Fighting Covid: Confinement and Wellbeing

For half a decade the World Wellbeing Panel (WWP) has promoted wellbeing as the ultimate purpose of all major decision makers, particularly government.

In August 2020, panelists of the World Wellbeing Panel were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with two statements about the best strategy to fight COVID-19 if we were to take individuals’ wellbeing as the guiding principle for decision making:

(i) “The long-run wellbeing of individuals in countries hit by COVID-19 is best raised through policies aimed solely at one Covid-related goal (like containment or eradication) whilst ignoring the externalities of the containment policies, where externalities include economic and social effects of lockdown”; and

(ii) “On the current balance of probabilities, the Swedish approach to dealing with COVID-19 has resulted in overall wellbeing outcomes to its population that are more favorable than is the case with more intensive lockdown regimes.”

These are their answers.