A challenge we shall overcome

By Milena Angelova

COVID-19 is the biggest challenge we have faced this century. I shall not focus on the negative effects it causes – on our lives, basic rights and freedoms, the economy and wellbeing. Rather I will try to propose a positive and pragmatic view of how to make the most of the current situation. We can deal with this together, if we stay focused, work as a team and be responsible.

Business More Effective Than Usual

Our homes are now not only our castles: they are everything for us – office, school, communication centres, entertainment and eating-out venues… This presents a unique opportunity for families to become more united and to benefit from being together and engaging in a team building exercise to ensure that each and every member of the family is comfortably equipped to perform effectively their daily obligations – work, classes, communication, sport. My family, for example, has managed to set up two school rooms (one for each of our two sons), two home offices and a multimedia centre – from where my husband and I attend remote meetings and give interviews to the media – as well as an improvised gym to keep fit even while being locked down. The kids have all their classes on-line – and even their karate workouts!

Keeping Spirits High and Capturing Beautiful Moments

Even though the lockdown encroaches on the basic freedoms of us all – being free to choose where to go, to travel, work and take active relaxation  – we still can stay positive and find beautiful moments to enjoy every day. Giving a structure to the day definitely helps us to stay focused and motivated. Personally, I have a very tight schedule, as I have to divide my time between taking care of the kids, finding time for exercise (no compromise – at least 90 mins. of gym a day), working for BICA – we are currently very actively negotiating with the Bulgarian government on anti-crisis measures in support of business and employment – and of course – last but not least – for the EESC. Being able to communicate with all my colleagues only remotely means it takes more time and effort to coordinate and prepare the substance of discussions, and even the simplest tasks are made complicated by the distance. But then it is more rewording and satisfying when success is achieved.

No one knows how long the current situation will continue, or when we will get our normal lives back. But whatever it takes, we will defeat this pandemic together and will be back to our normal, undisturbed lives, free of restrictions and fear. Until then we shall be joining our efforts and continuing to carry out our everyday work and our routines and still enjoy beautiful moments, since even the lockdown is a part of our lives and – if taken in a positive spirit – could offer moments of happiness.