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HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/GEN-Z
RTX8I31F
December 24, 2020
Joao Vitor Cavalcante, 19, a mechanics student and a keen cyclist, poses for a photograph at the building...
Sao Paulo, Brazil
The Wider Image: Scarred by 2020, Gen Z looks to a COVID-free future
Joao Vitor Cavalcante, 19, a mechanics student and a keen cyclist, poses for a photograph at the building where he lives in Sao Paulo, Brazil, December 19, 2020. Cavalcante had trained hard throughout 2019 for his budding career as a professional cyclist. He thought 2020 would be his best year so far. But the pandemic upended that dream, prompting him to take a job at a car repair shop and give up his plans for a career in cycling. "Cycling is not easy, it is cruel, although I enjoyed that cruelty," Cavalcante said. "Now I don't want to live off of that anymore. Instead I want to live to do it." Cavalcante is one of millions of Brazilian Gen Zs who have had to drastically adjust their aspirations due to the pandemic's effect on the economy. Cavalcante's parents were forced to shut down the family clothing store during the first few months of the pandemic and his sponsor left him when cycling competitions were cancelled. His uncle, aware of the economic constraints, asked him to work at his car repair shop. "He was my salvation," Cavalcante said. "Either I took that job or I would be working for nothing. Last year, I sort of had a future (in cycling), but that time has passed." Cavalcante now works eight hours a day repairing cars, although he says he dislikes washing dirty auto parts. But it is a job that helped support his family during a rough time. He wants to compete again in 2021, but only as an amateur. "For 2021, I hope that things return to normal and that people can see their friends and family again and that they value their affection," he said. REUTERS/Amanda Perobelli SEARCH "GEN-Z COVID-19" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
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