Since it broke out late last year the coronavirus has made its mark on over 200 countries across the globe and has claimed more 35,000 lives. Governments the world over have begun to set in place some strict regulations in order to slow the spread of the virus COVID-19, yet some people still fail to adhere this new way of life and need to be taught to respect the rules.
Over Galheta beach in the city of Florianopolis, Police flew a helicopter over sun-seekers and beach-goers in hopes of having these few remaining renegades understand the gravity of the situation.
Brazil as a country has yet to impose a national lockdown, however, the state of Santa Catarina (which is host to Florianopolis) has set its own ban on gatherings in public areas like beaches.
In an interview with local media afterwards, the police stated that most the beach-goers left the scene after being hit with the sandstorm stirred up by the helicopter, however, on a second pass-by some pleasure-seekers remained, forcing the officers to land close to the beach in order to tell them to leave.
They also stated that they will continue to monitor the beaches in order to ensure that civilians are respecting the new guidelines following the declaration of a state of emergency from the Santa Catarina government, prohibiting people from gathering in large groups and cancelling all public events.
Meanwhile in Rio de Janeiro, despite the governments delay in enacting a forced lockdown, organized crime is taking matters into their own hands by forcing citizens to obey a curfew by their own merits.
According to some Brazilian media outlets, a haunting message has been circulating the city's well-known favelas stating that if people do not 'respect' an 8PM curfew, the gangsters and drug traffickers will teach them to.
One message read:
Attention all residents of Rio das Pedras, Muzema and Tijuquinha! Curfew from 8pm today. Whoever is seen on the street after this time will learn to respect the next one
According to some residents, the Brazilian government is blind to those living in impoverished areas. In a statement to the Guardian one said:
The traffickers are doing this because the government is absent. The authorities are blind to us,
It appears that in lack of government action, authoritative drug lords are taking it upon themselves to slow the spread of the virus. As reported by G1 another message read:
We want the best for the population. If the government does not have the capacity to fix it, organised crime will solve it.
In some ways we're happy to hear that someone is looking out for the people residing in the poor neighbourhoods of this immensely populated area, however, it saddens us to hear the government of Rio de Janeiro has yet to take any action.
A statement by Paulo Buss, the director of the centre for international relations says it all:
'The irony is that the disease was brought to Brazil by plane, by the rich, but it is among the poor that it will explode,'