Brazil’s vulnerable domestic workers cannot afford to get sick

SÃO PAULO, Brazil — Every Monday morning for the past month, Maria Raimunda Ribeiro de Almeida waits for her ride outside the McDonald’s on the main street next to Paraisópolis, the favela where she lives.

Before quarantine went into effect on March 24, Almeida took the bus each day to the luxury apartment building where she works as a maid. But now the family calls her an Uber to reduce her chances of contracting the novel coronavirus, which has infected nearly 62,000 people across Brazil and killed nearly 4,200. When she arrives at work, she immediately changes out of her clothes, just in case they are contaminated.

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By Jill Langlois

Photos by Gui Christ for National Geographic

Originally published online on April 27, 2020.