Current Response and Management Decisions of the European Union to the COVID-19 Outbreak: A Review
Department of Aviation Security, Military University of Aviation, 08-521 Dęblin, Poland
Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Surgery, Sahlgrenska Academy, Gothenburg University, 413 45 Gothenburg, Sweden
Research Advisor, Department of Development and Research, Armed Forces Center for Defense Medicine, 426 76 Gothenburg, Vastra Frolunda, Sweden
Department of Information Systems and Business Analytics, College of Business, Florida International University, Miami, FL 33174, USA
Department of Emergency Medicine, Medical University of Lublin, 20-059 Lublin, Poland
Department of Didactics and Medical Simulation, Medical University of Lublin, 20-093 Lublin, Poland
Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University, Boston, MA 02115, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(9), 3838; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12093838
Received: 11 April 2020 / Revised: 3 May 2020 / Accepted: 6 May 2020 / Published: 8 May 2020
COVID-19 has proven to be a formidable challenge for many countries in the European Union to manage effectively. The European Union has implemented numerous strategies to face emerging issues. Member States have adopted measures such as the closure of borders and significant limitations on the mobility of people to mitigate the spread of the virus. An unprecedented crisis coordination effort between Member States has facilitated the ability to purchase equipment, personal protective equipment, and other medical supplies. Attention has also been focused on providing substantive money for research to find a vaccine and promote effective treatment therapies. Financial support has been made available to protect worker salaries and businesses to help facilitate a return to a functional economy. Lessons learned to date from COVID-19 in the European Union are many; the current crisis highlights the need to think about future pandemics from a population-based management approach and apply outside the box critical thinking. Due to the complexity, intensity, and frequency of complex disasters, global leaders in healthcare, government, and business will need to pivot from siloed approaches to decision-making to embrace multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary levels of cooperation. This cooperation requires courage and leadership to recognize that changes are necessary to avoid making the same mistakes we have planned countless times on avoiding. This study focuses on the European Union’s initial response to the COVID-19 pandemic, starting with how the European Union first learned and processed the global information arising out of China, followed by the incremental population-based medicine/management decisions made that currently are defining the European Union’s capacity and capability. The capacity to organize, deliver, and monitor care to a specific clinical population under a population-based management target includes strict social distancing strategies, contact testing and tracing, testing for the virus antigen and its antibodies, isolation, and treatment modalities such as new mitigating medications, and finally, a vaccine.