World-famous beaches emptied by carnivirus

World-famous beaches emptied by carnivirus

Rio de Janeiro (CNN) – Miguel Oliveira firmly pressed lime and sugar into the cocktail shaker for the first time that day. It’s noon, and this, sitting in his kiosk bar with very few crowded steps together, is just a sign that something is wrong in Rio de Janeiro.

“This has never been worse,” he sighed. “Open to see if we can sell something – it’s worse to be closed.” He doubts that any time soon business will get better, the only bright spot is “at least the rent has been postponed until next year.”

Miguel Oliveira waited until noon to get his first cocktail order.

Joe Shelley / CNN

Copacabana beach. If you never are, you probably want to. If you know this, wherever you are in the world right now, you are probably fancy one day now. The best beach in the world, however, is hit by its best known virus.

Four years ago, I saw the beach centered on Rio’s Olympic dream. The bars were unable to find you a seat; Every inch of the ocean was overbooked; It was obligatory to disregard swimming attire and time or worries. Even the heavy presence of the police did not stop the dance.

Now, the beach is off. Face masks are mandatory. Shops, restaurants, bars – and most of the kiosks on the Big Front are closed, except for Miguel. Kovid-19 was brought to Copacabana by the police. Even the music is silent, replaced by a police siren, warning locals unwilling to get off the beach.

The world's most famous beach has been evacuated in an attempt to spread the coronavirus.

The world’s most famous beach has been evacuated in an attempt to spread the coronavirus.

Joe Shelley / CNN

The Maritime Fireman Brigade – a mix of firefighters and lifeguards – drove slowly along the length of the beach, their speakers claiming people let go of the sand. Lt. Col. Fernando Mello said most people are committed to beach closures, but one or two people consistently walk or gather on the beach, unaware of why the sand is so unusually empty.

“In the beginning, when people didn’t believe Corona, we would gather at the kiosk at night, to party,” Melo said. “Schools were closed so people would come to the sand with their kids.”

Now it’s even better – but joggers, walkers and dogs all line the sidewalk. One group is missing: tourists. Foreigners are temporarily banned from entering Brazil. (Brazil’s foreign ministry granted CNN access to report).

Lt. Col. Fernando Mello patrolling the beach with assistant firefighters and lifeguards telling someone to get there

Lt. Col. Fernando Mello patrolling the beach with assistant firefighters and lifeguards telling someone to get there

Joe Shelley / CNN

Locals find it difficult to wear a mask. In his everyday world, Ronaldo Nussbaum is muscular. He said he had asthma and needed to get air. “Some days they have a lot of people, but today they are fine.”

“He said a lot of things I don’t like. But I just voted for him. My mother loves him. He can say bad things (but) I can’t,” he laughed.

A June 2019 photo shows a more natural view of the packed Copacabana beach.

A June 2019 photo shows a more natural view of the packed Copacabana beach.

Mauro Pimetale / AFP / Getty Images

This reflects the changing public opinion of the president of Nusbaum, who recent polls show that he now has a 50% denial rating. I ask if he will vote for her again? “I’m not sure,” he said.

Many times volleyball matches continue uninterrupted. Runners and surfers continue. Police run ATVs in the sand, rocking people, but they come back quickly. The homeless stand on the sand and in the occasional lonely street: loud and lonely in this new landscape. The iconic Belmont Hotel on this beachfront has closed for the first time in 97 years.

The very rhythm of defining Copacabana has ceased, and businesses and even those locals are briefly enjoying the space – when and where it will return again, and whether it will be the same joyous pace as before, spreads here.

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