We live in a critical moment that is marked by uncertainties and instabilities, but also by the generalization of mistrust: the citizens’ distrust of institutions; Institutions relating to citizens; In short, distrust among citizens. This climate of general distrust of social relationships is growing and is very worrying. it only leads to less social cohesion, especially at a time when it is so necessary. The problem is not new, it is not all Portuguese, nor does it have a single and simple cause; Plowing on multiple fronts and now has a new episode: the intolerable proliferation of cases of vaccine abuse. Like an earthquake, followed by many aftershocks, the episode can be briefly characterized by the successive repetition of abuses and misconduct that contaminate an ongoing, complex, but overall good vaccination process. Along with other past episodes of a different nature, it creates powerful shocks, all of which negatively affect the production of accumulated destructive effects on the already weakened bonds of trust.
In a mediatized society (which does not necessarily mean informed), various actors and institutions are involved in the actions that are read, heard and seen. Although they can be intertwined in a closer analysis, the reported cases seem different: some relate to the so-called wedge (old institution), others to the composition of the vaccination lists (questionable criteria), others to the remains mentioned (in a Table of scarcity), others with biased interpretations (very free and to the taste of chico-smart), others with personal fame (naively expressed in public exhibitions on social networks). However, not all of them will have criminal or disciplinary relevance. Some do and end up being sanctioned. Others do not and stick to social or moral censorship. Some, perhaps the majority, will be difficult to classify because they are in borderline positions. It will always depend on the ability to control and the public role of control over the exercise of the most varied of powers and interests. Either way, the truth is that in a collective frenzy, everything and everyone is put in the same pocket with no criteria or framework. The sum of all cases leads to further damage that is inflicted on collective trust and has profound effects on the generalization of distrust. It’s insidious damage that ultimately helps sneak into democracy.
Life in the pandemic itself is depressing, especially in a social climate of distrust of each individual and of anything that makes social relationships unhealthy. Undermining confidence, it is not easy to regain, and there are always those who seek to exploit it politically. This is where the danger arises: Unhealthy conditions are fertile ground for the growth of extremism, which, in addition to the prevailing inequalities and fears, is also based on mistrust. For this reason, it is necessary to separate the wheat from the chaff, hold those responsible and be very strict and impartial in the constant search for restoration and recognition of mutual trust as an essential condition of our own collective existence. There are signs of hope.
The author writes according to the new orthographic convention