Health Economists crack corona policy: “Disastrous for the economy ‘

The Netherlands after the summer is divided into corona regions and is controlled by a government that is so self-assured action against the virus rebounds consumer confidence. So would Xander Koolman and Jochen Mierau health economists like to see it, because “flattening the curve, what we do now is actually deepening the crisis.

Concrete Dam on the middle of the A7. Agents there that motorists stop and speak, kindly but firmly. Ma’am, you drive to the northern region corona, is that really necessary? You have the corona dashboard of your region yet seen? In your area the virus is active, your traffic light is on code red. Would not go back better? Besides, you seem a bit snotty, have you been tested?

Look forward to autumn with health economists Xander Koolman (VU Amsterdam) and Jochen Mierau (University of Groningen) and all such visions soon come to the table. Corona poor corridors, where the restrictions are minimal and which is free travel. International agreements on tackling covid-19. And of course: GGD’s fighting so visible against the virus that people feel safe enough to invest, to buy, to undertake.

“As the numbers are now, is not a big corona, more dangerous disease,” said Koolman. “There are currently more daily deaths by suicide than by corona. But the economy the current policy is still disastrous. We do not provide sufficient security. That has absolutely different. ”

You signed this week, along with ten other scientists, a Labor call to let evaluate the corona policy prematurely. Why?

Mierau: “We now know more about the virus, and about ourselves. Those lessons will use you as soon October begins the flu season. ”

Koolman: “When the outbreak began, arose at RIVM many in Europe feel that we could no longer get away this virus. Gradually, we have learned that it turns to control the virus. New Zealand, Australia and Iceland are well under way. And in countries such as Norway, Denmark and Finland have politicians decided dam to another, risk-averse course, direction, often against the advice of their country in RIVM. Yet now say there also health advisers: actually this is a success. ”

Mierau: “That’s true, but that’s a bit of the new reality in which we are now. It is not that there will soon be no more outbreaks. But every time we are able to check them quickly, we can move on with our lives to a great extent. There is a difference between fifty new cases spread detect the Netherlands, or fifty at that restaurant in Leer, in my native Germany. In one fell swoop fifty people that you know, who have been in contact. So you dam it. ”

Koolman: “If you can last long enough, then you have identified all clusters at any given time. Then you can trace every sickness case that should belong to the cluster.

Mierau: “So you radiate check. And build your confidence that you can handle the virus. ”

That is already the policy? “Every time the virus flares up, we should be ready to press the head to the back. In order to curb, “said Minister Young last month from the publication of the first relaxations.

Mierau “Dike means something essentially different here than in Germany. In the Netherlands the directive when you should be tested: only if you have symptoms. In Germany, by contrast, is corona contact with someone who has a reason to test. If you wait until people have symptoms, it may be that you lose sight of the virus. That may seem like overkill, but if you get the virus under control. I think we really can learn from other countries, where people are much more active with source and contact tracing than in the Netherlands. ”

If we do not become much stricter, we will soon stand alone, you say actually.

Koolman: “There will be a European economic recovery plan, a provisional 750 billion. It will also establish a section on how countries will avoid there soon will be another outbreak. It is inconceivable that we spend so much money to smoothly pull the economy but allow some countries simply kindle the virus and thus bring other countries in trouble. ”

Koolman: “Yes, if you put it so, then no society obviously prepared to do that. It is mainly about the number of patients they occur then. If you look at the long-term economic growth, then you see damage, but not as much as initially expected.

“That’s because it was a hard but brief intervention. Economists say flattening the curve, what we do is actually deepening the crisis. By that we mean: an economy experiencing severe damage from prolonged uncertainty, but may at a competitive procedure, and the way back up is found.

“The current restrictions have no economic foundation that enables us to three more years, until perhaps there is a vaccine. People have too little confidence. As entrepreneur you think, I can now open again, but I can not make a profit yet. So consider your closure. We want to avoid. ”

As you capture a Risk board areas, so we will have to regain ground on the virus, thought Koolman and Mierau: region to region, country to country, and eventually perhaps continent to continent. That starts Mierau what concerns the bluff of the Netherlands into regions, each with its own corona policy, depending on how the virus is haunts.

Mierau: Intelligent lockdown is based on the concept of man: and everyone takes responsibility. That is the basis of the policy. And if you give people the confidence that if everyone sticks to the rules, we can relax, I think it the loose. ”

“Besides, people would really go well together Limburg to Groningen with vans to drink on the Market beer? If so, you can always enter the form of border control that was between the Netherlands and Germany, with one at the border said, guys, you can drive, but take responsibility. Much went back. ”

Mierau, jokingly, “Yeah that’s what we always do … At the same time it can also happen that enters the virus on the Eemshaven. Then we are the sjaak. ”

Koolman: “The easiest answer is to that question: it still means two-week quarantine. And no, that’s not very friendly. My mother is deceased and her son – my brother – could not visit her because he was in England. That’s your mother! Terrible. Those are huge price to pay, of course. ”

Mierau “Also, before the European harmonization as important. We are an epidemiological corridor where you have to travel back and forth without further action, except in your sub-region at the time the traffic light is red. In Europe, we can put it to work. And I think we at some point also with other countries agree on. “

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