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Matthieu de Nanteuil

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M. Rezaul Islam, Niaz Ahmed Khan, Siti Hajar Abu Bakar Ah, Haris Abd Wahab and Mashitah Binti Hamidi

Fieldwork/data collection is one of the most important parts in the research process, and it is particularly important for social sciences research. A number of aspects that need to be considered by a researcher before starting data collection include: ethical permission from the concerned ethical body/committee, informed consent, contract with different stakeholders, field settings, time allocation and time management, field leading, data collection, contextual and cultural diversities, community settings, socioeconomic and psychological patterns of the community, political pattern, rapport building between data collectors and respondents, permission to access community, language and mode of data collection, power relations, role of gatekeepers, privacy and confidentiality issues, layers of expectations among researchers/respondents/ funding organization, data recording (written, memorization, voice recording and video recording), and so on. Many aspects are very difficult to understand before going into the field. Sometimes, a researcher’s previous experience about a particular community may help to gain field access, but it may be difficult to assess the field in advance due to rapid changes within people’s livelihoods and other shifts in the community. The change of a political paradigm sometimes seems also to be a challenge at the field level. We believe that although technological innovation has benefited some aspects of the data collection of fieldwork in social research, many other dimensions (mentioned above) of fieldwork endure unchanged.

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Peter A.G. van Bergeijk

Whether you want to be successful in life or want to beat the next pandemic, the key recipe will be the five Ps: prepare, prepare, prepare, prepare, prepare. COVID-19 reminded us that a virus cannot be stopped by border measures. Thus, Earth needs to prepare, prepare, prepare, prepare, prepare. We know that the next pandemic is coming, and that the frequency of pandemics is increasing. That is why the five Ps are vital.

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Peter A.G. van Bergeijk

The best description of the 'present' that I came across durng the COVID-19 pandemic is that of 'data fog'. Reality is always difficult to guage, but during the early phase of the Corona crisis this was especially difficult. We learned the hard way that the only certainty during a pandemic is uncertainty. Since the virus is new, its characteristics - in particular the speed by which it spreads and its severity and mortality - are unknown (and while we are on a steep learning curve much remains unclear). Therefore, epidemiological modelling is an art rather than a science, and that is true even though its approach is scientific, evidence-based and contains a lot of mathematics.

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Peter A.G. van Bergeijk

For decades scientists all around the world have steadily predicted that a new pandemic with significant loss of life would occur within a generation. The case is clear. Pandemics have been with us a long time. The father of medicine, Hippocrates, already discusses the bubonic plage and the 'Cough of Perinthus' in the fifth century BC.

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Peter A.G. van Bergeijk

It is important that we start to think about the future. Not about the immediate future and the fallout and hardship that the COVID-19 crisis will bring, but the future starts after humanity has found a way to cope with the Corona virus, We need to think about the world post-COVID-19, because we cannot afford to react in the same manner as we we did to COVID-19. And we need to start thinking now.

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Peter A.G. van Bergeijk

It is probably true that the COVID-19 pandemic should not be seen as a Black Swan in view of of the evidence discussed in the previous chapter. Academics, policy analysts and policymakers all around the world had recognized the substantial (and increasing) risk of pandemics. Preparations - although still far from sufficient - were underway. Economists understood the risk and knew what to do.

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Peter A.G. van Bergeijk

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Peter A.G. van Bergeijk

With hindsight the latter part of the post Second World War period probably has been an exceptional blessed period in which mankind has not been confronted with significant global disasters. World Wars were avoided, the major economic crisis (the Great Recession) did not develop into a full-blown depression and natural disasters, by and large, remained local in nature (although their frequency increased due to Global Warming). Future generations will undoubtedly observe that the generations that grew up since the 195s healthwise were extremely lucky. Lucky makes lazy and is a discentive to invest in risk reduction.

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Peter A.G. van Bergeijk