Never waste a good crisis

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It’s only because the calendar tells me that it is almost the weekend that I realize the working week is over. It seems my days are all the same. I am sitting in my office overlooking my roof top garden and watch it change slowly. I see the white daffodils and then it is the pink clematis turn to bloom while the palm tree shakes in the wind. The Oleander is starting to bloom and will be white. I don’t remember ever having such an eye for the details in the small garden but since the “intelligent” lockdown ,as our prime minister calls it, I have ample opportunity to care for and observe my roof top garden. Life is slowing down and sometimes I fear it will not be long before I will give in and start to have naps in the afternoon to break the day. It reminds me of my time in Afghanistan when I was cooped up for long periods of time. Every time there was imminent danger be it from earthquakes or attacks from the Taliban the work came to a full stop. Now the culprit is a virus and any human can be a deadly vessel for the virus. Mind blowing. The upside here is ,of course, that I am with my family and the internet streaming opera, concerts, musicals and courses. I did a philosophy course on Coursera with no costs involved and I try to do yoga each day. I still haven’t touched the rowing machine… but who knows.

Being an extrovert I need to talk to people to maintain my energy levels up. So I was happy to answer the emergency call of a team in distress at work. Wonderful – I can meet people even travel to meet them. Next step is to analyse where it went wrong and more importantly advise on what steps to take to start the teamwork flowing. Cooperating is extremely difficult in “normal’ times but under stress of the lockdown we have less distractions. Email and chat can easily lead to misunderstandings and conflicts as we all know. The report will be done next week so I will be eagerly awaiting the next team in crisis. For my sake of course, not for the team!

Meantime I am happy to have a virtual drink with my friends in Ireland and Scotland, chat with Israel and have Skype dates with Romania. I am looking forward to having more of those meetings. Even though the world, as we know it, has changed UWE has still made it possible to have friends all over the globe. It is a wonderful Idea of the UWE Board to ask us to write about our weeks at home and I am looking forward to reading all the stories.

Indeed, let us keep in touch and support one another now and in the near future. When the economic crisis really hits us, as we saw in 2008, it is women that suffer the most. They will suffer not only financially but in several countries the rights of women are being trampled on and it is being done almost overnight and all in the name of the crisis. So let’s stick together, cooperate and invest in turning the crisis into positive change for all. As the saying goes:I never waste a good crisis. Stay vigilant and let us use our contacts to influence the new rules and regulations that are bound to appear after a cure is found for the virus; and make sure women’s rights are respected!

Stay safe, stay healthy all of you!

Love

Edith Lommerse

former president UWE

Amsterdam

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