Brazil: Corruption and COVID

Hello! This is Gabby, I hope you’re all doing okay during these uncertain times. The world is really going through some monumental changes because of the COVID-19 Pandemic, and depending on where you are, your country’s government might be handling the outbreak well or not so well. Which is what our newest project in our Humanities class was about.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 Rotator Graphic for (U.S. Air Force Graphic by Rosario “Charo” Gutierrez)

The driving question for our project was:

How has the world handled the COVID pandemic? What will be the consequences of those actions?

Now, it would take far too long to do a project about how the whole world is handling this pandemic, so we had to narrow it down. I chose to do my project about how Brazil is dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. At this point it might be helpful to clarify what the project actually consisted of. Our class was charged with creating a podcast to answer our diving question.

You can access my podcast here:

But that isn’t the end of this blog post! If you would like to read more about how I went about constructing this project, scroll down.

Part 1: Research

The essential part of any project is research. Before I could jump headfirst into a podcast about Brazil and how they are handling the COVID-19 pandemic, I first had to understand a) what was happening in Brazil, b) how this country was equipped to deal with medical crises and c) Brazil’s history and how that affected their future, past and present. I found an interesting documentary about Brazil’s history which you can watch here:

To do that I had to use my literacy skills to read and analyze the research I had gathered, and figure out a way to represent it verbally. To practice these skills, we had a couple assignments built into this project. For example I had to provide a response to a podcast about COVID-19, the podcast I listened to was “Coronavirus: Fact vs Fiction”, it was super interesting and helped me because I practiced picking out the importance bits of information that were impactful and that I found made a statement. You can click here to listen to it!

The second part of my research was to understand “Cause and Consequence”, I had to understand precisely what was going on in Brazil and who or what was causing it. By doing my research on COVID I stumbled onto some truly shocking facts. I had known that Brazil was suffering from a high level of poverty and a corrupt government led by Jair Bolsonaro, but I didn’t know the extent of what Jair Bolsonaro is doing to his country and what that means for Brazil (I discuss this in detail in my podcast).

Part 2: Create

Before I could start to record my podcast I had to create a script. I had to use my literacy skills and to format this podcast in such a way that it would translate more naturally when I was talking but also convey information (I struggled a little bit with this part).

After I was done I could get my recording started! The hardest part was probably trying to assemble the beginning little intro sequence, which constituted of sound effects from a typewriter and bits of news reports.

The most fun part of this podcast was probably having the opportunity to use the background music that I created to really provide the right “feeling”. I was going for a very serious tone in my podcast, with also possibly a hint of mystery, so I used slowed and accelerated bell loops from GarageBand as well as bass patterns.

While I was creating my podcast, I got an answer to an email I had sent out with a few interview questions. I was looking to interview somebody for my podcast who was living in Brazil and could tell me what it’s like to be in Brazil right now. It turns out my mum has a friend who is living in Brazil and was willing to help. Her name is Elisa Duarte Texeira, and I want to take this opportunity to thank her as her help was so so amazing.

The last thing I had to do was create an image for my podcasts graphic, which you can see below.

Part 3: Reflect

This podcast was an opportunity for me to expand the little bubble that I am living in and take a look at the world. Which is hard to do right now, as I have to deal with some truths I would rather not deal with. This project has made me realize how incredibly lucky I am to live in a country and in a home where I am as safe as I can be right now. Throughout the course of creating my podcast I got to practice my skills in literacy, but most of all, I had to dig deeper. I also had to try and record in my house, which let me tell you is a challenge when there’s three humans making an incredible amount of noise and my dogs barking at the most in opportune moments.I also had to understand why Brazil was being completely destroyed by this pandemic, I had to understand why the government wasn’t doing it’s part, I had to understand why so many more things were happening. To do this I had to investigate causes and consequences. While I still don’t know what is going to happen Brazil, or any other country really, at least I have an inkling of why these things are happening and the truth of the matter. And to me, there is no greater learning experience than taking a good long look at the things you might prefer to turn a blind eye to.

And that’s it for today. Thank you very much for tuning in and I guess I’ll see you soon. Stay safe.

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