By Mark Jackson
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues with little sign of abating, it is clear that measures to reduce transmission come with very high social and economic costs. Strategies are now changing with those costs in mind, and the WHO has recommended that diverse communities should be engaged as this transition takes place. In this multi-authored WHO paper, led by Katrine Bach Habersaat and Cornelia Betsch, a group of researchers propose ten considerations to support this recommendation: (1) implement a phased approach to a ‘new normal’; (2) balance individual rights with the social good; (3) prioritise 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. They also argue that the transition phase should be informed by real-time data according to which governmental responses should be updated.
Ten Considerations for Effectively Managing the COVID-19 Transition