Faculty Blog

Claus Vögele joins the advisory group set up to assess COVID-related measures

The end of the pandemic is nowhere near, but Luxembourg starts to think of its exit strategy. The Government Council set up an ad hoc group to accompany the measures decided as part of the fight against the virus and to assess on a regular basis the side effects of these measures and the confinement. Claus Vögele, Psychologist and Head of the Department of Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences at the University of Luxembourg is one of the members.

How do you feel to be one of the 8 members selected for this task? 

I’m very pleased and happy to represent the University of Luxembourg, but also the scientific community in this group. I am happy that science is given a voice in this group. And I must add that I’m proud that Luxembourg selected a psychologist. This is already a good start, understanding that the consequences of a pandemic are not only biological. 

What will be your role?

As a psychologist, I may advise on how to communicate in the current situation. But also, to point out areas of healthcare that need special attention in the current situation. The social distancing measures are a treatment that’s been administered to the entire population and that’s been quite successful. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that it has no sides effects. I believe we have reached the moment when we need to recognize the negative side-effects of  social distancing measures on economic, social and psychological well-being. The government intends to evaluate these effects, so I also see my contribution in providing advice on a systematic approach to such an assessment.

It’s been a month now that the confinement started, do you think Luxembourg did well?

I think Luxembourg responded comparatively fast to the needs presented by this pandemic.  Take the hotlines for example. One needs to make sure there are enough qualified colleagues to answer calls, but one also needs to ensure a sufficient level of professionalism in the interest of quality assurance. Not only did they manage to set it up, but also to align this across the country. 

What should we expect? 

A very slow return to a world that will not just be the same as before the pandemic. We will need to adjust to this new “normality”. This may feel uncomfortable right now, because we aren’t sure of what is coming next. And uncertainties trigger anxiety. But it can – and I hope it will- be an opportunity to bring some positives changes to our lives. Maybe this health crisis showed us that we need to work hand in hand, to find solutions and agree in difficult times. 

If there is one thing we should all remember… 

We all have been supporting each other, staying in contact through technology. If we enjoyed it, well we should just remember that we can keep doing it afterwards. 

 

 

People related to this project

Claus
Vögele
Behavioural & Cognitive Sciences
EPSYLON
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A survey to understand the psychological effects of social distancing measures in Luxembourg and the neighbouring countries.
In less than a month, COVID-19 has profoundly changed our daily habits. Between “home-office", “home-schooling” and only leaving our homes for basic necessities, our social interactions have been drastically reduced. Stress factors such as the loss of income, gloomy news and daily uncertainties must be added to this social isolation. If the need for social distancing measures is rarely questioned in principle, this does not mean that they are without consequences. Two researchers and their teams from the University of Luxembourg, Conchita D'Ambrosio and Claus Vögele, are launching an on-line questionnaire to better understand the impact of quarantine on the population in Luxembourg and the neighbouring countries.