October 27, 2020 at 1:31 PM EDT
Cases are exploding in Argentina, even after early lockdowns
By Terrence McCoy, Ana Vanessa Herrero, Heloísa Traiano and Maite Fernández Simon
When the coronavirus first reached Argentina, Andrés Bonicalzi steeled himself for the sacrifices to come. A lawyer in Buenos Aires, he started working from home, canceled his weekly visits with his parents and vowed to keep his son inside. The government announced one of the world’s strictest lockdowns. The next few weeks would be difficult.
But those hard weeks have turned into seven months, and much of Argentina’s quarantine, believed to be the world’s longest, is still dragging on.
So much sacrifice, Bonicalzi sometimes thinks, and for what? The South American country has become one of the novel coronavirus’s most explosive breeding grounds. In early August, fewer than 200,000 Argentines had contracted the virus. That number has since surged to 1.1 million — 1 out of every 44 people — and 28,000 are dead.
“A failure,” Bonicalzi said. “Expectations have had little in common with reality.”