It’s empty and quiet in the Sambódromo of Río de Janeiro, on Shrove Monday in 2021. Where otherwise there is a dense crowd at Carnival time, on two evenings in a row the members of the samba schools show their latest floats, figures and costumes in the evening air in summer temperatures the opposite of exuberance announced.
People mourn and commemorate the corona dead. At the beginning of the year, when the metropolis under the Sugar Loaf had canceled the otherwise lavish New Year’s Eve party, it was clear: 2021 there will be no carnival season in February – the four great days with the two defilees of the famous samba schools through the Sambódromo have to be canceled. For the first time in 37 years, since the inauguration of the grandstands along the 700-meter-long stretch of Avenida Marqués de Sapucaí, there will be no parade.
After the United States and India, Brazil is the country with the largest number of people infected with corona. 9.8 million people have tested positive for Covid-19, and nearly 240,000 people have died related to the coronavirus.
Hardly anyone in Brazil feels like partying. A variant of the coronavirus was discovered in the Amazon region. The E484K mutation is three times more contagious than the original virus, said Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello.
Vaccinations have now started in Rio. The Sambódromo was not closed to car traffic because of the carnival, but because a mobile vaccination station was set up there. People can drive up and the elderly can get the injection without leaving the vehicle.
In the evening, the empty tiers in the Sambódromo are brightly lit – in memory of the corona deaths, says Eduardo Paes, the mayor of Rio de Janeiro.
Click your way through the following photo series from previous years:
– Mud instead of feather boa: These carnivalists roll around in the mud
– Carnival in Brazil First run in the Sambodromo of Rio – a city in the gold rush
– Second run in Sambódromo: heat, glitter and a lot of bare skin