It is widely held by the scientific community that people should have at least eight hours of sleep a day (Durmer & Dinges, 2005). In a recent study published by the Sleep Research Institute (year), it has been proved that during that time, the brain processes all new information to which it was exposed during the day, performs synapses, and recovers one’s body from the tiredness of the daily activities. Moreover, according to Lorena (p.c.), sleeping at least eight hours at night prepares one’s body and mind for the following work day. However, few people admit sleeping eight or more hours a day (People, 2006). In a recent research held by the Bureau of Sleep Disorders (Donald, 2012), 75.6 percent of the working population sleeps a maximum of only 4-6 hours, if not less. In light of such clear evidence, it is possible to say that people’s work and study routine of nowadays significantly affects their sleeping time , having an important impact on their productivity and, thus, requiring more effort to meet their obligations (Claus, 2008). This work cycle results in more unrecovered tiredness, which leads to a need of even more than eight hours of sleep a day (Daddy, 2010). While the issues raised by SRI have been proved very important for health, today’s work demand conflicts with our body needs (Worker, 2014). Therefore, this paper will suggest that although necessary for one’s health, eight hours of sleep a day does not fit the work routine of our time.
In recent years there has been an increase in the number of alternatives offered to the population in the context of urban mobility. Created and developed by private enterprise, services such as blablacar – a system of transportation based on offering rides to others and charging only part of the amount spent in the trip – and Uber – a kind of executive taxi service – have become a common choice of people when thinking about which mean of transportation is the worthiest to one’s specific need. However, the legality of this kind of service has been largely questioned, especially by the people who offer similar services, but in the traditional and previously exclusive way, and pay high monthly amounts of money to work, such as taxi drivers and van companies (in a few cities). On the other side, the new entrepreneurs who have recently joined this kind of business defend the service offered by them, arguing that the law charges companies with taxes and licenses, and they are considered independent contractors. In order to understand the legal and illegal aspects of such new business activities in the context of urban mobility, the current study extends the arguments presented by both sides of the dispute, and discusses their legal basis, according to Brazilian Law.
The long-legged mosquito which has become the major concern of a whole country in recent months has been in the headlines of Brazilian newspapers since last year, being only replaced recently by the political issues involving President Dilma Rousseff. In the same proportion, the actions and national campaigns to combat Aedes aegypti’s breeding grounds throughout Brazil have also been discussed and criticized in the national and international media, which, in some cases, seems to choose one single side to defend or sharply judge.
In the article entitled “The Zika virus mosquito is unmasking Brazil’s inequality and indifference” written by Eliane Brum and published in the UK newspaper “The Guardian”, the author presents to the reader the tough reality that Brazil is living regarding the Zika virus epidemic and the growing number of microcephaly cases. Despite the difficulties the country is finding in containing the mosquito spread, it seems exaggerated to say that Brazil has been denounced by the Aedes aegypti. The same mosquito that now is infecting people with the Zika virus is also responsible for transmitting dengue, a disease which has been managed by public policies and palliative measures in Brazil for years.
Regarding the effectiveness of the palliative and combat measures, it can surely be questioned since dengue is still a huge concern of Brazilians, but it must be considered that the population and the government are equally responsible in the sense of making it work. Brum herself argues in the article that “The Aedes mosquito has proliferated in Brazil due to the negligence of the state”. By saying that, the journalist blames only the government for the Zika epidemic and clearly puts the population in a position of victimization. In the same text, however, the author says that “On Saturday, the government promoted a ‘national day of action to combat the Aedes aegypti’, a high-profile operation involving more than 200,000 soldiers inspecting homes”. This fact mentioned by the author implicitly indicates that soldiers were necessary to inspect homes and do the job that the population had not done itself, unmasking citizens’ own responsibility.
Moreover, the journalist states that “(...) blaming the citizen who leaves a small pot of water in the corner of his house is irresponsible”. This specific comment also seems irresponsible since leaving pots of water in open environments creates the perfect environment for the Aedes aegypti reproduction and development, besides being considered the main cause of the increase in its reproduction rate. Going against all preventive campaigns released by the government in recent months, Eliane Brum seems to be one of the people who think her single pot of water will not make any difference, thus creating her own mosquito breeding ground.
Even though not everyone seems to be engaged in the ‘fight’ against the Zika epidemic in Brazil, a significant part of the population is taking all possible measures to protect itself and to avoid leaving unprotected water pots in open places. The running out of repellents in drugstores and supermarkets in the beginning of 2016 is an important evidence of that, together with the high number of messages and calls received by municipal authorities reporting possible breeding grounds. These data, not mentioned in Brum’s article, show a very different attitude of Brazilians towards the Zika virus epidemic; however, it seems not be enough to give a good audience to any newspaper or magazine.
There has been a number of journalists publicly expressing their opinions about the Zika virus epidemic in Brazil. From the point of view of an outsider, regarding all news from the sensationalist media, it is not difficult to imagine a dirty, “sweaty” country, with water puddles everywhere. The country is in fact facing a difficult time with all the consequences that have been affecting the population since the spread of the Zika virus; however, several measures have been put into practice to try to stop the Aedes Aegypt reproduction, such as the development of awareness campaigns about cleaning backyards and vacant lots to avoid creating a favorable environment for the mosquito reproduction. For journalists whose main intention is becoming popular within the media no matter at what cost, the number of people affected by the virus, especially of pregnant women who had the disease during their pregnancies, is a great topic for criticism. As Andrew Jacobs did in his article Brazilians Shrug Off Zika Fears to Revel in Carnival Fun for The New York Times, many other journalists unfortunately also decided to be offensive instead of being useful and presenting solutions to the epidemic.