When COVID-19 began to spread in Brazil, those in upper and middle classes were the first to become infected. With the virus now being spread throughout the general population, those at particular risk are those without a safe place to shelter or without access to adequate hygiene.
People who are unemployed face daily challenges in securing regular meals, as well as access to soap and clean water. Those fortunate enough to have a roof usually share the same room with several people. The most vulnerable live in the streets, where following physical distancing guidelines is impossible. In Boa Vista, in Roraima state, tens of thousands of people unable to access the official shelters and are living in spontaneous settlements or on the street. They have little or no access to healthcare and basic hygiene and are particularly exposed to contamination. Many people have to continue their activities to try to make ends meet, despite the potentially deadly risk.