Until a few days ago, it seemed like the coronavirus had not yet affected Manaus. Only days ago, the beaches of Rio de Janeiro were crowded. A million supporters rallied for President Jair Bolsonaro, who shook hands with a myriad of people. On March 13th, the first two cases were reported in Manaus and the State mandated school that all schools be closed immediately.
Here, at the Queen of the Apostles School (Rainha dos Apostolos), we consulted with the students as well as some of their families. Together, we decided that dismissing all 110 students would pose a higher risk of exposure than allowing them to stay. The several days of travel required for many students to return home would create many more opportunities for exposure than staying here on campus where we can ensure that necessary precautions are taken, including social distancing, and thorough cleaning. At this time, we are waiting for the state authorities to share their decision about our proposal.