On March 16, 2020, prime minister Mark Rutte announced that the Netherlands would choose for allowing the virus to spread in a ‘controlled’ manner, infecting healthy people first so that they could quickly build up herd immunity via natural infection. This strategy was heavily criticized by epidemiologists in the WHO as well as many other experts, and led to the Dutch government to disavow it. However, so-called containment efforts by the Netherlands were much looser and accepted a much higher number in infections than surrounding countries, leading many to suspect that the Dutch government never changed its original strategy. The price for this strategy has been a incredibly high amount of deaths amongst the elderly, at-risk groups, and also many healthy people. There have also been countless people (mainly healthy, athletic, young people) inflicted with Long Covid, a consequence of COVID-19 the Dutch government does not or barely acknowledges.
In the summer of 2020 infections were at their lowest. Nevertheless many experts (amongst whom a group of scientists who called themselves the Red Team) were warning the government and the population that testing facilities and tracing capabilities were still not in order, and a second wave was threatening the country. Their concerns were justified, and the Netherlands suffered not only a second wave, but as of writing this page (16 April, 2021) is now stuck in a third wave.
I made, together with Michael Blok (who wrote the text with input from Jaap Stronks), this informative animation warning people to take the warnings made by experts seriously and to question the government’s strategy.