Lockdowns, lethality, and laissez-faire politics. Public discourses on political authorities in high-trust countries during the COVID-19 pandemic | Research - June 23, 2021 |
This study looks at population response to government containment strategies during initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in four high-trust Northern European countries-Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden-with special emphasis on expressions of governmental trust. Sentiment analysis and topic modeling analysis were performed using Twitter data from three phases during the initial European lockdown, and results were compared over time and between countries. Findings show that, in line with existing theory, assertive crisis responses and proactive communication were generally well-received, whereas tentative crisis responses or indications by the authorities that the crisis was manageable were generally met with suspicion.
On March 11th, 2020, COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the WHO. Due to the unfamiliarity of the situation, the four Northern European countries Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden, despite being culturally and sociostructurally similar, were seen implementing highly divergent strategies.
The Danish strategy was by far the most assertive strategy of the four: it introduced a total lockdown only a day after the WHO classified Covid-19 as a pandemic (March 12th). The goal of the containment strategy was to limit the spread until the development of a vaccine or more effective treatment options than were available at the time. During the lockdown, the government enjoyed support both from a nigh united parliament and from the population at large. Overall, Denmark managed to contain the virus throughout with intensive care units running below capacity throughout.
The Dutch government initially dubbed the Dutch strategy "intelligent lockdown", aiming to flatten the curve of infection, while at the same time allowing for herd immunity to take hold. In concrete terms, this mean that the Netherlands introduced outbreak containment measures in several steps and only when deemed necessary. Between March 15th and March 23rd, the Dutch strategy became stricter, changing from a model akin to the Swedish model to becoming more similar to the strategies of Denmark and Germany. Nevertheless, the Netherlands had a high ratio of infected citizens and at one point had to send COVID-19 patients to Germany for treatment due to insufficient intensive care equipment.
As I had written, PM Mark Rutte had an identical liberal philosophy as good allies Boris Johnson and Donald Trump ... speeches were quite similar to Downing Street 10 as was the timeline. In The Netherlands the rise in hospital patients increased dramatically and the black scenario was in place of leaving elderly persons to die at home while not counting these as COVID-19 deaths.
Outbreak -- Herd Immunity Is Damning! | March 14, 2020 |
Government 'herd immunity' strategy tipping Britain towards huge death toll | ESSF - March 17, 2020 |
Laissez-faire Handling Outbreak by PM Boris Johnson | April 20, 2020 |
Looking forward with greater European solidarity and spirit to overcome immense challenges ahead.
ECDC Vaccine Tracker
Top nations in vaccinations are Iceland, Ireland, France, Norway and Spain. Surprisingly Germany is in the lower end and the Dutch halfway in between.
Dutch society is diverse in opinion and leads towards rebellion as common denominator. A bit of history and risk of principled self-destruction or Dutch nihilism …
Calvinism and the Dutch rebellion against Catholic Spain (1568–1648)
A Dutch Christian Communicator, Desiderius Erasmus during the Northern Renaissance (1467–1536)
My previous diary ...
Will the EU-27 Survive the Biden Years?