Trust boosts recovery of countries from COVID-19 [article]

Timothy Michael Lenton, Chris A Boulton, Marten Scheffer
2021 medRxiv   pre-print
Why have some countries suppressed waves of the COVID-19 pandemic much more effectively than others? We find that the decay rate of daily cases or deaths from peak levels varies by a factor of ~40 between countries. This measure of country-level resilience to COVID-19 is positively correlated with trust within society, and with the adaptive increase in stringency of government interventions when epidemic waves occur. All countries where >40% agree most people can be trusted achieve a near
more » ... te reduction of new cases and deaths. In contrast, countries where governments maintain greater background stringency tend to be less trusting and less resilient. Building trust is therefore critical to resilience, both to epidemics and other unexpected disruptions, of which COVID-19 is unlikely to be the last.
doi:10.1101/2021.04.01.21254783 fatcat:5lz2dbxlobfppb5su7jylw5ecm