Healthcare minister Hugo de Jonge does not dare to do it yet, but does not rule out setting evening and night clocks


Minister Hugo de Jonge (Public Health) writes in a letter to the Lower House that the cabinet does not rule out the setting of an evening and night clock. If the increasing number of corona infections is not sufficiently reduced in the next three weeks, the cabinet will therefore consider heavier artillery.
Gradually, the highest government organizations (with regard to virus control) are beginning to understand a little about how to act during a crisis. Normally, RIVM and OMT would issue advice based on research, analyzes or calculation models about what would be best for public health. And the cabinet then chooses which advice will be (partly) adopted.

Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way! The RIVM and OMT were practically bypassed and saw their advice only partially adopted by the cabinet. They already had their own plan ready: or the OMT just wanted to draw at the cross! You would say that the government makes a careful assessment here, exactly as I described in the previous paragraph. That’s right, but only in part. The factors that now take into account are those of the elections. In my opinion, the cabinet does not want to intervene too hard, for fear of losing its seat. That is different from striking a balance between public health and the economic damage such measures inevitably entail.

The cabinet is trying to do just enough to avoid a complete lockdown, but it is immediately getting stuck, so that the measures may just be not will be sufficient, so that more action will have to be taken. Then you get the worst of both worlds: less willingness to comply with the new measures and again pointless economic damage, coupled with the risk that citizens will accuse each other for not complying with the rules.

The cabinet could well have decided to institute as many (effective) measures as possible at once. Then of course it will be quite rotten, but at least we will get rid of the virus one more time. Now they are aiming very precisely for a reproduction number of 0.9 for three weeks, while with a duty of mouth masks and an evening or night clock we might well end up below 0.8. That means working from home for three weeks, going home early in the evening and if you really have to go in somewhere, just put on a face mask.

That is not such a drama and it costs the citizen at most a few euros. But no, let’s first wait and see how we screw this up within a week and then introduce the curfew. That will certainly get voters on hand …

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