Infectious diseases expert calls on us all “to stop whining”

The infectious diseases expert Professor Erika Vlieghe has told VRT News that we all need “to stop whining so much”. Speaking on our Sunday morning televised topical discussion programme ‘De zevende dag’. Professor Vlieghe said that while she recognises that the coronavirus crisis and the measures to curb the spread of the virus are weighing heavily on morale it doesn’t help to constantly complain. “If we say to each other very often that it’s terrible and we can’t take it anymore, then we won’t be able to take it anymore”, the infectious diseases expert said. 

Professor Vlieghe asked to be heard at the end of a debate between the Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke (Flemish socialist) and the motivational psychologist Maarten Vansteenkiste about the vaccination strategy and people becoming tired of corona. 

She said that she didn’t agree will the phrase so often used by people complaining about the measures “we can’t take this anymore”. Professor Vlieghe told viewers “I am in complete disagreement with this. If we tell each other often enough that it is terrible and we can’t take it anymore, then we won’t be able to take it anymore. I don’t want in any way to deny that this is extremely difficult for everyone and certainly for a lot of groups such as very vulnerable people and our young people, this is without doubt the case. However, at the same time I think, and I’ve said it before, that I am going to have a t-shirt printed with the words ‘We all need to stop whining’”. 

Professor Vlieghe added that "Exactly a year ago we had our first coronavirus patient and we put together a testing unit in a couple of containers at our hospital. It was flooded with people that had returned from Italy. We were only able to carry out a couple of dozen tests per day. Now we are able to do tens of thousands of them”.

"We now have a whole vaccination strategy. That is moving too slowly to our mind, but the vaccinations in the care homes have been as good as completed. There, mortality is down and there are far fewer outbreaks. This is great progress, but we talk about it far too little”.




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