Brazil has one of the the world’s highest rates of Covid-19 infections, at over 5 million, and some 148,000 people are thought to have died of the disease (as of 8 October 2020). In March, care homes across the country closed their doors to all visitors, preventing millions of concerned Brazilians from visiting their elderly relatives and having any physical contact with them. Tens of thousands died without being near their loved ones one last time. At Viva Bee, an old age home outside Sao Paulo, as in many hospitals and care homes across Brazil, a simple new invention has once again allowed people to see and hold their elderly relatives – through plastic sheeting that prevents infection.
Bruno Zani, a businessman in the events industry, claims to have invented the ‘Hug Curtain’ and his model has since been copied all over the world. A thick sheet of translucent plastic has two sets of ‘sleeves’ which elderly residents and their visitors can use to embrace each other without putting each at risk.