The COVID-19 pandemic in the ICU

Everson Fernandes Pereira About the author

Abstract

In this article, I make some comments on the bed occupancy rates in intensive care units in the case of Porto Alegre, Brazil, at the first six months of SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. I argue how the production and the uses of these rates, by the City Hall, gains technical airs, but leaves aside a series of complexities. Following the bed occupancy data and the measures adopted by the city hall, I argue how political choices and decisions are based on criteria that are not exclusively technical. I rely on discussions about quantification of society and the politics of numbers in a dialogue with the Achille Mbembe’s notion of “necropolitics”. I try to think the rate as a necropolitic’s dispositive that, while legitimizing the loosening of quarantine, it exposes vulnerable populations to risks.

Keywords:
necropolitics; covid-19; politics of numbers; pandemic rates

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