These neighbors were hospitalized with coronavirus. Their vastly different journeys show the depths of Brazil’s rich-poor divide.
RIO DE JANEIRO — Two men were going to the hospital, unsure of whether they’d return. It was April, when Brazil’s worst fears about the novel coronavirus were beginning to be realized. The disease had started to kill all over the country. Now it had come for them, too.
Tiago Lemos knew his lungs were shot.
Rodrigo Guedes could no longer stand.
The coronavirus has played a game of Roulette across the world: Who lives? Who dies? In most countries, a familiar set of variables — age, sex, preexisting conditions — has helped make at least some sense of the confounding disease. But in Brazil, one of the most unequal countries in the world, another crucial deciding factor has been class. The poor are dying at a much higher rate than the wealthy.
In Rio de Janeiro, the rich and poor live on top of each other. Hillside favelas tumble down to oceanfront condominiums. Maids sleep in the homes of their employers. People of all classes come together at the beach. But despite the proximity and intimacy between the classes, two people who are the same in every other way …continued .
[Source: Washington Post]