During the first wave, we had no idea what hit us. From one day to the next, the world was changed radically, and nobody was really sure what was going on. As is common during pandemics (such as the Spanish Flu in 1918) the number of discussions skyrocketed, but the information that should have formed the body of these conversations was nowhere to be found.
The pandemic is currently in its second wave in Europe. Compared to earlier this year, some of the people at the core of crisis management seem to have taken a different approach when it comes to interacting with the lay public. Many people have critisised regulations – and their motivations for doing so are sensible – but at first these criticisms often went unanswered. Now, a new “BN’er”* has dedicated himself to engaging with those that have questions. Diederik Gommers, the head of the Dutch association for ICU staff but also often working on the intensive care himself, went viral after a handful of ‘virologists’ proclaimed their now-lacking support for the Dutch regulations. Whereas I myself often struggle bringing up the patience to deal with those who just won’t listen (see, here I go again), Gommers excels at answering the same questions over and over again.
*: BN’er or Bekende Nederlander: well-known Dutch person