order to be allowed to cross the state border from NSW to QLD both my brother and mother had to have Covid tests and the appropriate paperwork — mostly electronic — in place.

However, at the border, after a drive of nearly 800 miles, whatever the paperwork was meant to be it was not sufficiently in order and as a result my brother and mother had to spend 3 days in a (quote/unquote) ‘shitty motel’ waiting for some jobsworths to join the dots. At no point was anybody able/willing to join those dots sufficiently to see that detaining an 81 (she’s 82 next week) year-old recovering stroke victim in a motel for several days was perhaps less than ideal, given that the alternative would simply have been to allow her to cross the border (this is a state border, remember, not another country) in a comfortable car with her son and be driven to the family home… 40 miles away.

The grotesque absurdity — not to mention irony —of forcing a frail octogenarian who had already tested negative for Covid to spend any time at all in a motel in order to protect… well, who precisely? (And from what? ‘Catching’ a stroke?)… is not lost on either me, my brother or indeed our mother. The only upside is that they weren’t attempting to travel out of Victoria, which is now effectively a police state. Anyway, they got home eventually and while they are currently forced to self-isolate for a fortnight, my mother (and my stoic/heroic little bro) are, somewhat against the odds, doing fine. The moral of this story: THERE ARE MANY OTHER (FAR MORE POTENTIALLY LETHAL) MEDICAL ISSUES FOR THE ELDERLY BEYOND COVID-19.