The Pandemic must be Managed: Avoid Firefighting

The Pandemic must be Managed: Avoid Firefighting

Because there is not yet a vaccine, and because sufficient care for infected people must be guaranteed, the infection rate is now regulated.

This is now done by a series of measures, which limit the freedom of movement of citizens.

As an emergency measure, this is understandable, but the duration of this intervention must be kept as short as possible, also to limit damage to the economy.

Prime Minister Rutte of the Netherlands spoke a few days ago about an intelligent lockdown, in the Netherlands. However, this lockdown is not that intelligent at all.

For example, because testing has a low priority, it is not clear who is already immune. Consequently a (growing) part of the population is unnecessarily locked-down, and limited in its freedom movement. People who are immune can get back to work.

It is important that this changes as soon as possible.

The Dutch government now seems to be mainly preoccupied with the attention that acute problems require in this crisis, such as the timely availability of intensive care capacity. These type of problems can be avoided, but then a different approach to the crisis is required.

This is a typical pitfall in crisis management: Constant firefighting. Therefore, there is now a lack of overview and timely action.

To get a handle on the crisis, a number of things need to be better organized and managed differently. There must be a national strategy, for example. That is a government’s management tool.

Such a strategy prevents the cabinet from being preoccupied with firefighting, and creates more overview and structure. This crises takes a long time to resolve. The economic fall-out, international coordination also require attention.