Jair Bolsonaro, the President of Brazil, has repeatedly downplayed coronavirus, refusing to wear a mask and flouting social distancing measures for his country. The result is that Brazil is now the second most COVID-19 impacted country in the world, behind the US, with 65,000 deaths and 1.6m confirmed cases as of this reporting. So it's easy to think that Bolsonaro testing positive today for COVID is poetic justice.
Unfortunately, if our world is experiencing poetic justice, it is the type of justice found in a poem by Albert Camus, where the only solace is that everyone dies in the end. At least, that's how it's starting to feel because if you'd think that a politician catching a deadly disease would cause said politician to feel empathy for his citizens susceptible to that disease, it has only emboldened Bolsonaro to further disparage the safety of his citizens.
Bolsonaro is doing everything short of gargling with COVID samples to prove that he's fine. He has condemned the mayors of his cities for disallowing people to go to the beach and has boasted that, "The majority of Brazilians contract this virus and don't notice a thing." Of course, it's one thing to put on a brave face, but it's another to dismiss the effects of the virus altogether when it has killed 65,000 people within your country and counting. Humans are predisposed psychologically to take cues from our leaders and others around us. Bolsonaro's strongman routine might be as transparently fake as a dude with synthetic biceps, but his citizens are still going to follow his lead (by not wearing masks, etc.) until the virus smacks him down hard.
The troubling reality is that Bolsonaro is probably right and that the virus never will give him the five-fingered slap of justice he deserves. The fatality rate of COVID is high, but death is still unlikely when applied to one specific person. The problem is that when the fatality rate is applied to a population, you end up with tens of thousands dead.
While Bolsonaro has the doctors and medicine and resources afforded to a head of state, not everyone else in his country has those same luxuries. So he can dick around with hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin or whatever other experimental drugs he wants to take, which he's been doing according to CNN Brazil. Meanwhile, a regular citizen of Brazil faces hospitals that have been overwhelmed and mass graves that are being used to bury the dead. I don't know if karma is real, but if it is, then Jair Bolsonaro is coughing all over it.
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Top Image: CDC, Wiki Commons