In Austria, the second hard lockdown did not bring the desired result either – the numbers did not decline as much as in the first lockdown. It can be assumed that now that the measures have been relaxed, people will “let the pig out again,” says Thalhammer.
In order to avoid a third lockdown, the government must now “turn a screw or two” – for example by ensuring that masks are actually worn where it is required.
“Politicians can’t do that”
Political scientist Peter Filzmaier, also in the studio as an interview guest, said: “We have to be self-critical, the one about personal responsibility was not a success with the public.” But he also holds the government accountable: They have followed patterns that have proven themselves in election campaigns, but are not suitable for crisis communication. “Politicians are damn good at addressing their own target groups. But now the point is to convince those who view them with suspicion. Politicians cannot do that.”
The government should think about this when it comes to the first vaccination campaign and thinks about compulsory vaccination. “I think the population has to gain confidence in the vaccine – that will be the only solution,” said infectiologist Thalhammer.
“Must create trust”
“I will certainly get vaccinated because I am convinced of the vaccines. But we will not convince the population if we have the same discussion as we have about the mask requirement,” he emphasizes. Around the introduction there were contradicting statements as to whether the mask is useful or not. According to studies, it is now clear that it is useful.
In short: politicians and experts should “create trust so that people believe what we say”.