Special Report

Shutdown: The Coronavirus

Honk!: Cars earn a special spot in 2020

A sign directs drivers to the drive-in area at the Central Presbyterian Church in Londrina, Brazil. Nov. 15, 2020. Photo by Luana Harumi

Blinkers and horns stand in for clapping and cheering, and hugs give way to fist bumps – as the Covid-19 pandemic stretches over months on end, 2020 has become the year of social distancing. And as people looked for creative ways to cope with restrictions, an old ally came into the scene: cars. 

In Brazil, where about 49.2% of homes have at least one car parked in their garage, drive-ins and drive-thrus quickly became an obvious option. The city of Londrina, in the southern state of Paraná, with a population of 575,377 and 375,179 automobiles – the equivalent to 0.62 cars per resident, one of the highest rates in the country – formally regulated this type of gathering in June and events exploded throughout the city. 

From pre-wedding parties to charity events to church services, there seems to be a variety of options for every taste. Even as more stringent restrictions were lifted, many people still prefer to enjoy some activities from the safety of their personal four-wheeled bubbles. 

Pastor Jefferson Emerick de Freitas of the Central Presbyterian Church during a moment of worship at a drive-in Sunday service. Londrina, Brazil. Nov. 22, 2020. Photo by Luana Harumi

A churchgoer prays inside her car at the Central Presbyterian Church’s drive-in Sunday service. Londrina, Brazil. Nov. 22, 2020. Photo by Luana Harumi

Churchgoers at the Central Presbyterian Church turn on their cars’ blinkers to signal applause. Londrina, Brazil. Nov. 22, 2020. Photo by Luana Harumi

A church worker goes around the parking lot to collect offerings. Londrina, Brazil. Nov. 15, 2020. Photo by Luana Harumi

Mariana Brunetto and Geovani Candido throw a drive-thru couple’s shower before their wedding. Amanda, the bride’s youngest sister, plays with a balloon while the groom looks out for arriving guests. Londrina, Brazil. Nov. 14, 2020. Photo by Luana Harumi

Geovani accepts a gift from their first guests. Londrina, Brazil. Nov. 14, 2020. Photo by Luana Harumi

Mariana picks up little pieces of paper from a basket and explains to her friend that there will be a raffle later. Londrina, Brazil. Nov. 14, 2020. Photo by Luana Harumi

Most of the couple’s friends also brought gifts. Londrina, Brazil. Nov. 14, 2020. Photo by Luana Harumi

Military police officers load a minivan with diaper donations at a charity drive-thru organized by the 2nd Military Police School in Londrina, Brazil. Nov. 21, 2020. Photo by Luana Harumi

A military police officer picks up a pack of adult diapers at a charity drive-thru. Londrina, Brazil. Nov. 21, 2020. Photo by Luana Harumi

A participant shows off his donation. Londrina, Brazil. Nov. 21, 2020. Photo by Luana Harumi

A military police officer exchanges a fist bump with a driver – a common form of greeting during the Covid-19 pandemic. Londrina, Brazil. Nov. 21, 2020. Photo by Luana Harumi

 

 


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