Trump and Bolsonaro have been a liability in the face of coronavirus, their toxic masculinity leading to deadly decisionsCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageFor the entirety of Ronald Reagan’s first term, despite overwhelming evidence that Aids was a public health crisis, he brushed off the disease’s severity, saying “it would go away”. By 1987, Aids had killed more than 29,000 Americans. In that same year, Don Francis, an official at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, testified before Congress that Reagan’s administration caused “untold hardship, misery and expense to the American public” by obstructing, resisting and interfering with policies and programmes designed to prevent the Aids epidemic in the US.Certain factors at play in the Aids epidemic are not at play in our current pandemic: most obviously, Covid-19 is not associated with the gay community. Nonetheless, there are echoes of Reagan’s response to the Aids epidemic. Last month, days after California had declared a state of emergency and Seattle schools had begun to close, Donald Trump asserted that Covid-19 would simply “go away”. Shortly before that, he said that it would “disappear … like a miracle”. Trump was joined in his parade of denialby other far-right populist leaders, especially Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro. In March, he described Covid-19 as a “little flu” that does not warrant “hysteria”, and claimed that Brazil would be protected from the virus by its climate and youthful population. Continue reading...
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Far-right leader is adamant the young can rest easy but 3,500 Brazilians under the age of...Far-right leader is adamant the young can rest easy but 3,500 Brazilians under the age of 40 have already died from Covid-19Young people should not fret about coronavirus, Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro declared on Tuesday as he announced he had contracted the illness.But Hugo Dutra was youthful and fit: a dance-addicted millennial with no underlying medical conditions. He died in Rio on 18 April, after eight days on a ventilator. Continue reading...
Brazilian president subject to public anger after stepping out in Brasilia on fast food errandCoronavirus –...Brazilian president subject to public anger after stepping out in Brasilia on fast food errandCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, was branded a “killer” by his opponents as he popped out for a Saturday night hot dog on the day a further 965 of his citizens were reported to have died from Covid-19.Bolsonaro, a rightwing populist who basks in comparisons to Donald Trump, has repeatedly flouted health ministry physical distancing guidelines – and continued to do so this weekend, even as Brazil’s coronavirus death toll rose to over 22,000. Continue reading...
'It was wartime': 3 survivors of the AIDS epidemic share the hard lessons on love and resiliency they learned in the '80s that are helping them make it through the coronavirus crisis
Survivors of the HIV/AIDs epidemic share three life-saving lessons for coping with COVID-19. The HIV/AIDS epidemic...Survivors of the HIV/AIDs epidemic share three life-saving lessons for coping with COVID-19. The HIV/AIDS epidemic changed American culture. Since 1981, 75 million people have had the HIV virus and approximately 32 million have died. Everything from practicing compassion to developing tolerance can help you get through this tough time. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. From overwhelmed hospital systems to mass panic and virus-related stigma, the issues arising from COVID-19 have changed life permanently. Experts have touted this crisis as the "new normal" as a result. But, for older generations of LGBTQ people, these issues are all too familiar. Joey Terrill is the director of community partnerships at the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, a non-profit offering AIDS prevention and patient advocacy services in Los Angeles, California. Terrill, 64, told Business Insider that LGBTQ seniors who survived the AIDS epidemic have the life experience needed for battling COVID-19. "I felt like when AIDs hit, it was war. It was wartime and I had to step up and be a soldier in that war, and I'm still a soldier to this day," Terrill said. The HIV/AIDS epidemic not only claimed millions of lives, but drastically changed public life. Since 1981, 75 million people have had the HIV virus and approximately 32 million have died. Although the coronavirus pandemic has killed almost 90,000 people in the US, the death toll of HIV/AIDs is still more far-reaching, Business Insider reported. And coronavirus is not stigmatized in the same manner as AIDS. People living with HIV still experience discrimination like being denied health services or isolation from their families, according to the CDC. This stigma comes from a fear of HIV. Nearly one in every eight people living with HIV have been denied health care because of discrimination, shows a 2017 report from the global HIV advocacy organization UNAIDs. The LGBTQ seniors interviewed below experienced this firsthand — they have all dedicated their careers, either in public health or the arts, to fighting HIV stigma. Business Insider asked them to reflect on the lessons they learned from that era. Here's what helped them survive. 1. Learn to have compassion for others One of the easiest ways to support someone through a health crisis is through acts of service. Davidson Garrett, 67, a poet and former taxi driver, said that, during the AIDS epidemic, many in the queer community were linked to someone living with HIV/AIDS. He recalled rushing his friends who were HIV positive to the hospital and running errands for them. Garrett even helped fulfill his friend's last wish to listen to opera while on his death bed. "He could barely move in his hospital bed, but he wanted me to be near him to listen to opera cause that's what we did together," Garrett said. "What I did learn from the AIDS crisis is that we all can be a part of the solution." "I certainly don't have a cure for HIV," he added. "I'm not a medical doctor, but I could be there for somebody emotionally." Now, amid the coronavirus outbreak, Garrett recommends reaching out by phone to families who have relatives battling COVID-19. "With the coronavirus, you can't really be there with that person," Garrett said. "Call their families and let them know that you're thinking of them and get them some compassion and love." 2. Develop a sense of urgency in your life During the AIDS crisis, Terrill, director of the Aids Healthcare Foundation, said he learned the importance of urgency when working with his first AIDs-related client at a center for vision loss. He said that most AIDS/HIV patients didn't have the luxury of time for spaced out appointments. "They don't have two weeks — they could be dead in two weeks," recalled Terrill, who noted that the patient had a packed schedule of necessary appointments. "It was the immediacy of the way that AIDS was affecting people that altered the way we were providing services." To remedy these issues, Terrill began offering at-home appointments, which were more convenient and accessible for patients. Now, the medical system is facing a similar issue, where speedy care is necessary for survival. "Prior to a pandemic like this, we are all pretty complacent," Terrill said. "We go about our daily lives and we never really think about the idea of transmitting a virus from touching or not touching something." Terrill said that people can prioritize their behaviors and weigh the risks. During the coronavirus pandemic, the public is learning how adhering to basic hygiene — such as washing their hands or wearing a mask in public — can potentially save another person's life. "The urgency relates to how we can allow ourselves to get sick and die or not. Do we care if our neighbors get sick, [or] die or not?" Terrill said. "That, to me, is the urgency over whether or not I'm going to complain about not being able to go to see my sports team, or being able to go to the club and drink." 3. Practice tolerance During the AIDs epidemic, Steve Karpiak, 74, the managing director of the Gay Men's Health Center in New York said he became "numb" to hearing people were diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. Now, elders who survived that era struggle with isolation related to their HIV status. "They are alone, they are depressed, don't have good mental health care and their community has abandoned them," said Karpiak. "The fear of HIV/AIDs continues to this day." "Someone will go home to visit their family member and there's a newborn child and they will not let the person pick up the child or eat off the same dishes or utensils," he added. Elders may also not have their needs prioritized because of their ages. Karpiak said COVID-19 has only heightened incidences of age discrimination in the US. In March, Texas Lieutenant Gov. Dan Patrick, who is 70 years old, told Fox New Host Tucker Carlson the restrictions on the economy were worse than dying, and said "those of us who are 70+" would "take care of ourselves." "But don't sacrifice the country, don't do that," he added. Karpiak said these statements are "outrageous." He added, "We tend to think about older folks as being disposable." Going forward, Karpiak hopes people can learn the importance of treating elders as valuable. "How we take care of our elderly are telling about who we are," he added. And although COVID-19 has hit the LGBTQ community especially hard, many still find lending a hand to others is the best tool for uniting on the frontlines. "We need to care for each other more," Karpiak said. He added: "Caregiving is an important part of our social fabric." SEE ALSO: How the coronavirus death toll compares to other pandemics, including SARS, HIV, and the Black Death Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Tax Day is now July 15 — this is what it's like to do your own taxes for the very first time