Professor Rudi Westendorp member of the 'Danish OMT': 'corona is also a lifestyle disease'
The horse remedy from the lockdown must be removed as soon as possible, says professor Rudi Westendorp, member of the Danish Covid advisory group. Covid-19 is an old people's disease. In order to protect them, we should not close national borders, but consider which borders around this group should be. "Let's ask the over-80s who are involved."
Rudi Westendorp (1959) - the Netherlands' best-known professor of geriatric medicine until his departure for Denmark - knows the ropes. Trained as an internist-intensivist, he spent years at the ICU, including during the neck disaster epidemic in the XNUMXs. Then came the realization that illness and death mainly affect old people and followed his choice for geriatric medicine. He was founder and director of the Leyden Academy on Vitality and Aging. When he realized that morbidity in the elderly is also a reflection of how society works, he went for public health.
Public health is big in Denmark. Westendorp has been professor of public health and the elderly in Copenhagen since 2015 in a department of more than 250 people, the largest department within the medical faculty. He is also the only non-Dane member of the covid advisory group of the Danish health ministry.
How far does his influence extend? When I say sensible things, it is heard and weighed. But there is a clear division of powers. The advisory group advises, the political decision. And everyone can have their say. For example, on March 13 in the afternoon the prime minister announced the lockdown and the secretary general of the health ministry said in the evening that there were no scientific arguments to do so.
At the beginning of March, Westendorp addressed the regional committee of the World Health Organization, which is based in Copenhagen. There he compared the epidemics of corona and Alzheimer's. 'Both must be caged with public health measures, a medicine or vaccine still seems far away for both. The risk of Alzheimer's has decreased significantly in one generation. We live healthier, smoke less and treat high blood pressure. What's good for the heart is good for the brain too. We must tackle both epidemics with good hygiene: proper nutrition, more exercise. Corona can also be regarded as a lifestyle disease: of social promiscuity. '
How do you view corona from a public health perspective?
Source: Medisch Contact
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