The economic devastation wrought by the pandemic could ultimately kill more people than the virus itself


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Neighbors cover the the body of 36-year-old Luiz Carlos Da Rocha, who died April 28 in Rio de Janeiro. (Silvia Izquierdo / Associated Press)
Kate Linthicum, Nabih Bulos, Ana Ionova
LA Times
It seemed like Silvanah Lima was finally getting ahead.

Born and raised in Brazil’s drought-ridden northeast, she moved with her partner to Rio de Janeiro in 2018, in search of work. He was hired as a janitor; she began selling meals on the street, and soon they were bringing in $280 a month — enough to start saving to one day build a house back home.

The novel coronavirus pushed that dream out of reach. Lima, who has diabetes and heart problems, putting her at higher risk of dying if she contracts the virus, stopped working once the pandemic took hold in her sprawling slum, known as the City of God.

A woman holds a piece of fruit distributed as a part of a food donation package May 4 in a low-income neighborhood in Bangkok. <span class="copyright">(Romeo Gacad / AFP / Getty Images)</span>
A woman holds a piece of fruit distributed as a part of a food donation package May 4 in a low-income neighborhood in Bangkok. (Romeo Gacad / AFP / Getty Images)


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A woman with her son holds a white flag as a sign that she needs food assistance Wednesday in Villa Nueva, Guatemala. <span class="copyright">(Moises Castillo / Associated Press)</span>
A woman with her son holds a white flag as a sign that she needs food assistance Wednesday in Villa Nueva, Guatemala. (Moises Castillo / Associated Press)
Walid al-Hattab prepares soup for the poor during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan on April 24 in Gaza City. <span class="copyright">(Mohammad Abed / AFP/ Getty Images )</span>
Walid al-Hattab prepares soup for the poor during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan on April 24 in Gaza City. (Mohammad Abed / AFP/ Getty Images )


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