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Article

Cope or Perish? Managing Tipping Points in Developing Coping Strategies for Emergency Response during the First Wave of the COVID-19 Outbreak in Europe

1
Institute of Environmental Systems Research, University of Osnabrück, Barbarastr. 12, D-49069 Osnabrück, Germany
2
Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam, 3000 DR Rotterdam, The Netherlands
3
Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam, 3000 DR Rotterdam, The Netherlands
4
Institute for Global Public Policy, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Ajeet Kaushik and Joan Puig-Barberà
Received: 18 April 2021 / Revised: 10 June 2021 / Accepted: 23 June 2021 / Published: 29 June 2021
When the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic started to manifest itself across the globe at an unprecedented pace and magnitude, the various emergency response strategies pursued by highly affected countries in Europe raised many questions about their supposed effectiveness. To contain the outbreak, a rapid and adequate emergency response was vital to control emergent public health risks, but emergency management was challenged by large uncertainty due to many unknowns about crucial determinants of the outbreak, determining the effectiveness of the response, which was often derived from uncertain information. This paper aims to draw lessons from the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and it presents a review of strategies for emergency response pursued in eight European countries, including tipping points that triggered strategy shifts in emergency response. The paper shows that: (i) these countries have a culturally determined preference for policy response style (Mediterranean, continental and liberal style) depending on their relative scores on power distance and uncertainty avoidance, which (ii) is reflected in the initially adopted control paradigm and the associated strategy; (iii) Mediterranean countries (Italy, France, Spain) with high levels of power distance and uncertainty avoidance have a tendency to respond to new unknown situations by deploying strong rule-based regulatory systems which offer mental security and social order, whereas continental (Germany and Austria) and liberal countries (the Netherlands, the UK and Sweden) do this to medium and much lower extents. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; tipping points; mitigation strategy; suppression strategy; Europe COVID-19; tipping points; mitigation strategy; suppression strategy; Europe
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MDPI and ACS Style

van der Voorn, T.; de Jong, M. Cope or Perish? Managing Tipping Points in Developing Coping Strategies for Emergency Response during the First Wave of the COVID-19 Outbreak in Europe. COVID 2021, 1, 39-70. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/covid1010005

AMA Style

van der Voorn T, de Jong M. Cope or Perish? Managing Tipping Points in Developing Coping Strategies for Emergency Response during the First Wave of the COVID-19 Outbreak in Europe. COVID. 2021; 1(1):39-70. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/covid1010005

Chicago/Turabian Style

van der Voorn, Tom, and Martin de Jong. 2021. "Cope or Perish? Managing Tipping Points in Developing Coping Strategies for Emergency Response during the First Wave of the COVID-19 Outbreak in Europe" COVID 1, no. 1: 39-70. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/covid1010005

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