The COVID-19 crisis has affected many countries worldwide. The main focus from most policy makers and virologists/epidemiologists was initially and understandably on stopping the spread of the virus (sars-cov-2), saving lives and protecting the healthcare capacity. Lockdown measures have been taken with variable intensity and duration and with variable success, due to – in the short run – uncontrollable factors (population density, pollution, …) but also controllable factors (physical density, testing capacity, use of masks, protecting the elderly). When the lockdown measures were too intensive, locking the entire society down, and took too long, their adverse events became apparent: increased unemployment, poverty, mental health problems, other non-covid19 problems such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, which were not sufficiently cared for. The created fear has stopped patients in need (for any healthcare issue) from taking contact with healthcare facilities, resulting in morbidity and mortality.
In this lecture Prof Annemans will argue that a more balanced approach should be taken in an eventual next wave, whereby the essential measures (physicial distancing, testing, use of masks, protecting the elderly) are taken however with minimal effect on the economy, on well-being and mental health and on other health aspects. Also a sphere of vigilance and citizenship should be promoted rather than a sphere of anxiety.
Register in advance for this webinar.
- Prof Dr Lieven Annemans, Professor of Health Economics at Ghent University & Brussels Free University (VUB)
- Prof Dr Bart Criel, Professor and MPH course director at ITM