When I say Easter, I obviously mean the holiday we are given in April which was the time, the venerable Bede observed, that the pagan Anglo Saxons held their feasts in honour of their goddess Ēostre. She is thought to be a descendent of the proto-indo-European goddess, Hausōs, who was the bringer of light and the dawn. Given that the sun rises in the East it is no surprise then that the words are so similar.
The Christians use this time to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, Jews celebrate pass-over and our consumer culture celebrates with the easter bunny and easter eggs. The egg is an ancient symbol of new life and rebirth and is likely to derive from ancient page ceremonies, although early Christian communities in Mesopotamia were reported as having painted eggs to represent the blood of Christ. Rabbits are also an ancient symbol of life and rebirth.
At the moment birth is far from the minds of many and it is death that is the focus as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to affect the lives of millions around the world. As you can see from the graph above, the UK curve is still very close to that of Italy, slightly above the US, while Brazil is still slightly below where the UK was at that point in the epidemic.
Here in Brazil, Human Rights Watch has accused President Bolsonaro of attempting to sabotage anti-covid-19 efforts. In a news release the advocacy organisation, which investigates human rights abuses all over the world, said: “President Jair Bolsonaro is putting Brazilians in grave danger by urging them not to comply with social distancing and other measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 from state governments and his own Health Ministry, Human Rights Watch said today. He has also acted recklessly by disseminating misleading information about the pandemic.”
In the streets of Sao Paulo, where there is not the same level of lockdown as is being enforced in the UK and New York, people are out buying easter eggs for Sunday. Many in the population already seem bored by the social distancing measures and the country is in danger of these measures breaking down at the worst possible moment.