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Het lastige is, dat dit een vals trilemma is, en dan vooral het deel-dilemma volksgezondheid-economie. De 19e eeuws hygiënisten die Amsterdam voorzagen van wateleidingen en riolen wisten dat al. Maar misschien helpt een concreter voorbeeld.

Zo kun je in het kader van 'economie boven gezondheid' de horeca weer openen. Alleen; wie zal er dan ook daadwerkelijk naar de horeca komen?
Niet de kapitaalkrachtige buitenlandse toeristen en zakenreizigers. Die hebben geen zin om corona als souvenir mee te nemen.
Niet de kapitaalkrachtige empty-nesters en jongere pensionado's, groepen die vaak juist tijd&geld hebben voor uitjes. Zij vallen juist in de risico-groepen.
Niet de 1,3 miljoen zorgmedewerkers en hun partners (van arts tot voedingsassistent), die misschien wel een arbo-verbod krijgen en anders op hun verantwoordelijkheid worden aangesproken.
Horeca is alleen een levensvatbare bedrijfstak in een situatie waarbij virustransmissie (grotendeels) afwezig is.

Dr. R.M. van der Plas

De stelling (op basis van Garett) dat een korte strenge lock down het meest effectief is en minst schadelijk wordt steeds gebaseerd op onderzoeken n.a.v. de pandemie van 1918 door vergelijkingen van verschillend optreden van staten en steden in de VS.
Dat is echter volkomen onhoudbaar om te vertalen naar de situatie nu:
Study which proves that non-pharmaceutical health interventions are beneficial for the economy is invalid
Abstract:
The study "Pandemics Depress the Economy, Public Health Interventions Do Not: Evidence from the 1918 Flu" (March 30, 2020, Sergio Correia, Stephan Luck, and Emil Verner) is incomparable to Covid-19 situation in 2020 and hence irrelevant to project non-pharmaceutical health intervention measures in the 2020 Covid case.
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March 30 2020 the study "Pandemics Depress the Economy, Public Health Interventions Do Not: Evidence from the 1918 Flu" was published.
It claims that strong and early NPI measures (non-pharmaceutical health interventions) cause better economic and business performance in the recovery after a pandemic.
There are, however, some fundamental differences with the actual situation with Covid in 2020:
1. The victims in 1918 were young, productive people. The opposite is true for Covid (victims are old, retired people with co-morbidity; above all: unproductive). This has a huge impact on the outcome of measures and mortality. High mortality in 2020 could even be perceived as economically beneficial…..
2. The study relates to a production economy; we now live in a service economy with intensive human contacts (culture, café's, hotels, air flights, tattoo-/barbershops, etc. etc.).
3. Businesses and mills were partly closed due to illness of its employees. Now, the opposite is the case: businesses are preventively closed by government rules due to fear for Covid. This implies direct (macro-)economic damage.
4. The datasets in the study don't discern NPI's with direct economic implications like shop closures or production stops. The only subject of study and correlation is the time length of the NPI measures.
It would be interesting if a correlation were studied and could be found between different direct economic interventions in different cities in 1918 and recovery. This could lead to an opposite outcome of the study….

Ir. J.G.M. van der Zanden

could lead to an opposite outcome of the study….
5. The Introductive Chapter 1. states: "The NPI measures include school, theatre, and church closures, public gathering and funeral bans, quarantine of suspected cases, and restricted business hours". This is misleading. In the study (e.g. Chapter 5.1.) it is stated that only some cities had regulated opening hours to avoid public transportation stress. So, complete business were not closed. And there is no stated relationship between length of NPI measures and shut downs of economic activities (if any!). But now in 2020 we face complete lock downs of many kinds of businesses.
The study weakens its conclusions partly, and that's right, by stating: "The complex nature of modern global supply chains, the larger role of services, and improvements in communication technology are mechanisms we cannot capture in our analysis, but these are important factors for understanding the macroeconomic effects of COVID-19."; but this statement is not made in the abstract.
Additionally the conclusion should state, that
1. The victims in 1918 were young, productive people. The victims in 2020 are unproductive.
2. the NPI's in 1918 don't include impact rich direct economically shut downs by ruling
3. 1918 had a production economy; 2020 has, in contrary, mainly a services economy.
So, this study is irrelevant to project NPI measures in the 2020 Covid case.

Ir. Jan G.M. van der Zanden, MSc.
April 2, 2020, Haarlem, The Netherlands
info@janvdzanden.nl

Ir. J.G.M. van der Zanden

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