It is no secret that despite being a significant economy with medium-level GDP per capita, Brazil is one of the least equal countries in the world. This is a country where, according to a 2019 Oxfam report, the top 1 percent of wealthiest citizens controls 29 percent of the national wealth. This imbalance of income cleaves an immense opportunity gap, with a mere two-kilometer difference in a Brazilian’s address potentially implying a 20-year increase (or decrease) in life expectancy.
This malaise is shown in an even more real and morbid light by the coronavirus pandemic.
Looking at the megacity of São Paulo as an example: if the municipality were divided into 50 regions according to income, Covid-19 mortality rates jump fivefold from the top group to the bottom. Younger people are also at a much higher risk in lower-income areas, under 75s are twice as likely to die in the poorest third of neighborhoods.