Diary during corona crisis

April 20, 2020 | Nieuws | By Telissa Schreuder

Diary during corona: our co-worker Telissa shares

Telissa talks about rapprochement and perspective in times of social distancing, shows a glimpse behind the scenes at Welcome and shares her experiences on working from home. The speeches of our Prime Minister Rutte still linger in my head. During these times I responsibly rely on all the NOS live streams. Well, to be honest, I also rely on Netflix, Spotify, running schedules, family calls and group chats. Even the app Houseparty has become part of my repertoire nowadays.

Everything to stay indoors as much as possible like a good samaritan. Our prime minister says ‘we are living apart but perhaps closer than ever’. He speaks about all the social initiatives that instantly pop up: the bear hunt, writing letters to grandma, unburden parents by looking after their children. I almost feel guilty that I have not yet engaged with my 80-year-old neighbor (I always wave when I walk by, just to be clear).

It strikes me that a crisis seems to be necessary for people to collectively behave more socially in their daily abouts. And please note: this is not only the case socially. History proves that furthermore the greatest technological and economical progress arise from times of crisis. This time will be no different, it will show what is possible when a community works collectively. Collective wellbeing for private prosperity is however a choice, just look at the last climate summit in Paris. How come result in 2040? We can have results within two months! I can’t wait for Greta Thunberg’s speech with the greatest “I told you so” in human history. I also see this within Welcome; could we work one day a week from home to spare the environment? Easily. Could we do video meetings more often? Of course. New times bring new standards. Sometimes a crisis is also necessary to provide perspective.

Speaking of perspective. In recent weeks I heard from parents that they are having the greatest difficulty with homeschooling assignments, simply because they are still in the middle of Dutch language courses themselves. Also people who do not understand the new health measures because there is nobody who translates it for them into their native language. And I advised an Iranian young woman how to leave the Netherlands in time before her visa expired, while almost every flying company already announced the discontinuation of all flights. She was in complete panic because she would soon be illegal again… Something to think twice about whenever I complain about being a bit bored. My attitude for that matter has completely changed. There may be more work than ever at Welcome, not physically but online! It is a new way of working, a new challenge! Of course I can have a little bit of self pity from time to time but there is a great strength in perspective that we must not forget.


And speaking about how i’m handling all of this … Working from home! How is that? Well, so far I’ve been working at the table, on the couch, on the bed, on chairs, on the floor. While lying down, sitting, standing, walking around. In the living room, the kitchen, well, where and how not actually? Working from home takes some getting used to. Fortunately, the video meetings keep me steady in one place.

Everyday I see a tiny mini-me in the top right corner of my laptop screen while my colleagues take turn talking. We mute ourselves when it is not our turn, otherwise everybody will hear the washing machine running in the background. I really do have to give my compliments. We all handle this so well, the whole company 180 degrees the other way? No problem! But what is also nice to see: when my cat pontifically positions herself on top of my keyboard due to lack of longing pets on the back and her tail catches the attention of my colleagues, all work immediately stops in awh of the little creature. ‘Oh my gosh, do you have a cat ?! So cute! Let me see!’ I let my sweet furry friend pose with pride in front of the camera, so that she has had her portion of attention for today. Surely it wasn’t quite the attention she meant, but well, everyone has to compromise in corona times.

So, now that we have catched up, it has become time for me to go for a coffee with my neighbour. Otherwise I think I will not be able to look our prime minister in the eye again by the time of the next national live stream.

Stay healthy everyone!

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