Preserving citizen well-being must be at the heart of every country’s Covid-19 policies moving forward.
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, many countries have reorganized their societies around limiting transmission of SARS-CoV-2 on their national territories. With minimal concern for collateral damage or public health more generally, governments shuttered businesses, schools, cultural institutions, and even parts of their health care systems.
If China could do it — Zero Covid — in Wuhan, we can do it, too, many governments assumed. (Of course, China didn’t actually do it in Wuhan.)
It is therefore incredibly reassuring to see that Denmark’s “Strategy for handling covid-19 until the spring of 2023” is centered on preservation of citizen well-being, “which is a is a positive outcome that is meaningful for people and for many sectors of society, because it tells us that people perceive that their lives are going well.” When considering whether or not to implement public health restrictions, the Danish government will ensure “that the least intrusive measures are used so that epidemic management does not fundamentally challenge or worsen the well-being of society.”
Well-being is a significant consideration in epidemic management, and it is a foundation in the choice of measures that the least intrusive measures are used so that epidemic management does not fundamentally challenge or worsen the well-being of society.
Reassuring, but unsurprising, because Denmark has consistently adopted a balanced approach to social needs and public health over the past two years. The Nordic nation reopened its primary schools in mid-April 2020. Danish Political Scientist Michael Bang Petersen has advised the government and helped to ensure an optimal response:
As a researcher and an adviser to the Danish government on the pandemic, I have repeatedly stressed that we need to make complex trade-offs between deaths, the economy, public well-being and constitutional rights.
While Denmark’s approach has led to more per capita Covid-19 “cases” than the totalitarian Chinese Communist Party strategy, it actually does a far better job of honoring core principles of public health as delineated in the World…