COVID19, teleworking and the other side of the coin

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COVID19, teleworking and the other side of the coin
Belgian E19 motorway, on a Sunday morning in April 2019.

It’s been now more than two weeks that I’m teleworking… and I’m fine, really.

This blog post will explain how I live this situation and its outcome, according to me.

I’ve been begging for teleworking since I started working at European Commission. For some contractual reasons, it is not allowed for contractors. Europe is leading the trends on many things, but not on that subject sadly. Despite that, I’ve been loving my work very much. Working at the European Commission is great and so far it’s the best experience I ever had.

However, I remember when I started working, teleworking was allowed under very exceptional circumstances.

It allowed me to start my working day earlier and not necessarily finish earlier, it allowed me to work in trainers, it allowed me to enjoy the places here around during the week, it allowed to eat healthier food, it allowed me to do sports after work… and right now my mountain biking Strava statistics are exploding compared to previous year.

Strava statistics

Strava statistics

I always considered teleworking as a win/win situation.

First for my employer because people usually start their day earlier and they usually finish at the same time, so it usually makes more than eight hours per day. Second for me because (and that’s the main reason) I don’t waste hours in transportation.

A decade ago, working from home may have seemed like a something impossible… but today, it’s most probably the best thing we can do to our beloved Mother Earth.

It took a pandemic to let us to work from home. How sad is this, isn’t it ?

Who led the digital transformation?

Who led the digital transformation?

Maybe that this virus was a signal sent by the Earth saying: “Hey Human, you went too far with me. It’s my turn to send you something really nasty ! Eat this b*****s !

Just like in any situation, there’s always a good side in a bad situation.

Do you imagine how the Human lifestyle is now compared to before the crisis ?

People taking their vehicles for nothing and everything, traffic jams, travelling anywhere for paltry sum, cruises, smoking and throwing out cigarette butts everywhere, general overproduction and overconsumption, meat production, nuclear plants, Donald Trump… and so much more.

Please check the following video from Steve Cutts which summarize in a satiric way the way we live on this planet.

Do you imagine the amount of pollution, noise, dirt, travel that was done before compared to the current situation ?

And now ? Almost all of that went away, we keep the bare minimum.

And despite that, we can still live decently ! On a personal point of view, I really enjoy this moment and this kind of “Back to basics” lifestyle.

Don’t get me wrong here. I have no intention whatsoever here of making light of this globally infectious crisis or of the widespread fear, pain, chaos and hysteria that it has so effortlessly brought about all over the place. But just as any coin has two sides and every cloud a silver lining, I’m sharing with you all some personal observations here that will remind you that all is most certainly not as bleak as it seems here regardless of what those who profit greatly from fearmongering (politicians, news media etc…) are making it appear.

For you see, while there are most certainly those amongst us who see a crisis situation as something to be feared, regretted, or worth losing sleep over… there are also those of us who see it as a great opportunity, however unlikely, it might appear to be so in the heat of the moment.

So yes, every single time I’ve been out lately, I’ve rejoiced the calm, the cleanliness and the better quality air. It’s crazy how enjoyable a city can be without cars and without all this surrounding noise and pollution.

COVID19 and impact on air pollution

COVID19 and impact on air pollution

So yeah, unbelievable as it may appear to be at first, the virus seems to have done a damn fantastic job of bringing humanity together in unimaginably unprecedented ways. People are helping each other out in ways that have never as much as been conceived of before. Some are donating money, food, masks and there’s even this one guy who is assisting humanity by freely gifting people the entire toolkit for 3D printing ventilators.

There are also great initiatives that are coming out like in China, where they are talking about permanently banning animals trading. The YALE university offered a free course “The Science of well being” through Coursera. There are others courses now free of charge on other platforms as well (EDX, Khan Academy). Some Internet provider in Belgium are giving up on Internet quotas and offering other free advantages.

There’s something even greater happening under the surface here that’s massively missing everyone’s attention at the moment regarding Nature. Maybe Earth has found itself an opportunity to heal itself. And that’s, that it hasn’t really even had for ages now.

Endangered animals continue to resurface all over again, fishes (be aware of fakes!) return to bring back life into Venice, and rare birds begin flocking back to beaches all over Peru.

We are the witnesses of a huge, global and unprecedented surge of love, unity, togetherness and positivity, and it took a colossal crisis to bring out the very best of us. Again, how sad is this.

That said, I do miss my family for sure and Jitsi greatly helped us to see each other during this hopefully unique period.

Besides my family, I also miss a couple of other small things. I miss the Saturday local bio market, the local library, the local swimming pool and the local tool shops.

The only living being that are a bit unhappy are my cats. They seemed to be a bit worried and upset in their quietness of having all of us every day at home, watching their every moves!

Finally, it is crazy to admit but only takes but a little effort to see as to what this pandemic is truly meaning: The emergency of an entirely new way of thinking, eating, (tele)working, being, living and thriving.

The greatest threat to our civilization right now is not the pollution, the global warming or Donald Trump (albeit?)… Instead it is our very collective thought pollution that makes everything else look downright inconsequential in comparison. For dark, fearful, angry, frustrated, depressed and all kinds and manners of negative thoughts wreak havoc on our poor planetary consciousness every single day, which in turn get all kinds and varieties of diseases, illnesses, calamities and other sorts of evils to show up within both our individual lives, as well as within our shared collective reality experiences.

Remember that sometimes the true picture of reality is quite the exact opposite of that which gets depicted to you. But therein lies our greatest opportunity to develop better discernment, so that we too may one day be able to separate the wheat from the chaff and the truth from the lie for that matter.

It is then mandatory to re-centralize our essentials, to wake up!

To achieve that, people, companies, organizations needs to show the path to follow.

What if the European Commission was the first ? :)