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Arie Dijkstra:  (Foto: RTV Noord)

Professor of Psychology on the Coronavirus Roadmap: Small steps are good

If hospitalization permits, the curfew will be lifted from April 28, the stands may reopen under certain conditions, shopping options will be expanded and we will once again receive visitors at home. After two weeks, for example, theme parks, zoos and swimming pools could open again, if the numbers were sufficient. For example, there are a total of five steps towards opening up a society.

“Unhappy” previously referred to as April 21

Last week, April 21 was leaked as the date for potential easing. Roti has now called this “unhappy.” RUG social psychology professor Ari Dikstra knows he’s now setting an appointment again. You give people something to work for. I think it’s very reasonable that they do that now in small steps. It is very tangible and has been well emphasized now: It is not a promise. And people should do that!

A chaotic end to the pandemic

As a social psychologist, Dijkstra sees the dangers of setting a date to relax, even if the government adds that it relies on pressure on hospitals. People want terraces to open and really see themselves there. This then becomes a social reality. They start making plans and it’s hard to put up with them every time you don’t move forward.

People can then react in two ways: disappointment or anger. The latter is happening more and more often. People think, how do I feel bad? By the government and then get angry. It’s a messy end to the pandemic, after all.

Better not to lose hope?

Wouldn’t it be better for the government to rule out the possibility of relaxation? No, Dykstra says. We live in a country that suits us and not a country where the government rules with a tight fist. ‘You have two opposites. A government that only provides information and says: Do with it what you want and a government that manipulates: This is a reality and you must do this. In the Netherlands, we are in the middle and it looks like we want that; We chose Rutte again. Looks like we want the ROTA.

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Most people never get sick

Dykstra thinks the tone for the press conference was good. It was a serious message. Rota tried to say: People are not healthy yet. This is what you need now. Because the risk of serious illness or death for most people is relatively low. People know this after a year of crisis; Most people never get sick. Hence it is difficult to maintain a sense of threat. Rota tried to convey this sense of urgency well. It’s not a nice message: We still have to delay.