If you want to learn how to evade Flex's law, you should come to the university

The behavior of the host is just as important as the behavior of the virus

There is a lot to be said about the long-term strategy for Covid-19, which the government presented at the beginning of this month, and little of it is positive. Only someone blessed with Hugo de Jong’s optimism could see a strategy in him; To the rest of us, it feels like a mixture of wishful thinking, evasion, and mystery.

Central Questions – How do we protect the vulnerable, and how do we maintain access to health care? – It was postponed. Why arrange in April, what, if the virus cooperates a little, you can also postpone it until September? And why do you yourself what you can pass on? Infection prevention has become the individual responsibility of citizens—a false solution, as I wrote here last time, that widens the health gap between rich and poor.

One of the most tangible plans in the article is the “Social Impact Team (MIT).” Again, don’t think too much about “more realistic”: the Cabinet, for example, doesn’t yet know if MIT will actually be there. What is certain is that if it did, MIT would have to be completely separate from OMT. The operations management team then advises on the ‘epidemiological impact’ of the measures, and MIT on the ‘social impact’. In other words: If the OMT recommends school closures to reduce the number of infections, MIT could add that school closures lead to rising inequality in education.

Next to OMT instead of inside it

By itself, of course, it could not cause any harm if the government also sought advice on the social consequences of the proposed measures. It seems to me that the right advisors are sociologists. The problem with MIT is that it puts sociologists next to the OMT, not inside it.

This might make sense if you think that sociologists have only one thing to say about the social impact of COVID-19 metrics. But – and the government seems unable to understand this – sociologists are also essential to the epidemiological impact. No one filling out an OMT test with doctors only realizes that the behavior of the host is just as important in the course of an epidemic as the characteristics of the virus.

In other countries, this realization has actually declined for some time. Professor of geriatrics, Rudi Westendorp, who lives and works in Denmark and has been on Danish OMT for a while, explained in February NRC Handelsblad He explains how they deal with the matter in Denmark: “After the first wave, it turned out to be not that complicated. If the number of infections increases, you take measures to reduce the number of contacts, then the number of infections decreases again. The main question was what measures are taken It limited adequate contacts, and what measures could be maintained for a long time. So it was: Westendorp and a few other clinicians, sociologists and behavioral experts at.”

We with OMT are still full of doctors. They’ve spent two years working selflessly to the core and doing what they can – and they can do a lot, but they simply know and understand less about human behavior than sociologists do. And so they were regularly shocked when their advice was not followed, even if they made use of it in their advice.

Professors Fluitsma and Van Tejn

This surprise, in turn, led the sociology of cold-earth in the tradition of Professors Floitsma and Van Tejen: Well, the patriot, averse to nepotism, there is no sacred uniform, you do not enforce laws, you do not listen to their chief. also. No, so the Germans do what you say.

This may sound social, but it’s just a drink. Talking about harmful drinks too, because in this way you transfer all responsibilities to the citizen, while it is the government that should come up with effective, understandable and actionable advice. You need sociologists and behavioral scientists for that, so Treasury, finally put them where they belong: in OMT.

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