Brazilians seek pre-pandemic normalcy as deaths top 600,000

  • A Brazilian flag hangs on a clothesline on Copacabana beach amid white scarves that represent those who have died of COVID-19 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Oct. 8, 2021. The action was organized by the NGO “Rio de Paz” to protest the government’s handling of the pandemic as the country nears a total of 600,000 COVID-19 related deaths. (AP Photo/Bruna Prado)

SAO PAULO — Bars in Sao Paulo are full again for evening happy hours, lawmakers in the capital of Brasilia have nearly done away with video sessions via Zoom, and Rio de Janeiro’s beaches are packed. Calls for strict social distancing seem but a memory.