Blog: South America

(Needle Shortage in Brazil)

Needles are one of many shortages that the Brazilian governments vaccine rollout program is facing. The articles covers this first and foremost, then uses it as a pivot point towards revealing a vague amount of the politics of the situation. It short it is a bite sized articles that expresses a new challenge the Brazilian government is facing.

Brazil and the rampant class disparity, inequality, that exists will make for a difficult challenge for the health ministry to enact. Including vaccinating rural and urban communities, this requiring a high level of administrative skill within both the state and local levels of government.

You can find the article I'm summarizing here: "Brazil greenlights human trials for J&J's potential COVID-19 vaccine."

In short this article is a small piece of a larger puzzle, so to write, that has been going on in Brazil. Brazil is a country that is struggling to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic crisis. Reputably corrupt government officials irresponsibly handling the crisis has led to one of the highest mortality rates of victims infected with the virus; this has made Brazil a willing participant for several human trails of potential covid-19 vaccines. This article highlights a particular vaccine, made by the Johnson and Johnson company, will enter human trials in Brazil. It also updates the status of a number of other vaccine trials that are wanting to be tested in Brazil.

As for geographic concepts I believe that this article has its backbone in the significant inequality issues in Brazil. As well as the density of the large megacities within Brazil, take Sao Paulo as an example, is a densely populated city with poor city planning and infrastructure. It's a place where slums are commonplace and this is, in my opinion, indicative that Sao Paulo likely doesn't have the medical facilities and infrastructure in place to properly deal with a pandemic like Covid-19. Hence the current problems!

For this assignment, I picked Yemen and Omen.


102.2 males per 100 females

55.5 people per sq. km

3.3 children per woman

29.3 Million population

46.1 million estimated for 2050


117.9 males per 100 females

11.5 people per sq. km

2.8 children per woman

3.6 million population

5.4 million estimated for 2050


Yemen and Oman's numbers are similar when it comes to the child per woman and males to 100 females. There are more people per square km in Yemen than Oman. There is a very low percentage of people that are 75 years and older. Oman's numbers are almost the same as Yemen's but Oman has a lower percentage of 10-19 years old.

There is a big difference in population between the population in Yemen than in Oman. There is a 25.7 million difference in the current population to be exact. There is also going to be a drastic population level in 2050.

Article Title: “Gran Chaco: South America’s second-largest forest at risk of collapsing'
Author: Rodolfo Chisleanschi
Translator: Sarah Engel

In the, “Gran Chaco: South America’s second-largest forest is at risk of collapsing'
author Rodolfo Chisleanschi, explains some of the indicators for coming dramatic
changes in the ecosystem, the causes of such changes, and the historic and current
challenges the Gran Chaco Forest faces. The Gran Chaco forest has forest areas in
Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, and Brazil. While he sights logging as a historical cause of
deforestation and subsequent change in ecosystem, he also notes how the rise in
agriculture, specifically soybean farming, has significantly increased harmful activities
in the Gran Chaco, as forests get cleared to make room for farming in the humid areas
and ranching gets pushed to the semi-arid areas. Chisleanschi, points out that a forest
area more than twice the size of Buenos Aires was lost due to deforestation in June of
2018 alone. Chisleanschi also noted a recognizable trend in weather climate patterns,
noting that the swing between flood and drought has been shorter. This rapid
deforestation for commercial agriculture and timber is even affecting the human aspect of this area as locals are finding that resources and areas they depended on are gone. The Gran Chaco Forest, often being overshadowed by its neighbor the Amazon is
starting to disintegrate. Indicators in wildlife and the carrying capacity of the forest
show a decline in natural productivity with lower wildlife populations and less
productive soil. With this forest spanning four countries, containing a unique wildlife
population, a unique growing human population, and expanding destructive industries,
it should definitely be kept in mind, like the Amazon Rainforest, as losing large unique
and wild areas like these can start a domino effect. Such a large losses has even larger

'I Can't Stop': In Vast Informal Economy, Pandemic Adds to Pressure - link

The article entails information are the Middle America's response to the COVID-19 outbreak, mainly focusing on the impact that it will have on the Economic system. With a majority of Middle America not having jobs that could be done from home, "with jobs that put them in contact with strangers and then retiring at day's end to overcrowded home", and the weak public health systems.  A geographic concept that is involved in the story are: Ejidos which are communally owned farms of 20 or more people, this concepts shows the issue where jobs that can't be done by staying at home and are done with many other people.

This news article explains how Venezuela has rampant poverty and an already damaged health care system. The health care system began crumbling 10 years ago and ever since the mortality rate has been increasing. The deputy assistant secretary for Cuba and Venezuela said that the country is lacking in water, soap, and electricity. The country has an official population of 30 million with only 90 ICU beds. At the time the article was posted there was only 91 active cases and no reported deaths but other countries in South America already had considerably high amount of cases such at 2,000 in Brazil. However the numbers are probably much higher due to lack of a good health care system.

Some of the geographical concepts in this article are physical, how Venezuela physically borders Brazil. The article also discusses economic growth and how the countries health care system is diminishing and 90% of the countries population are under the poverty level.

Countries like Brazil (which the article focuses on) are being left behind in the race to treat & contain the coronavirus pandemic the world is facing. Most testing is being focused on American & European cities right now, and consequently this is also where many of the critical chemicals and testing kits are being sent to. Because of this, officials really don't have a good idea of how badly the virus is spreading through Brazil. To directly quote the article, "Testing is the first defense against the virus and an important tool to stop so many patients from ending up hospitalized."  Brazil is heavily reliant on international manufacturers for the chemicals and equipment needed to process the tests, so unfortunately there really isn't anything they can do about this unprecedented worldwide shortage.

To make matters worse, cities like Rio are famous for their favelas, in which large groups of people are living right on top of each other (literally) which provides the perfect breeding grounds for rapid spreading of the disease. Coupling this with the not-so-great track record of healthcare in this region, and there is some serious potential for a lot of people to suffer and die from COVID-19 in Brazil, and other developing countries around the world.

The title of my article is  "South America Is in a Quandary. Just Like the United States."

This article is about how the people of South America is protesting  because they want to have better economy, they are tired of having to pay for expensive buss fares or high fuel prices. But it became more serious when they felt like the people who are in charge of the country where abandoning them and not helping them.

Guyana is a country on South Americas coast. It is a part of The Three Guianas which make up the eastern portion of what is known as the Caribbean North. This country in particular is bigger than the other two countries of The Three Guinas. Unfortunately, Guyana is one of the poorest countries in South America and affected negatively by drug trade.

It has been discovered that on the coast of Guyana there is a get rich amount of oil. ExxonMobil estimates around 8 Billion barrels. Enough that will double the country's gross domestic product. Although there is a lot to look forward to, Guyana is under very intense scrutiny. Elections for this country are currently happening causing tremendous stress and a general concern over how the results of this election will affect the country's economy. The primary concern is that the person who wins this election will come into office just as the monetary production of the discovered oil will be trickling in.

According to Reuters, many mines in Peru were closed last week in an attempt to prevent coronavirus spread in the country, after its southern neighbor Chile had a spike in cases. While the Peruvian government suspended constitutional rights (free movement and assembly), it has allowed some “leeway to carry out critical operations', and despite this, major companies in Southern Peru have chosen to slow or stop production. Border closures and production drops have also occurred in Chile.

I chose this article due to its focus on industries based around the Andean Mountains, and their reliance on exporting materials. The article mentioned China in particular, the largest trading partner of both countries, and the mineral rich Andes Mountains that the countries rely on for those exports.