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The pandemic forced people to remove those unpleasant smiley masks they wore

There is no doubt that the pandemic (which, by the way, is not over yet) has impacted and transformed many aspects of our lives. For example, a new study reveals that the pandemic has caused and increased apathy and exacerbated divisions in many churches. And another impact of the pandemic, I add, was the disappearance of unpleasant smiley masks.

For this reason, I can say that, during 2021 and due to the pandemic, I lost many people close to me, some of them friends (so I thought) for many years. When I say “I lost” I do not mean that someone died, but that the disruption and fear generated by COVID-19 led these people to remove the masks they usually used.

It is said that tragedies "bring out the best" in many people. But it is also true that tragedies (like the current pandemic) also "bring out the worst" in many people who already had "the worst" inside them (discrimination, dishonesty, abuse, exploitation), but hid it. behind a friendly smile, titles and offices, and awards and honors.

But behind that resplendent smile, the bombastic titles and the endless prizes (and opportunities for promotional photos) there were hidden intentions, now clearly revealed, to re-victimize the victims in order, in the name of supposed “community help”, to increase the control of those poor people and, at the same time, their own income.

Once it was no longer necessary to disguise oneself as a human, once all pretense and pretext of authenticity and honor were put aside, the now "unmasked" not only continued, but even intensified their predatory attitudes, making each person in need a "ATM” when supposedly “helping” that person.

And if you think I'm exaggerating, I'm not. For example, a recent article published by social psychologist Jonathan Haidt in The Atlantic makes it clear and undeniable that the pandemic caused a marked reduction in our cognitive abilities.

In addition, it is known that the pandemic reduced life expectancy in developed countries by up to four years and that many people suffer from physical and mental health problems, some mild, others serious, due to the pandemic. Therefore, it is not surprising in the least that those who are not what they appear to be now show what they really are.

They are the ones who, when they meet someone in a good position and with a desire to help the community, instead of sharing opportunities or accepting help or resources, think of how to exploit the budding Good Samaritan, either by taking money or ideas, or by using tell you of your presence or influence for your own benefit, but not that of the community.

In the context of Plato's famous Allegory of the Cave, these people are the ones who chain the prisoners and then go about entertaining them so that they forget they are chained and don't even try to get out of those chains. Those people are you and me: we are keeping ourselves and other inside the cave. 

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