The Netherlands is emerging from its “intelligent lockdown” as one of the most heavily hit countries on Earth. It is in the Top 5 to Top 10 worldwide, depending on the definition, despite having had more time to prepare than most countries.
The Netherlands is experiencing such high mortality because it has adopted a strategy of 'controlled spread' that will allow the infection of a majority of the population, claim tens of thousands of victims and make countless people chronically ill.
While most other countries attempt to contain the virus and thus experience lower mortality and 'reopen' more quickly, the Dutch authorities seem to have given up the fight early. An unfathomable decision.
Are you also worried about the Corona virus? Do you fear for work and prosperity in our country? Do you want Dutch policy to be out of step with most other countries? Do you accept that we probably won't be able to travel for years? Are you afraid of unnecessary deaths or new lockdowns? Then support the petition below that advocates for a containment strategy, offered on behalf of all signatories, at the initiative of the grassroots organization Containment Now!.
Containment: chasing up every infection
Although the 'intelligent' lockdown had given us time to prepare for sustainable containment, the Netherlands failed to do so. The virus can be controlled with a large-scale test-trace-isolate system. The Dutch province of Groningen has been proving the success of this approach for months, and almost all other countries are now also focusing on some form of Containment with test-trace-isolate.
Take South Korea: despite thousands of infections, only 259 people died of COVID-19 there. A new outbreak is lurking, but those infestations can be detected and extinguished again - they are barely noticeable on the graph shown.
Other countries ensure that tens of working hours are spent chasing up each infection, including frequent calls from a community health official. Different countries use different tracking methods; a privacy-friendly approach is appropriate for the Netherlands. It is possible, but we do need to act from a desire to act. (For answers to other questions and objections, see the FAQ).
The Dutch cabinet's test-trace-isolate plans, on the other hand, are a sham. By June 1, anyone with complaints can be tested and any positive test will be followed up on. But people without complaints are not tested, and people who have tested positive are subject to a do-it-yourself regime of contact tracing and isolation.
This fits the image of mass deaths in care homes and lack of protective equipment and tests: half-measures..
💡 Containment or containment means that the number of contaminations is always reduced to 0 as far as possible. Each contamination is detected through frequent testing, chased up through contact and sourcing tracing, and isolated with quarantines. If a source of infection gets out of hand, a local, strict and short-term lockdown can turn exponential growth into exponential shrinkage, until the number of infections is low enough to contain again with test-trace-isolate
We can do it, but the Government just won't
The problem is that, since March 16, the Government has had no intention of containing the virus. Our 'maximum control' strategy means controlled dissemination. This was motivated by the fact that group immunity would be built up, but that was never a valid option and leads to many unnecessary deaths.
Although 'group immunity' has been meekly renounced, the dissemination (Mitigation) strategy has not been abandoned. As long as the goal is not to stop the virus, protective measures are not given priority. In fact, they could be considered an active hindrance to fast dissemination of the virus. Are you listening, care workers?
The desired rate of dissemination is known: 'based on ICU capacity'. The intended expansion of ICU capacity with 1,700 (!) beds means that the virus can be passed through the Dutch population at a faster rate.
Allowing the spread of a deadly virus without exploiting all containment options is unacceptable. Containing Covid-19 is possible, not wanting to try anymore is unacceptable.
With the recent and upcoming easing of measures, the Netherlands risks new lockdowns that will hit the economy and our health even more heavily. We are facing the loss of close to entire sectors of the economy (nightlife, mass tourism), and of freedoms such as international travel. The Netherlands will be a "Red Zone" as long as the virus continues to rage on, and its residents will not travel to the "Green Zone" without quarantine measures.
We are nearly there!
We run the risk of missing the window of opportunity for Containment if we reopen too quickly. We need to hold off a bit and take better preventative measures. According to endcoronavirus.org we are "Nearly There". But to avoid staying there, or worse, we must change course.
The first step it to speak out on our ambition to not let us be carried into an eternal first wave. We need to break it. Together. Now. Sign the petition below and sign up for updates for other actions!