Death and Resurrection – 04/04/2021 – Reinaldo José Lopes

I am writing this column which will be published on Easter Sunday on Good Friday. Given the overwhelming suffering Covid-19 has inflicted on so many families in Brazil and around the world, the words that João Paulo 2º keeps turning in my head turn head (1920-2005) uttered in one of his most famous sermons – the sermon that, according to legend, would have sealed his election as Pope when he was still a relatively obscure prelate in a country under the Iron Curtain.

“The earth has become a cemetery,” he said, “with as many graves as there are men. A huge planet of graves ”. We live in Planeta-Cemitério and, even worse, in País-Cemitério. Will there be a resurrection for us?

The first step towards a glimmer of hope for a “yes” answer is to realize that much of Brazil, starting with many of its richest and most powerful citizens, has collectively chosen the “culture of death” so condemned by João Paulo 2nd. And he also chose the “culture of lies”. The cruelest irony is that the subject that repeats over and over again, “The truth will set you free” cannot discern a true fact that goes against its butchery ideology.

The project, which has swallowed up much of the country for convenience, self-delusion, or suicidal ignorance, has always been a project of death and lies. Defeating him and building something new on the scorched earth that he will inevitably leave behind leads through the ability to recognize amajestadedofatos, the granite on the foundations of reality, and to build another house for everyone on this rock.

Instead of a land of land grabbers, loggers, and landowners thirsty to turn the greatest green cathedral ever built for billions of years of evolution into pastures, I dream of the opportunity to gain knowledge of the Amazon and not of its destruction, the roots of new industries, innovative medicines and renewable energies. The grasshopper cloud strategy that Brazil has so far pursued may produce kings of soy and picanha in the short term, but the most sustainable fruits will be deserts – even in the southeast as everything is interconnected – if we don’t change course soon.

I dream of using this kind of knowledge so that we can be vaccines inventors rather than their desperate and unforeseen importers. So that the final weapons against Dengue, Zika and Chikungunya are created here and benefit the whole world.

There is no shortage of qualified people to make these dreams come true. Before the last few years of economic and social disaster, we formed the best generations of Brazilian scientists of all time – people who, as it is worth remembering, are being driven out of the country by a system of scrapped research investment and perverse economic incentives to keep us below that Curse of looting natural resources and exporting them at a bargain price. But it is clear that the contempt for our best human capital in a country that despises mere human life, whatever it is, is not surprising.

After all, I dream of the obvious that seems impossible: a political community that makes decisions about which paths to go based on facts and basic human compassion, together and not divorced. There is no other way. Perhaps it is too much to ask in a country as inhuman as ours. But if only for today, looking at the empty grave gives me hope.

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