After an intelligent lockdown and a ‘smart’ exit strategy, the Netherlands should prepare with ‘clever’ prevention for a new pandemic, says physician Lukas Stalpers in 'Het Parool'. 

"Search for measures that really help the Netherlands". APH researcher Lukas Stalpers (professor in Translational Radiotherapy at Amsterdam UMC) draws hope from the picture standing in Mark Rutte’s office. On March 16, as the prime minister was sitting in the 'Torentje' and addressing the nation regarding the corona virus consequences, it was Johan Rudolph Thorbecke (1798-1872) who was staring into the living rooms as well.

Lukas Stalpers finds comfort in the fact that Rutte is inspired by the liberal politician, given that Thorbecke has done much for the improvement of public health. The constitution that he drew in 1848 assured more safety, flourishment of trade and thereby more and better food for the Dutch citizens. Famines became more scarce and demanded less victims.

Thorbecke also contributed to the substantial increase in life expectancy of the Dutch seen these last 200 years: from not even 40 to 80 years. Stalpers expects something similar from Rutte for the future, after the current corona crisis. Especially after the prime minister spoke about an intelligent lockdown and a smart exit strategy. “After that, something clever needs to follow as well,” says Lukas Stalpers.

Read the full article in 'Het Parool' (in Dutch).