Academics plead in manifesto for sustainable pandemic policy: “Moving away from the idea that there was or is no alternative”

“Winter manifesto for a sustainable pandemic policy”, that’s the name the text which was signed by, among others, psychiatrist Dirk De Wachter, Heidi De Pauw (Child Focus), Amir Bachrouri (chairman of the Flemish Youth Council), philosopher Ignaas Devisch and epidemiologist Luc Bonneux. “We do not want to make the process of the past with this reflection text. At the same time, an open-minded debate requires that we move away from the idea that there was or is no alternative,” say the signatories.

According to them, there is, among other things, a lack of a sustainable long-term vision. They understand that during the first wave, the focus was on “slowing down” the circulation of the virus at all costs. “But we have not moved from that path since, although the benefits of this one-sided approach in the longer term are very uncertain,” it sounds.

In that light, the manifesto complains that the pandemic has been addressed too much as a purely virological and epidemiological problem. “This has led to an over-representation of these two expertises in the COVID councils and committees. Other expertises that were involved were always instrumentalized for virological and epidemiological purposes,” it says sharply.

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