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Corona – the upside of the crisis

Katarzyna PotockaKatarzyna Potocka

I know that Covid-19 is nothing that we as a human race have been expecting. It basically threw us off the wagon from one day to another and made us miserable, vulnerable, desperate, frustrated and all the other words that have been describing part of our daily life during the last couple of months. I am aware that there are a lot of people who are struggling with their situation because of Covid-19. Not only people but also companies and the economy are having a hard time and have to deal with the situation, that was evoked by Covid-19. But being most of the time the optimist that I am and always trying to see the cup half full and not half empty, I want to share with you my thoughts on how Covid-19 improved specific parts of my life. Maybe, just maybe you will be able to find at least one positive outcome for yourself as well. Let’s try to find the upside in the crisis.

Although I had to cut my vacation short and come back from Thailand earlier then planned, there are still some upsides that came with Covid-19. If you want to read more about how I dealt with Covid-19 during my last days on Koh Lanta, check out the following posts:

The Upside — Easter via Zoom

What I was looking forward to after coming back from Lanta, was to spend the Easter holidays with my family. Just my parents, my sister and her husband and me. A small part of our family, but still a nice quite Easter Holiday with the inner circle of my family.

As you can imagine or you probably have experienced by yourself that was something no-one of us was able to do. Because of the restrictions, that absolutely made sense, my parents weren’t able to join us for Easter. So while thinking of how to make Easter special this year we came up, as probably most of you, with a very simple idea. Why not use Zoom or whatever WebConferencing tool you have been able to get to love or to hate or probably even both during the last months also for your Easter 2020 gathering?

With a little organization and coordination, we managed to even spread the word and invite not only my parents but also cousins, aunts and uncles, and step-mothers and step-fathers to our Zoom-Easter breakfast. Was it exhausting? Of course, it was exhausting! It was a family gathering. That basically screams “exhausting”. Was it nice to see all those people you haven’t seen for so long although you have been able to travel and just basically a stone’s throw away? Absolutely!

And so we ended up being not only the 5 of us but a total of 21 family members eating breakfast via Zoom. Aunts, uncles, step-mums, step-dads, cousins, and kids of all ages have been participating in our Zoom-Easter breakfast. And it was lovely!

So thank you Covid-19 for bringing us together and giving us the chance to spend some precious time as a family. Even if it was only one more Zoom meeting.

Zoom Easter

The Upside — Zoom Meetings in the woods

Because of Corona and all of us (hmm, that one needs some proof ;-)) doing home-office, I saw the need of having daily stand-up meetings with the whole office. This would mean daily Zoom meetings from 9 am to 10 am so that everyone could catch up and share what she or he is currently working on. And of course, trying to fix problems or remove impediments. But let’s not talk Scrum 🙂

Average day during Corona

My day during Corona has been starting even earlier. I had a catch-up call with my boss at 8:30 am and most of the days the final and last Zoom meeting in the late afternoon. If I had a good day, I was able to eat my lunch not having to switch between cam + mic on and off. On bad days I had either my lunch after 5 pm or in between meetings, or even during meetings while turning off my cam + mic.

After the weather became a bit better and it was not raining and freezing cold anymore, I decided to change something in my web meeting morning routine. Because the phone call and the 9 am meetings were always with exactly the same people and they already knew me and didn’t necessarily need to see me, I decided to move those meetings outside. Don’t get me wrong. I definitely prefer it having my cam on, while being on any kind of web meeting, but I needed to focus a little bit more on my health. By trying to make the best of a given situation, I started to take my morning call while being on a walk and also to have the 9 am web meeting while enjoying the woods not far from my home. And thanks to Komoot I was able to track my walks and also to mix them up a bit.

I have to admit, that now that we switched from Monday to Friday 9 am meetings, to only having those on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, I am missing the opportunity to get out and go for a purposeful walk in the morning while getting some work done.

Thank you Covid-19 for showing me, that I can do a lot while being on a walk. And that taking phone calls and walking at the same time is possible and probably in most cases a really great idea.

The Upside — Walking to the office

After having been working for 4 months from home we finally received the GO for being allowed to go back to our offices from the 1st of June 2020 at the TU Wien. Don’t get me wrong. I really enjoyed the home-office time, by being able to use the time, that I would normally use to commute to the office, more productive. I also tended to work way more, while staying at home. Which on the one hand is a big pro but also a really huge con, especially when it comes to my health. But that is a totally different topic 😉

The impact on our life

But being at home the whole time and not being able to really see or meet other people, was something I noticed, made other people feel a bit lonely. Funny thing is, that it didn’t affect me the way it seemed to affect others. Maybe I am more the lonely wolf or maybe it was just because I had soooo much work that I didn’t even have the time to miss human contact that much.

Nevertheless, the point that I am trying to make is that after being able to go back to work, I still tried to avoid it as often as possible. But, when I have to go to the office because some meetings are better in person, I use the time and try to walk to the office by foot while in the best case having my calls and morning meetings on the way to the office That basically is a win-win-win situation:

Thank you Covid-19 for showing me that I can even walk to my office. Something that definitely wouldn’t have come to my mind before Corona.

Walk home-office

The Upside — Saving & Cooking at home

Probably a lot of us have started to cook more at home while being on lockdown. With all the “I make my own homemade bread” pictures on Instagram and all the healthy cakes and snacks that have been filling up our Facebook timelines, it seems that Covid-19 has shown us, that the room in our flat with this strange cooling (fridge) and heating (oven) equipment is not only for decoration. We all have started to cook more at home and especially to use up all the food that we have been storing for so long.

Although I have always liked to cook and especially to bake, I started to be more cautious about my food habits and also started to prepare and plan my meals a little bit better. I minimized the food that I have been throwing away, I established a healthier attitude to “expiration” dates on bought food products and also I am saving so much money by not going for lunch every weekday at the office.

Thank you, Covid-19 for showing me that I am more than capable of cooking every single day for myself. And for being able to save a lot of money and be more aware of what I am consuming.

The Upside — Eating more fruits

I don’t know how Covid-19 really forced me to eat more fruits. Maybe because of staying at home and having the fruits in my fridge and also having the time, or more likely being able to take the time and place to prepare some fruit plates for myself.

My favourite fruits right now are:

fruit, fruits, summer, food, background, top, berries, view, strawberry, organic, white, berry, ripe, vegetarian, colorful, lay, raspberry, blackberry, vitamin, wood, dessert, flat, group, green, sweet, natural foods, produce, superfood, diet food, local food, vegetarian food, garnish, vegetable, frutti di bosco

The Upside — Spending less money

Not only food wise I was able to probably save a lot of money. I am sure that I am not the only one who has spent way less money on social activities than pre-Corona. Although saving money is a good thing, this is upmost the worst benefit of Covid-19. Having to miss out on a lot of things took a toll on me:

So although it was not the best positive outcome, we all still saved a lot of money which we will hopefully be able to spend on some new adventures very soon.

Thanks Covid-19 for saving us some money. And please give us the opportunity to spend it on all those cool things very soon again.

Close Up Photo of Piggy Bank with Hammer and Coins around … | Flickr

The Upside — Do I really need a gym?

Another thing that I had to change because of Covid-19 in my daily life was my workout morning routine. Normally I would start my day with a small workout and morning routine at home and go to the gym 06:15 am sharp. I always was one of the first crazy people who have been waiting in front of the doors at 6:30 am to get their asses kicked.

But because of the mentioned restrictions also gyms have been closed and are still not really back to how it was before. So I had to figure out how to do my workouts at home. And some of you who have been to my place, know that this was not an easy task to accomplish. My flat is amazing and I love it, and it is the first place ever that I really feel like it belongs to me and is my home. But it is a small flat. I have a bedroom and a bigger room which is dining room, kitchen, office and playground at the same time.

But where there is a will there is a way.

I ordered some workout equipment and checked out a couple of different workout apps and YouTube channels to find a routine I wouldn’t get bored with after just a couple of days. I figured out that if there is enough space for a gym mat, that should be more than enough to also do several workouts. Honestly, on some Saturdays, I wouldn’t have more space in the gym during Olena’s DeepWork classes, because they have been so crowded 😉

My home workout equipment

After having stocked up on some equipment and since I came back from Thailand, I am doing my morning workout routine at home, without having to go to the gym. It works out so well, that I am honestly thinking about not going back to the gym. It is a lot of money that I pay and I am not sure anymore if it is worth it.

Pros of a gym

Cons of a gym

Honestly, I will have to figure out during the next 1-2 months, if I want to go back to the gym or not. I would really like to know if for some of you this thought also crossed your mind and if you are thinking about canceling your gym subscription because of Covid-19?

Thank you, Covid-19 that you have made me adapt and that you have shown me, that it is absolutely possible to find an alternative workout routine and doing it at home.

The Upside of Covid-19

Once again: I absolutely don’t want to belittle the extreme and serious consequences and impacts that Covid-19 had and still has on our lives and on the economy. I just want to try to see something positive in all the bad that we have experienced during the last couple of months. No matter how f….. up a situation seems to be, we should always try to see the upside, shouldn’t we?

If there are any positive effects that you have been able to notice in your life, because of Covid-19, I would be really glad if you could share those with us. Maybe there is something I haven’t thought about and I would love to add some more things to my “It is not all just bad” list 😉

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