Governments around the world have introduced measures to manage the transmission of coronavirus disease in 2019 (COVID-19). Although most of these measures are proving effective, they have high social and economic costs. Strategies are currently being adapted to respond to these changes. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that the population should be heard, informed, involved and actively involved during this transition period.
Together with the World Health Organization and other authors from science and practice, Cornelia Betsch's team has proposed ten points for implementing this principle: (1) Implementing a step-by-step approach to a new normality; (2) achieving a balance between individual rights and the social good; (3) prioritizing people at highest risk of negative consequences; (4) special support for health and care workers; (5) building, strengthening and maintaining trust; (6) upgrading existing social norms and promoting healthy new norms; (7) increasing resilience and self-efficacy; (8) using clear and positive language; (9) recognizing and dealing with misinformation; and (10) working with the media.
The transition period should also be supported by real-time data that can be used to adjust government responses and decisions. The COVID19 Snapshot Monitoring COSMO, which was initiated by the University of Erfurt and which publishes new psychological findings on the COVID-19 situation every week at www.corona-monitor.de, supports this process in Germany. The publication gives clear examples of how the ten points are implemented and can serve as a guideline for decision-makers to steer the dynamic process and thereby bring the population into the centre.