As the world struggles with the Coronavirus epidemic, Brazil reminded everyone to pray together through the country's famous Christ the Redeemer statue.
During this global public health crisis, we need every little bit of hope that we can get to power through the Coronavirus pandemic. As everyone quarantines themselves inside their homes and our hospitals fill up with the sick, messages of resilience can give us the motivation we need. Therefore, Brazil decided to light up the country's famous Christ the Redeemer statue with the flags of countries affected by the Coronavirus, CNN reports. While it may be a small and simple gesture, it reminds us that we can all survive this seemingly impossible feat as long as we stick together and help each other out.
The special light show took place on Wednesday. The statue, which looks over the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, was decked out with flags of countries that have reported cases of the novel Coronavirus. In addition to this, there were also messages and prayers of hope projected onto the Christ the Redeemer statue. They read, "Pray together." The messages were translated into dozens of different languages so the prayers could reach everyone across the world. After all, in the age of social media, there is no doubt that everyone has already come across this wonderful symbol of hope, determination, and humanity.
As the statue lit up, Rio de Janeiro's Archbishop Orani João Tempesta simultaneously held mass at the landmark. The church then urged people to pray for those who are sick and at-risk all over the world. Whether or not you are Christian or believe there is a god looking after all of us, we can all appreciate the thoughtful intentions behind such a gesture. We need scientists and doctors working to find a vaccine, but we also need to look to the nurturers in our communities for strength to beat the pandemic. Across the world, the number of confirmed cases has topped 218,000. Meanwhile, millions of people are currently placed on lockdown in order to prevent and slow down the further spread of this deadly disease.
In Brazil, the number of Coronavirus cases has hit just above 600 according to The Straits Times. Though this may seem like a small figure in comparison to worldwide statistics, it is still a concerning fact. The South American country reported its first case of COVID-19 on February 26. By March 17, it had reported that infection numbers had risen to 261 cases. Therefore, the cities of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro - two of the nation's most populous cities - have declared states of emergency. As precautionary measures to "flatten the curve" and slow down the spread of the fatal virus, these cities have reduced public transportation and issued warnings to the general public, urging them to avoid large gatherings and take personal precautions.
The country's government, like those of many other countries across the world, has, additionally, encouraged employees who can to work from home. Further to this, the government has also decided to cancel and all public gatherings such as cultural and sporting events so as to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. Despite these measures, the citizens of Brazil overall are quite unhappy with how President Jair Bolsonaro has handled the public health crisis. On Wednesday night, several communities took to their balconies with pots and pans in order to protest. They shouted, "Bolsanaro, out!" It appears that lax and inefficient leadership is not unique to the United States, where President Donald Trump has similarly acted with a laissez-faire attitude. Evidently, it is time for our leaders to step up and do more for their countries. In the meantime, we must remember, as plastered across Christ the Redeemer, to stick together.
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