25 June 2020

How to manage the COVID-19 transition effectively


Experts propose "ten considerations" for effectively managing the COVID-19 transition in an article published in Nature Human Behaviour

Research article by Robert Böhm, The Department of Psychology, University of Copenhagen, Katrine Bach Habersaat, WHO, Cornelia Betsch, University of Erfurt, Margie Danchin, The University of Melbourne, Cass R. Sunstein, Harvard University, et al.

Governments around the world have implemented measures to manage the transmission of COVID-19. While the majority of these measures are proving effective, they have a high social and economic cost, and response strategies are being adjusted. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that communities should have a voice, be informed and engaged, and participate in this transition phase.

A group of 32 experts from social, behavioural, and health sciences, including Robert Böhm, Professor at the Department of Psychology and SODAS, has therefore proposed ten considerations to support this principle. The paper has been published in Nature Human Behaviour. The ten principles are: (1) implement a phased approach to a ‘new normal’; (2) balance individual rights with the social good; (3) prioritize people at highest risk of negative consequences; (4) provide special support for healthcare workers and care staff; (5) build, strengthen and maintain trust; (6) enlist existing social norms and foster healthy new norms; (7) increase resilience and self-efficacy; (8) use clear and positive language; (9) anticipate and manage misinformation; and (10) engage with media outlets. The paper also makes a strong point that the transition phase should also be informed by real-time data according to which governmental responses should be updated.

Read the full research article on the Nation Human Behaviour's website.