Lifting lockdown – a tragedy of the commons

openDemocracy (2020)
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The lifting of lockdown is a typical case of the tragedy of the commons, and as such should be regulated by public authority, instead of being left to the ethics and responsibility of single individuals. I would therefore argue that we should think about an intermediate phase between the lockdown and the opening of shops (which in the Italian case is the transition from the red zone to the orange zone): diversified access to commercial activities, on an hourly basis, for different population groups. This can be achieved either by creating different opening hours for different commercial activities and offices, or by opening them all at the same time but introducing free entrance hours based on age groups of clients. Both solutions would imply an extension of business and office hours, contrary to what has happened in most countries, where an attempt has been made to shorten the days and in some cases, such as in Italy, a curfew has even been introduced at a certain time of the day (in Italy, at 10 pm).

Author's Profile

Fausto Corvino
Université Catholique de Louvain


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