I don’t think people are quite getting how significantly the arrival of the P1 variant has changed the game in Brazil, signaling a much darker phase of the pandemic, and what this means for the world.
Nearly 67,000 people died in March — twice the number of any month during the pandemic. Image
But it’s not just that more people are dying — it’s that patients are now arriving far sicker. The patient profile is also changing. Younger people are needing more intensive care — and dying at higher rates.
The mortality rate among patients aged 18-45 has positively soared, according to a nationwide survey by the Brazilian Association of Intensive Medicine. Image
But the mortality rate has risen among all patients, too. Nearly 73 percent of patients on mechanics ventilators are now dying, compared with 60 percent at the beginning of the pandemic. Image
Half of patients — half! — younger than 45 put on a mechanical ventilator now aren’t making it. Image
Yesterday, nearly 4,200 people were killed by the virus. This is an unheard of rate in Brazil, which for months was marooned at a plateau of around 1,000 deaths per day. Things have always been bad in Brazil — but never this bad.
Things have rapidly changed this year. In one month, it went to 2,000 dead per day, then nearly 3,000. And then yesterday — more than 4,200.

If this isn’t a warning to the world, I don’t know what is.

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More from @terrence_mccoy

Oct 12, 2022
NEW: Four months ago, my friend Dom was murdered. He was reporting on an issue of global importance — the destruction of the Amazon — when he was shot dead and disappeared, buried deep in the forest, where the killers never thought he'd be found.
He was killed alongside Bruno Pereira, an activist who dedicated his life to protecting Indigenous territory and its inhabitants. I knew Bruno, too. A senior government official, we'd spoken numerous times about the threats facing Brazil's Indigenous communities better.
Dom and Bruno were killed in cowardly fashion. They were shot in the back, ambushed while traveling down a remote Amazon river following a trip to visit an Indigenous surveillance team monitoring poaching in their territory. Neither saw the attackers coming.
Read 7 tweets
Aug 31, 2022
NEW: The violent and lawless erasure of the Amazon forest is perhaps the world’s greatest environmental crime story.

Here’s the part you don’t know: Almost no one is paying for it. washingtonpost.com/world/interact…
The institutions in charge of stopping the destruction have been gutted and miss the majority of deforestation. The fines they do manage to write are almost never paid. The cases drag on — some for more than 15 years, records show.

And then there is the most stunning part.
Illegal deforestation in Brazil is a crime punishable by up to four years in prison. But almost no one ends up with a prison sentence. How do we know? We checked.
Read 8 tweets
Jun 12, 2020
The coronavirus has now reached one of its most vulnerable victims: indigenous tribes in the Amazon forest. But rather than sweep in to help populations the Brazilian state is constitutionally sworn to protect, the government is floundering. Here's how.

Stunningly, the first indigenous person to be infected in Alto Solimões -- where the worst indigenous outbreak is exploding -- came via a government doctor who’d carried the disease back with him from vacation.
The government has allocated $120 per month for the poor. But officials ignored indigenous requests that it be delivered to the villages. It left people no alternative than to leave the isolation of the forest to travel to cities and wait in lines to collect their $120 stipend.
Read 6 tweets
Feb 14, 2020
Last month, I went to a lawless border town to report on gangs seizing control of the pesticide trade. It was a dangerous assignment, so I hired a fixer. His name was Leo Veras. On Wednesday, in front of his family, he was murdered. This is what I know.

I know Leo was a courageous journalist, and a creature of the border. He spoke fluent Portuguese, Spanish and the indigenous language Guarani. He’d reported on crime and drugs for decades, at great personal risk and nearly constant death threats.
I know Leo was a beloved husband and doted upon father. He brought his family with him wherever he went, and I ended up spending days with them, too. They saw two masked gunmen murder him while they ate dinner on Wednesday night at his house. They shot him 12 times.
Read 7 tweets

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