Not much fun down in Brazil
In a few months, Brazil will welcome athletes and visitors to the Olympics. It will probably bring thousands of tourists and millions of dollars to the economy.
But will that really happen? We hope so, but the health crisis in Brazil could have the last word.
According to Simon Romero, the country is in shock:
Before last fall, medical reports of babies born with brain damage and unusually small heads — a condition known as microcephaly — were so uncommon in Brazil that only about 150 cases were registered each year in the entire country. Now Brazilian officials are investigating thousands of them, and they contend that the mosquito-borne Zika virus is the cause.
Virus specialists are racing to understand the connection, if any, between Zika and the rash of microcephaly cases in Brazil, an undertaking that international officials warn could take six months or more.
But whatever the cause, “There is no doubt that Brazil is experiencing a significant increase in microcephaly,” said an official for Brazil’s Health Ministry who was not authorized to speak publicly. “We wouldn’t have declared this situation a health emergency if this increase had not been detected.”
They've gone through a rather rough time lately. Even the national "fútbol" team was humiliated at home in the World Cup.
It started with a very divisive election in 2014. The left won a close election, but they took demagoguery to new levels. It poisoned the politics and made a lot of people angry.
It was followed by daily accusations of corruption in a country famous for crony capitalism. Brazil and Mexico are case studies of why the government should not be running the country's resources, especially oil.
Just a few weeks ago, we got terrible news about the economy.
And now, arguably the worst of all, there is a health crisis that affects more than babies, as the BBC reported that three U.K. nationals were impacted.
Again, what about the Olympics? Will anyone show up? We hope so, but maybe not.