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Distrust: the most invisible virus

2020 was a year that marked a before and after in our lives. COVID-19, that invisible virus, transformed our routines and led us to stay at home. Contrary to what we initially believed, we are still far from overcoming this pandemic. Vaccination is progressing slowly (but advancing!) in most countries and is second only to the speed with which new variants spread.

To our health crisis, an economic and a high political uncertainty before the elections have been added. With many candidates vying for our vote, we don’t know what will happen. And in this climate, it is understandable that tempers are stirred. However, we should be concerned to see social networks turned into trenches full of harangues or attacks on anyone who thinks differently.

Precisely, this must be a moment to rethink how we live in society. According to the Inter-American Development Bank, Peru ranks as the fourth country in the region with the greatest distrust of members of its own community, distrust that remains just as high when we talk about political parties and institutions such as the Judiciary, Congress or the National Police. In short, we find it hard to believe in the rest.

In a pandemic context, distrust increases. By taking care of ourselves and our own, we turn away from others. However, as with corruption, crime and unemployment — problems seen as priorities by the majority of the population — this issue must be on the agenda. Finally, it is trust that allows us to collaborate in society and together with empathy, they shape solidarity.

A society that lives in constant fear, because of how others see or think, is far from empathy and closer to hostility. In times of crisis, it is important to remember that our country has shown solidarity at key moments. We have put our shoulders to bring shelter, food and shelter to those who need it most. Let us not stop listening to others.

Editor: María Claudia Augusto Meléndez

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