Dealing with COVID-19 | a blog series from IWA Members
This is a blog article series from IWA Members who write about their personal and professional experiences and the new situations they are facing under and with the COVID-19 crisis.
To read the articles, please login to your IWA Connect account or, in case you are not an IWA Member, please register. IWA Connect is the IWA online platform to connect directly with water professionals from the global IWA network, to get the latest updates from the sector and to join different specific working groups.
It has been more than two months since the Danish Prime Minister closed down the country …
… and urged private companies to send home employees, who were able to carry out their jobs from home. I am one of the lucky ones, who have been able to carry out my work as a planner with the utility of Greater Copenhagen from home. As a utility, we have a great responsibility to keep the wheels turning and to keep progress on the projects were our partners and suppliers are depending on us for their life-sustaining revenue. That has been my task since I was sent home. I have worked with our partners and internally on the projects, which I am responsible for, to keep progress.
2020……. a year just about survival!
My life has often hit the pause button; as I grew up in a city, which has experienced a major earthquake, floods, and plague pandemic. The inherent resilience has helped me manage myself in the current pandemic situation that we are facing today. I have missed my morning walks the most in these lockdown days. However, communicating daily with my family and friends has helped me, I feel grateful that I exist in the era of social media and technology. I spent my weekends watching documentaries like Second World War, Chernobyl, and The Great Hack.
Lockdown lesson #1: Self-control comes first
There is something about realizing the many things you cannot control — such as uncertainty or covid-19’s fatality rate — that makes you focus intensely on the things that you can. The lockdown has forced me to focus on things that I can control: adopting an indoor exercise regimen, scheduling check-ins with friends and family, and becoming more aware of my mental and emotional state. Coming to terms with what I can and cannot control, I am then able to extend my help and support where I could.
How are you handling the lockdown (personally) what are you doing to stay sane, how is work affected?
Personally, it has been a very busy time for me. Since the lockdown, we are working 24/7 to ensure that customers have water to fight the spread of COV19. The staff was reduced to almost half of the utility and almost all my staff are home. I have to drive in every day and ensure that work goes on. I have also been engaged in the preparation of communication kits for our top management. Like never before, we have to communicate on social media, radio, tv, newspapers, flyers, etc. the supply situation and interruptions in the system if any. Sometimes we leave media houses late at night.
It is day 50 of self-quarantine and it’s beautiful outside!
At the start of the pandemic I was still in my home-country Albania, a country closely affected by the pandemic due to the proximity to Italy. Thankfully I was still allowed to travel to return home to Canada. However, in Canada my mandatory self-isolation started as they had invoked the Quarantine Act to impose mandatory self-isolation for travelers entering the country.
I had an ambitious plan for 2020 and it all seemed to be going well until the issues of Corona Virus set in. A few weeks to the lockdown in Ghana, I had returned from the Africa Water Association Congress in Kampala, and to me that was a narrow escape from a mandatory quarantine. On the eve of the lockdown in three major cities in Ghana, I had to hurriedly leave the capital city Accra and report to my work station in the Volta region because my short work leave had ended. Then the lockdown finally came, though it was in only three major cities, its impact was felt across the whole country. In my area, food prices doubled up and some items became very scarce, and there was no way to see my family and friends who were all on lockdown. That was frustrating. (…)