Many countries in Latin America are taking precautions to avoid an onslaught of cases as the coronavirus pandemic continues to strain health resources around the world. Similarly to the United States, countries throughout Central and South America have implemented partial lockdowns, bans on large events and gatherings and travel restrictions. Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Panama and the Dominican Republic also put forth a joint regional plan to address the global emergency.
Due to rampant socio-economic disparities and fragile public healthcare systems, Latin America is reportedly in a particularly fragile position as the virus begins to enter its borders. Meanwhile, President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil said the virus is a media trick spurred by his political foes and President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua organized huge support rallies under the theme “Love Walk in the Time of COVID-19,” the exact opposite of what’s needed to encourage social distancing.
The picture is bleak at an international level, but one of the few things that have tempered anxiety and fear is the image of humans trying to lift each other up. Similar to what we’ve seen in European countries such as Spain and Italy, people in Latin America and the Caribbean have met new quarantine measures with gestures that show their own shared hope and resilience. Whether it’s breaking out into communal song or hosting online block parties from their balconies, here are just a few examples of the small acts of kindness and optimism in the region: