March 20, 2020
1. Restrictions on socialization implemented following first coronavirus deaths
The first few deaths from the coronavirus in Brazil, paired with the general alarm of the population, has led to more restrictive socialization measures including school activities suspended, public transportation interrupted, and stores closings in some states. State governments – some more rigorous than others – fear rapid transmission of the virus, leading to the public health system being overwhelmed. The latest official information from the Ministry of Health states that there have been 11 deaths and 904 confirmed cases of COVID-19. In São Paulo, the largest city in the country, the majority of stores will be closed starting on Friday, March 20th. They should remain closed until April 5th. Pharmacies, supermarkets, restaurants, gas stations, convenience stores, pet shops and street markets will not be closed but merchants will have to follow rules to avoid crowds.
O Globo: Acompanhe atualização do governo e dos estados
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OMS: Veja relatório global da OMS
O Globo: O que ficará fechado em cada estado
Folha de S.Paulo: Leia noticiário sobre os reflexos da doença no mundo
O Estado de S. Paulo: Confira mapas sobre a doença no Brasil e no mundo
G1: Assista a vídeos de orientação sobre coronavírus
2. Following losses due to the coronavirus, Stock Exchange rises again
Following a series of losses and suspended trades, the Brazilian Stock Exchange recovered and rose close to the levels it was at prior to the coronavirus pandemic and the war on the price of oil. On Thursday, by 4pm, the Stock Exchange had risen 3.16% to 69,009 points. Following adjustments, Ibovespa ended the day with a 2.15% increase, reaching 68,332 points. On Thursday, the dollar ended the day at R$ 5.09. The mood of the financial market improved soon after American President Donald Trump’s speech announcing that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would be fast-tracking the approval of anti-viral drugs. Trump also said that his government is considering intervening in the ongoing oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia. The cooperation of central banks also helped to relieve the stock market. During a live stream address, President Jair Bolsonaro said, “Brazil should get back to normal in six or seven months.”
Valor Econômico: Bolsa e dólar têm dia de alívio
Folha de S.Paulo: Acompanhe o mercado financeiro em tempo real
Valor Econômico: Brasil deve se recuperar em 6 ou 7 meses, diz Bolsonaro
3. President wears mask, backs down and discusses preventive measures
After claiming that the coronavirus pandemic was a “fantasy” and disobeying medical orders to isolate himself (the President decided to shake the hands of supporters during a march in Brasilia), President Jair Bolsonaro gave a press conference with some of his ministers, all wearing masks. The measure was not effective because the President clearly did not know how to wear a mask according to sanitary norms. The administration announced a series of measures to try to stimulate the economy: it proposed the injection of R$ 143.7 billion into the economy to ensure that companies will have working capital, that people will not be dismissed and that the most vulnerable people will not be left unassisted. The President also made it clear that, if necessary, the deficit target in public expending will be altered to support the Ministry of Health. The administration decreed a public calamity in order to free up the federal budget and use the money to pay a monthly aid benefit worth R$ 200 (US$ 40) to low-income informal workers. Additionally, the administration plans to make labor laws more flexible. Following the example of other countries, the Brazilian government closed its land borders and prohibited foreigners from entering the country through airports.
Valor Econômico: Pacote de R$ 147,3 bilhões será usado contra a crise
Folha de S.Paulo: Congresso aprova decretação de calamidade pública
Valor Econômico: Governo negocia auxilio a informais e flexibilização trabalhista
Folha de S.Paulo: Bolsonaro e ministros anunciam pacote com máscaras
O Globo: Governo proíbe entrada de estrangeiros por aeroportos
Folha de S.Paulo: Governo manda fechar fronteiras terrestres
4. Specialists offer tips for a more productive home office
Due to measures of social distancing and restrictions on movement, working from home is now the norm for many Brazilians. However, they must be careful to ensure that the new routine will not become a problem. The first recommendation is to maintain your routine. Specialists also recommend that people avoid working in their pajamas or during unusual hours. “Having discipline makes all the difference. Maintaining office hours and pace will help the worker understand that their living room is now their temporary work environment,” says Silvia Berger, partner at consulting company Trilogie. According to Daniel Schwebel, manager of freelance hiring platform Workana, the companies that can adapt to these times and work together with their employees will come out of the crisis stronger. Another important aspect of working from home is time management. Long interruptions can harm productivity. “Family members can be an important source of distraction,” says lecturer and writer Jeff Haden. An important tip is to split up the day, since working on the same task for long hours can lead to distraction and fatigue. Ideally, people would work for an hour and a half and rest for 15 to 20 minutes before getting back to work.
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5. At home, do not leave kids without fun activities
What applies to adults in their home office also applies to kids at home: maintaining their routine is the best option. Children must understand that they are not on vacation. However, there are appropriate times to play, since parents might be working in the next room. “The best thing to do is to establish a schedule with the children so their breaks and their routine are clear,” says Patrícia Camargo, producer at the website Tempo Junto. When it is time to have fun, there are a number of activities that can be encouraged such as building toys with recyclable materials, going on a treasure hunt, freeing the room to build a track for toy cars, painting, playing with bubbles through the windows or playing with shadows on the wall. However, be careful that you don’t get distracted from work and spend all of your time with the kids.
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