Like the rest of the world, The Netherlands is trying to get a handle on the Corona virus and what it means for public health. From last Thursday’s message of being careful not to infect the elderly and others with compromised immune systems to Sunday evening’s announcement at 1730 that all cafes, schools, gyms, massage parlors and others were to be closed for three weeks effective in 30 minutes, there was a pretty significant shift.
This is a weird situation to be sure. As I sit here, downstairs in the office, the dogs are in their big bed. Olive is sitting in the middle of the conference table (aka Oma and Opa’s dining room table from the 50s) and Pickle is trying to get himself in and out of the mailbox. GG finally has permission to work fully digital – which was a big step for her employer. Today she was among the first 2500 employees who they were going to enable the video features of Skype for. 😉 Of course, that means that there’s an upgraded standard of grooming required when video functionality is added!
For my classroom, we’re digital. It’s interesting because we’ve always been able to run the program fully online but we chose not to since the interpersonal contact is critical. It seems to be working well, I think that is primarily due to the group already being formed offline.
That is the positive thing that I see could come from this period. That Dutch society (employers and institutions primarily) begin to see and experience that flexibility is not a bad thing. That requiring people to show up 9-6 in order to be productive is not a guarantee, that allowing people to work from home for what ever the reason creates more room for inclusion in society, that it’s good not to commute excessively, that there’s a lot of unpaid work that happens and that perhaps you can look at how you encourage that to be shared. Stuff like that.
I have been reading the news from Seattle again, since the news a few weeks ago about the outbreak. That’s an unusual feeling. Since the middle of 2018, I had sort of distanced myself from Seattle. After all, since I wasn’t going to be an employee anymore, I wouldn’t be returning to Seattle for nerd camp anymore. Of course, when you are starting something new up, then it tends to take all of your time and focus. Now I have a little more time to do some deep thinking about stuff that isn’t related to the company. That’s still there as a constant pressure but there’s not much I can do at the moment since everything is contingent on what happens 6 April. Will everything open up again? In the meantime, I can do some more reading, writing and creating. I think I might like that.
Take care of yourself.