As 2021 draws to a close, Steven Van Gucht has agreed to take stock of this year unlike any other in a retrospective interview for the Nieuwsblad. In it, the virologist addresses many topics related to the coronavirus. An epidemic that has profoundly changed our lives but especially that of the one who quickly established himself as one of the figures of this virus in Belgium.
On the front of the stage (Sciensano press conference, TV-radio-press interview, etc.), Steven Van Gucht admits to never listening to himself. “I never watch TV shows or interviews that I do. Sometimes I can be in the kitchen and hear myself on the radio news. But I really try to avoid that, ”he confides to our colleagues.
The virologist therefore hopes not to have to occupy such a place in the media landscape soon. “Explaining the same things over and over again tires me out sometimes. But I have to keep doing it. I guess that role will gradually decrease. I don’t think I’ll be in the 2022 year-end interviews, ”he jokes before adding. “In fact, I had already hoped to decrease my time in the media after the summer vacation. But that did not happen … “
Looking to the future
For the next, Steven Van Gucht thinks to resume his previous job: head of the department of viral diseases at Sciensano. “I wish this pandemic and the coronavirus disaster were over quickly so that I could do other things. Before the onset of the crisis, I was responsible for a laboratory of twenty people. Since the coronavirus crisis, I have run out of time. For now, I therefore intend to resume this work. But the impact is totally different. What I do now has a big and direct impact on society. We learn new things every month. We live in difficult but fascinating times. And after ? I have to admit I have a hard time answering this question. “