Carlos Marques has spent 12 years driving ambulances in Sao Paulo state but nothing prepared him for the trauma of working amid one of the world’s worst outbreaks of the coronavirus. Brazil is among the hardest-hit countries in the world and its health crisis reached a zenith this month as the daily death rate passed 4,000. “I hope today will be a better day. We hope it won’t be as bad as the others, picking up desperate people, crying,” Marques told AFP, before beginning an early morning shift last week. “At the end of the day, we’re affected by it because we’re with them, seeing their suffering.” Marques, 52, has first aid training and also helps the two nurses in his ambulance when necessary. When the pandemic hit Brazil, he was contracted by a private company transporting Covid-19 patients to a hospital in Santo Andre, in the country’s industrial heartland. He worked 12-hour shifts with a day and a half off in between. He lives with his wife, daughter and four granddaughters in two humble adjoining houses in a poor town east of Sao Paulo.