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About a month ago, the WHO declared the state of a global pandemic caused by the new coronavirus. Since the first cases were recorded in China, the spread throughout Europe and the consolidation of the US as the epicenter of the crisis, the pandemic turned the world upside down and changed the whole geopolitical atmosphere we had known until then. The world we knew before Covid-19 no longer exists. And the post-pandemic scenarios are still unknowns.

The ballast of death, panic and suffering is an indelible mark of the current situation. Collapse of health systems, lockdown, reverse economy and more than 1 million infected people in the world. We do not know until when Covid-19 will leave its mark, but it is necessary that we can now draw lessons from the current scenario. The new coronavirus has stripped the tentacles of a global economic system governed by an individualistic and privatizing neoliberal prescription whose logic of mercantilizing life is in check in the face of the demands that are emerging in the midst of the pandemic.

Asian and European countries, and even the United States, have had to resort to large public investments to guarantee basic emergency income and to guarantee concrete conditions for rigorous strategies of social isolation and containment of the virus. In some countries, private beds have been nationalized, public debts have been postponed, and measures to protect salaries and guarantee jobs have been instituted.

In Brazil, we have an asset: a Universal Health System, public, with universal access and that serves Brazilians indistinctly throughout the national territory, from large urban centers to indigenous sanitary districts. However, for over thirty years, this same system, which was never UNIQUE given the conflicting expansion of private capital in health, must firmly resist the scrapping policies implemented since its genesis.

In the Brazilian context, we still have another aggravating factor: a federal government aligned with a petty elite is willing to use the lives of Brazilian workers as a shield to maintain the privileges of rentiers and large businessmen, contrary to the recommendations of the World Health Organization itself regarding the rules of quarantine and social distancing.

Disseminating fake news and walking in the opposite direction of science, the Bolsonaro government consolidates itself as an international shame in the fight against Covid-19, generating unnecessary conflicts and mocking the working class, avoiding proposing emergency economic measures to preserve wages and jobs, while bailing out the coffers of the banks and the big business. Today, in Brazil, Bolsonaro and his minions are the greatest obstacles to confronting the pandemic and the impeachment has become an emergency task every day, which already has approximately one million signatures and its agenda is on the agenda.

The next few weeks will still be the dissemination of the virus in Brazil, amidst the scenarios of socioeconomic inequality, lack of basic sanitation and job insecurity. The forecasts are frightening and our irrefutable position is the defense of life as a humanitarian principle, the defense of SUS as an emancipatory project and the defense of democracy as a political task.

May we transform the applause for health professionals into the driving force of a collective effort in favor of an emergency plan to combat Covid-19 capable of meeting world scientific recommendations, immediate application of emergency basic income, strategies to control the spread of the virus in slums and urban peripheries, measures to control and protect traditional peoples, and guarantee decent working conditions for health professionals with adequate supply of IPEs, expansion of ICU beds, and public investments to avoid the collapse of the Universal Health System.

A new page to support and build new alternatives in Latin America and the world, defending the power of the workers and people against the 1% of the rich and privileged, and a society without exploitation.

Writing office

  • Pedro Fuentes
  • Bernardo Corrêa
  • Charles Rosa
  • Clara Baeder