Coronavirus in Brazil: the fear sinks in

Against coronavirus Covid-19, Brazilians support most restrictive measures

State- and municipal-level administrations have begun taking restrictive measures to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus in Brazil, including quarantines and the suspension of classes in public schools.

Brazilians however, support this kind of measure.

According to a Datafolha poll—conducted via telephone, as opposed to usual face-to-face interviews—acceptance for measures such as closing schools, restricting international travel, closing borders, and the suspension of sporting events is north of 90 percent.

However, decisions to close down commerce—in São Paulo, non-essential stores will be closed for at least 15 days starting Tuesday—are less popular: 46 percent are in favor, and 21 percent partially agree with the move.

One-quarter of Brazilians say they are not afraid of the novel coronavirus; 38 percent say they are “somewhat scared,” and 36 percent are “very scared” of the outbreak. Only 12 percent believe there is “no chance” of them getting infected.

The impacts on day-to-day life have been huge

  • 37 percent have stopped going to their offices;
  • 76 percent have interrupted leisure activities;
  • 46 percent say they are no longer leaving their homes;
  • 10 percent had some trouble finding food supplies in supermarkets.

Another poll, by the Locomotiva Institute, shows that 71 percent of Brazilians believe the country is not prepared to face a pandemic of this magnitude.