“Is the coronavirus democratic? It is, in the sense that everyone is the same for the virus. But when you look at the socio-political aspect of the pandemic, there’s nothing democratic about it. Some people can afford to stay home and work remotely. Some can’t. Some will be able to treat themselves. Some won’t,” said philosopher Luiz Felipe Pondé, during a panel discussion on CNN Brasil late in April.
At the beginning of the pandemic, the coronavirus was initially described as this era’s “great equalizer,” for the universal impact it could have across social classes, gender, and race. But in many countries, Brazil included, there is nothing “equalizing” about the virus. Race matters. That is made clear by the progression of the pandemic in Brazil.