Are we sicker than ever after Corona?


The impact of this pandemic - and also the impact of measures to contain it - is great. Already in the first lockdown, these scientists were in the news with other concerns: what impact will this pandemic and its measures have on our society physically, mentally and socially? What is the downside of the corona policy? And what can we do about it?

Quick links to: Prof. Dr. Carin Uyl-de Groot - Prof. Dr. Marli Huijer - Prof. Dr. Eveline Crone - Prof. Dr. Godfried EngbersenProf. Dr. Liesbeth van Rossum

Attention for underdiagnosis

Prof. Dr. Carin Uyl-de Groot

"It is not unlikely that more patients end up dying from the virus than from the virus."


Carin Uyl-de Groot, Professor of Health Care Evaluation (ESHPM) was quick to sound the alarm about cancer diagnoses. In the Tijdschrift voor gezondheidswetenschappen, she published an article with the following conclusions: 'The COVID-19 crisis and intelligent lockdown resulted in the healthcare system being locked down for non-COVID patients for months.

People did not dare or could not go to their GP, GPs were reluctant to refer and diagnostic processes were slow. Almost sixteen hundred people with breast cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer and oesophageal cancer will die within five years because they received care too late. Follow-up research should reveal the exact consequences. In her research and media interviews, Uyl-de Groot calls for more attention to this underdiagnosis.

Carin Uyl-de Groot in the news

The downside of this corona policy

Prof. Dr. Marli Huijer

"I advocate informed conversation about what constitutes 'the good life' for us, and how to properly represent the interests of everyone."

Does the end justify the means? Questions Marli Huijer, Professor of Public Philosophy (ESPhil), asks herself out loud in interviews with Volkskrant, Trouw and Science Guide. From the outset, she has also championed a broad debate in which different voices can be heard, and not just those of policymakers.

In one of the interviews, she cites her doctoral research on Michel Foucault: "During a pandemic, people are willing to surrender a lot of rights and privacy, for example by being tracked with an app, history shows that you often cannot reverse these things."

She is also concerned about what measures such as quarantine will cost in the long run in terms of health or culture; and whether there are not other options.

Studio Erasmus Podcast - Marli Huijer on public philosophy in corona time (in Dutch)

Marli Huijer in the news

Young people are hit hardest

Prof. Dr. Eveline Crone

"The brain changes a lot in the first twenty years of life, so it is logical that the environment has a strong influence on it."

Eveline Crone
Eveline Crone

Before the pandemic, a quarter of college students were already struggling with burnout symptoms. Eveline Crone is professor of neurocognitive developmental psychology (ESSB) and she was concerned from the start about what this crisis is doing to young people: they are proportionally hit hardest.

A negative effect that Crone encountered in her first study was indeed an increase in feelings of stress and a decrease in feelings of strength. Follow-up research also revealed a positive effect: during the lockdown, young people felt a great willingness to do good, to have a positive impact.

This is important news for policy makers: young people can be involved in efforts to make society better. Future studies will have to show the long-term effects of the pandemic, such as what the lack of social contact does.

Studio Erasmus Podcast - Eveline Crone on the resilience of young people during the corona crisis (in Dutch)

Eveline Crone in het nieuws

The impact of COVID-19 in Rotterdam

Prof. Dr. Godfried Engbersen

"A third of Rotterdammers say they are more anxious than usual"

Socioloog Engbersen spreekt over armoede bij Studio Erasmus
Arie Kers

Godfried Engbersen is professor of general sociology (ESSB) and does research into contemporary forms of social inequality, among other things. In the publication 'The threatened city', Engbersen shows that the social impact of COVID-19 in Rotterdam and the Netherlands is great.

Despite aid packages from the government, many social groups fear loss of income or work. There appears to be more stress among people. Not only the lower educated, but also middle groups and people with above average incomes are worried and feel threatened.

Engbersen therefore argues for a recovery policy: a newly designed short-term safety net to ensure that this stress does not manifest itself, for example, in conflicts.

Studio Erasmus podcast - Godfried Engbersen on the effects of corona on our well-being (in Dutch)

Godfried Engbersen in the news

Focus on obesity

Prof. Dr. Liesbeth van Rossum 

"One of the missing Corona measures is the advice to maintain a healthy lifestyle"

Prof. dr. Liesbeth van Rossum

The field of attention of professor and internist-endocrinologist (Erasmus MC) Liesbeth van Rossum is obesity. She was quick to draw the uncomfortable conclusion that if the issue of obesity had been better addressed in recent years, the impact of the coronapandemic on the population would have been less severe.

According to Van Rossum, it was also a missed opportunity for the government that, during the first wave, the importance of a healthy lifestyle was not immediately highlighted. By paying attention to nutrition, exercise, sleep and relaxation - and in the case of obesity, by losing weight - you strengthen your immune system. She was one of the scientists who wrote a letter to the cabinet about this.

Liesbeth van Rossum in the news

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