Category Archives: CoronaVirus
Mountain View

You probably heard me tell you before that I don’t consider myself an “Expat”. I have been living in the same home for more than ten years now and feel so settled in Switzerland that I am working on the steps to become a Swiss citizen right now. During the pandemic, I became an “accidental expat” because for a while the borders between Switzerland, Austria, and Germany were closed. Then for a long time, it was just too dangerous to travel and potentially bring the virus to my elder family members. I’m relieved to say that my beloved grandmother Maria died this year at 100 1/2 years of age and that she left us peacefully after a long and satisfying life.  My family was very lucky during these times. However, I will not forget that it took a virus to close the borders and we might be exposed to border closing during any national or international issue in the future. You decided to go on this adventure, but you might not always cherish it when you are in the middle of it. You might find many aspects of the global nomad lifestyle satisfying and you could still feel stressed and exhausted right now. You might have overworked yourself, taken too little time for yourself or your loved ones or you might be feeling a bit disoriented around this time of the year. We tend to look back in December and think about what we want to change in the New Year. We are all experiencing varying levels of emotional and mental turmoil. There is no solution to the root causes of that anxiety, but we need to maintain our mental health like we do our physical. The World Health Organization, correctly anticipating that the longer the pandemic lasts, the more it would impact mental health, has spent the last couple of years publishing support and guides for people to follow. I have been following them, and they have proven helpful in centering me and giving me better control of my mental health.

Pause. Breathe. Reflect.

Take some slow breaths, inhaling through your nose, then slowly exhaling through your mouth. Slow breathing is one of the best ways to lower stress because it signals your brain to relax your body. There are various breathing practices such as Yoga and other forms. You start right now by listening to your breathing for a few minutes without trying to control it.

Improve your Healthy Routine

The emphasis here is on both Health and Routine. That means not using alcohol and drugs to deal with fear, anxiety, boredom, and social isolation. Instead, focus on establishing consistent sleeping patterns, maintaining personal hygiene, eating regularly and having healthy food, and improving time management to include exercise, work, and personal time.

Practice Self-Care

We are human and thus not immune to doubt and anxiety. Don’t expect too much of yourself on days that are more difficult than others. Instead, accept that some days, you may be more productive than others. One way to practice self-kindness is to reduce how much you watch, read or listen to news that makes you feel anxious or distressed, especially news from your home country. Limit news to fixed times during the day and listen only to trusted sources. 

Offer Support in Your Community

If you can help yourself and have the capacity for it, helping others can be good for you too. Offer support to people in your community who may need it. We have learned to be resilient, we have survived previous crises, and we have managed to turn our lives around in the oddest situations. But now, we are not so sure anymore. When will this pandemic end? And how will we live when we get out of it? Which part of the world still feels safe? Will our children ever be able to catch up on the school lessons they have missed? 

Like we need yeast to bake bread, we need energy and love to work and live with people around us. We might think that we can just stay at home and send our avatars to work, but who would we then be? 

We need to get dressed in nice clothes, have a commute to work, and have a distance between “work” and “leisure.” Otherwise, we lose our fire and inspiration and lose touch with our inner creator. 

Join our RockMeRetreat

I missed having offline workshops and what I love about this retreat is that we can be offline most of the time and connect with our inner creators again. We can work on our relationships with people who are important to us. We can build a community of people who help each other irrespective of their cultural or religious background based on shared values and profound love for people.

I wish all of us to support each other in communities, and I’m convinced that an OFFLINE RETREAT will most certainly create miracles despite the wonders of technology. Because of the travel situation and insecurities around the world, we currently offer the RockMeRetreat in Switzerland at the Ilanz monastery. I have been on a retreat there before, and it’s a humble, yet quiet and comfortable place, and the sisters are extremely warmhearted and welcoming, and the mountain view is just amazing.

If you wish to join us for the RockMeRetreat in November 2023 please sign up for this list so we can inform you further about the retreat.

We might also consider other places for custom-made RockMeRetreats. Please email us if you wish to consider a retreat for your leadership team in 2023. We’d be happy to discuss your needs further.

Back to School – Seven Virtues for Purpose, Performance, and Productivity

Video Interview:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xv1ju5gxMLs

Do you know this feeling when you wake up in the morning, fully energized and ready to go to work?
And you think “Hmmm, I just had this nightmare about a global pandemic, where we would all stay at home…ALL THE TIME…” and you think…”I’m going to pretend that life is normal…”.

You get up, have a shower, brush your teeth, get dressed in your work clothes, you put on make-up and you have your usual cup of coffee.

Then you realize “Bloody hell, I didn’t watch a movie. I didn’t dream of this nightmare. No. This is real…”.
You suddenly notice that church bells are ringing at 6 AM and a lot of different birds are chirping too. You notice that something is off. And you are not dreaming any longer.

You are in the middle of a global pandemic. Not a movie. It’s the week of the passion of Jesus Christ and the world is in a state of global mindfulness.

Sometimes, I wake up thinking that it was a bad joke. Thinking that somebody will say “APRIL, APRIL”. ButApril Fools Daywascancelled this year.

We changed our clocks to summer time and I didn’t notice because alarms are overrated when you work from home.

The Army has been called in to help the hospitals in Switzerland. A first since THE WAR.

Wimbledon will be POSTPONED for the first time since THE WAR. Even Queen Elizabeth II addressed the nation. We are in a real crisis.

People are losing lives, jobs and certain global politicians spread rumors and misinformation.
One could despair.

I decided to take baby steps to help you and myself maintain sanity in this crisis. Last week, I shared20 Quarantine Recommendations.

I want to share with you 20 more ideas to deal with the crisis. If you try out one recommendation a day we should get through to my birthday together.

My Quarantine Tips for Holy Week AKA The Passion Games (“Passionsspiele”)

21) Structure Your Day Like A Monk.Follow our #Rockmeretreat structure with me from Tuesday onwards. Setting a routine adds discipline even if you have to work from home. This is officially now termed WFH, not WTF.

Here’s a also helpful bookDaily Rituals: Womenat Work andtop tipson working effectively from home by @newinzurich.

22) Listen to Live Readings.Set aside some time in your routine for enjoying the arts – this crisis has given rise to narrations, podcasts and radio shows as people find new avenues for positive expression. A few interesting examples you can integrate into your daily life are theSRF Radio Play, authorThomas Meyer’s live readsand author Saša Stanišić’s “Literature in times of uncertainty” charity reads for women’s shelters over on Twitch. If Shakespeare is more to your taste, Sir Patrick Stewart isnarrating the Sonnets on his personal Twitter.

23) Read Different News Channels.With certain global politicians causing chaos with rumours and bad information, it is essential that you verify any “facts” from various reputable sources. That is why I recommend reading or watching different news channels – not only will you stay updated on what is happening in various sectors of the world, but also remain aware of the facts about the unfolding pandemic. Stay up-to-date with theCovid-19 situation in Switzerlandhere. Republik magazine is also running anewsletterto keep everyone in Switzerland informed. Businesses and the financial sector have been hit hard by COVID-19 related shutdowns and quarantines, soCNNMoney Switzerland’s newsletteris a good way to stay on top of the news coming out of that sector. Whichever source you go for, it is generally a good idea now to double check from another trusted source – forwarded email chains are not a good example of that!

24) Go on Treasure Hunts.Who doesn’t enjoy the thrill of completing tasks and checking them off? That sounds like an average work day but it’s what you do on a treasure hunt! You can see that the principle is the same, so why not reward yourself by creating and completing hunts for yourself?

  • Take a Shopping bag and aim to either recycle glass, enter a supermarket, go to the post-office or pharmacy.
  • Reward yourself at home.
  • Look determined when you see police.
  • Wear a Face Mask. 😷

25) Practice a new languageyou wanted to learn or take an amazing online course. For people struggling to find productive ways to spend their time in quarantine, learning a new language is a great way to engage yourself in a meaningful activity. If you are an expat, perhaps you can even utilise some time to perfect your grasp of German! Other people can find value instead with studying towards new skills, online courses are an amazing option for them. You can sign up to this fantastic offering forExpat Coach training by Sundae Schneider-Bean.

26) Take A Virtual Museum Tour.As I mentioned earlier, CNNMoney Switzerland is a good new source. You can add “good tour guide” to that list as well, their recommendation for virtual museum toursis a lockdown-friendly way to get your fix of European art and history. You can even play art games on their websites! The message here, which I would like to amplify, is that engaging with the arts and doing things you would do normally (albeit in a different way!) is an important way to maintain your mental health in these dire times.

27) Buy Paper Books in the Neighborhood.Paperback sales have shot up by 35%due to the imposition of isolation/quarantine rules as readers finally get to reading everything on their bucket lists.The Hirslanden Bookshophas been closed due to the pandemic, however you can stillorder books from them via phone or emailand they will deliver to your home or by post. I think this is an opportune moment for escapism into those books you have been meaning to read for years, what about you?

28) Check Your Immigration Status by Host Country.Update permits and passports. As an expat, you will be facing a time of unprecedented uncertainty and stress because of the whole Covid-19 situation, you may even find yourself forgetting some important appointments! Therefore it would be a good time to check up on whether your permits, visas and passports are all updated and not nearing expiry. Become Localis the name of Sonia’s company but she helps with ALL immigration into CH…not only local hires.

29) Claim Daily Indemnity Insurance Compensation.Check if you are entitled to daily indemnity and report your doctor ordered corona quarantine as an “accident”. An example from AXA-Winterthur would behere.

30) Clean Up Your “Command Bridge” every night.On a spaceship you also need to make sure that nothing flies around. I also shut down my 3 computers on Friday night. I find decluttering very helpful at all times but I noticed it helped me cope with insomnia too. Now you have no excuse to avoid that clutter you have been meaning to clean for ages, remember that this mightboost your productivity and your feeling of accomplishment.

Decluttering also allows you to disinfect the most used areas of your house: your bathroom and kitchen. We must do as much as we can to prevent the virus from spreading, both outside and inside the home.Click throughto read up on and motivate yourself to clean! One post is usingFeng Shuias a basis for decluttering.

31) Through Family Dinner Follow the Space Mission Expert Advice.You have only been in isolation for a few weeks and already you feel like things are getting out of hand for you – imagine those people who live quarantined from the rest of the world for months and years! I am of course talking about astronauts in space –SRF Forward has a great video with tips taken from informationabout how astronauts handle isolation and how we can use that advice for ourselves.

32) Pretend You Are A “Star Wars” Character.Ensure you build a cleaning station for missions to Earth 🌍. If you don’t know what “Star Wars” is, now is the perfect time to find out bywatching the original trilogy.

33) Hire a DeepCleaning Expert.With so many spaceships and space stations leaving their planets to explore the far reaches of the galaxy, they surely must have a very efficient cleaning regimen to prevent filth and disease. This is definitely the right time to learn to beexperts in cleaning.Maybe afterwards we will gain new appreciation for the cleaning crews on the Death Star who kept it so clean!

34) Build Your Own Face Mask. An unfortunate reality of the pandemic and medical crisis is that there is a severe lack of PPE and face masks in both the general public and the medical community. We can play our part in easy the load off production and allowing healthcare workers and doctors and nurses access to medical-grade masks. All you have to do is build your own!The instructions in this videoare not that difficult, I am sure you have basic skills with a needle. Not only are you protecting yourself with this action but protecting countless others – an important role in flattening the curve.

35) Blow out Eggs and Create Easter Decorations. This is a tradition from my childhood known well in German speaking countries. Usually it’s done during the catholic fasting period and we’re a bit late for that but maybe your kids are bored after such long periods of homeschooling and they need a project for “Good Friday”. Check outEier ausblasen – Ostern Lifehack – AnleitungandColor unicorn easter eggs with shaving cream 😍

36) Paint Anything with Water Colors, Crayons and Paper.Who is ready to learn a new creative hobby? It is inevitable that during this period where everyone is supposed to be home, that you will become agitated, bored or even depressed. Hobbies are a great way to stay active and positive and what better way than with art? Follow thesesimple tutorialswith watercolors and you can be on your way to painting self-portraits, still life or even the landscapes you can see out of your window!

37) Engage The Wildlife.Birds of various kinds have been spotted in Zürich over the last week. It’s fun for kids (and adults) to feed and name them. I’m feeding a black raven and named him “Franzerl”. I’m standing at the window shouting “Franzerl, Franzerl”. Obviously his lady raven will be named “Sisi” if she ever shows up at my feeding station. Watch those videos of how the animals are secretly taking over the world.
Coronavirus Lock down effects on animals (Part-1)
Dolphins and fish: nature moves into spaces left empty by Italian coronavirus quarantine

38) Buy Vouchers to support our Hairdressers.If we are able to ride out the lockdown period at home in comfort and financial security, spare a thought for those whose livelihood depends on things being open – hairdressers for instance cannot work from home! Let us be part of a supportive community and bolster each other.Annette Rammeis someone who could use that support in keeping her business running.Mention @angieweinberger for a 20% discount if you buy before 19 April 2020.

39) Have a Virtual Beauty-Day with the Girls.Drink Champagne and put on a FACEMASK (of the other kind). Self-care comes in many forms. It can be in the form of hobbies, learning or even sleeping. Sometimes, though, self-care comes in the form of afacemask. Maybe this weekend you can round up the girls, your go-to group of friends (on video conferencing of course!) and relax with some soothing and nourishing face masks. Maybe ask if your partner is interested in it as well, their skin will definitely need some hydrating!

40) Apply a Handmask.practice “Hand Discovery” with a Partner or a child. My hands are very dry from washing them about 30 times so I made a hand mask and then applied the discovery method to my own hands. This is a method we learn at theRockMeRetreat.For now, you can just massage your hands, apply a fatty cream, put on plastic gloves and soak while you are watching ….(enter your favorite Netflix show here).

I liked this image on how to move from Fear Zone to Growth Zone with #COVID19. Let me know in which zone you see yourself via theRockmeapp.Credit to unknownauthor
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The last week has been one of the most challenging weeks of my life.

The bad news first:I have not been tested for CORONA-Virus, because my symptoms seem to be too mild. My dizziness, weakness, cough might just be a sign of an anxiety attack, mountain disease or a weird cold. For me, it would have been better to know if I’m positive or not. Not knowing if I’m potentially a transmitter of the disease makes it hard to allow my partner to come back home.. This is week 2 of my quarantine.

For those of you who are still trying to catch up on emails here is what happened and why I’m under quarantine. Readthis!

The good news: Last night I could finally sleep for more than a few hours and I have the feeling that I’m on the right track mentally and also that my body is getting better. I promised that I would keep you up-to-date and share a few lessons with you. Maybe you can imagine that I have become an information junkie. So I’m trying to do this:

  1. I summarize 20 quick recommendations in a list style. Most of my recommendations are geared towards expats and international people living in Switzerland. Most of the advice will be working in any other country too though.
  2. I’m offering deeper conversations for those of you who face similar problems and I will be available via the RockMeApp over the next few days. I’m also giving every client free access to the online version of the RockMe! program. It might help you to work on a career-related topic during this crisis.
  3. I’m looking for an idea on how to distribute more information to clients and other people. At the moment I’m using Twitter (@angieweinberger) andLinkedIn.

I hope this is helpful and let’s stay connected through these times. Check below my 20 recommendations for Quarantine.

Angie’s 20 Quarantine Recommendations

  1. First Things First: Fix your” oxygen mask”, open windows regularly and try to take in sunshine. Look into ways to improve your immune system naturally. Eat Vitamin-C and Vitamin-D. Prepare your meals with grace and dedication. Add ginger to anything. Drink more water and herbal tea than usual. I start my day with adding all the water to the table so I know how much I have to drink.
  2. Help Migrants and Refugees: Share the multilingual updates from your country health authority. If you have capacity and want to do something useful, help the ministry of health by sharing the information in different languages. It seems the migrant population was not addressed in previous campaigns and many migrants do not fully understand what is going on. Help migrants in your neighbourhood if you can.Thispage has information in many languages.
  3. Buy Local: Ensure that you know where you can support local businesses by ordering food and home delivery.Newinzurich has great informationfor day-to-day topics such as food delivery, restricted areas, and online entertainment.
  4. Help the Neighbors: If you feel you can support others, get to know the neighbors through thissiteand offer your help.
  5. Be Reachable and Savable: Have phone and emergency numbers next to your bed. I left my apartment door unlocked when I felt dizzy. I will soon feel strong enough to lock it again.
  6. Define your Essentials: Stock up on essentials without hoarding, maintain a basic list of food and household items that you always want to keep in the house. I’m not good at this at all since I’m a convenience shopper but at least now I have enough pasta to survive a week or two without support.
  7. Consider Small Projects: If you are fit and free of symptoms, startspring cleaning at home
  8. Reduce Your Online Time: We are using the Internet too much now. We should learn to entertain ourselves offline too. Listen to old-fashioned radio, watch DVD’s or learn games with dice or chess. Read a paper-book. Challenge the kids for a round of“Kniffel”.
  9. Learn Basic Relaxation Methods:
  10. Enjoy the Fact That you are Still Alive: Sing and dance, play an instrument. Invite your friends to a virtual coffee chat and set up dinner dates.
  11. Reduce Your Work Time: Set a work schedule for max 6 hours a day if you are well enough. I’ve decided that I will work every day but only as long as I’m feeling okay. I have a hard time sitting in an office chair for more than two hours. I’m working mainly from my red sofa. It feels more like fun this way.
  12. Check Your Health Insurance: If you live in Switzerland you probably have basic coverage and additional hospital coverage. If you are not sure what is covered exactly and if your family members are covered for the same treatment it’s a good time to check that.
  13. International and Local Pension Plans: Verify and update the beneficiaries on your pension plan, check if your pension plan is sufficient for now or if you need to set money aside for your old-age pension. Usually, we procrastinate on these topics but in a situation like this we want to be sure our family is not suffering any unnecessary stress.
  14. Have Cash at Home: I keepmore cash than usual. Even though it is generally recommended to pay with cards and other cashless payments for dealing with grocery shopping and pharmacies, you might need more cash than usual. Sometimes you just want to give a person a tip or you need to pay cash at the door. I know that I’m inviting burglars to my house writing this but I will cough at everyone who dares to enter. Karma baby.
  15. Improve your Cash Flow: If you are experiencing cash flow issues as a small company owner or freelancer please check if you are entitled to support through social security. For Switzerland, there is a temporary support package (see email below from Markus Hohl) and the really great news is that invoices from social security can be paid later without interest. I’m very happy with the government’s fast action following this petition.
  16. Ensure Business Continuity: I noticed that I’m the only person who can access the company bank account. So I’ve organized power of attorney for two close friends. The bank was very supportive and delivered forms in no time. I hope we can get everything set up digitally.
  17. Do Admin Stuff:You have to a lot of admin work anyway such as your tax declaration.If you are bored you can work on your tax declaration for 2019. The deadline has been extended to 31 May 2020 in Zurich for everyone. If you are done with your taxes think about all the money you can claim back now. Also, if you have ageneral train ticket you can freeze it online for 30 days. Small peas but they also contribute.
  18. Seek Professional Help: My colleague Axel Kellerbaueroffers free German and English-speaking crisis support calls.
  19. Send an Orchid: Orchids are long-lasting and show perseverance. They are a perfect symbol for our condition. If you know a person who’s unwell send orchids. Help Hans-Peter Mayer so the orchids and shop can survive by ordering orchids for your team and others.
  20. Support thisPetition:Switzerland shouldget more people tested against Corona-Virus in order to make more informed statements. Being in limbo myself, I know that not knowing doesn’t really help. The petition was started about a week ago and by now 2000 people have signed. The organizers will need at least 10’000 signatures before the government will take this serious enough.

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Special Offers for Our Readers (mention GPT, Angie Weinberger)

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Resources

HR Professionals:

Coronavirus HR Comms & Resources Guide

Global Mobility Professionals:

Expatise Academy

Global Leaders and Expats:

Global People Transitions

Medical Researchers

Sentinel Initiative

WHO Immunization

WHO Emergencies

EDCE Europa Surveillance & Disease Data

Enthrat Covid 19 Task Force

Whatsapp Q&A by WHO

WHO Health Alert Brings Covid 19 Facts To Billion Via Whatsapp

My skiing vacation in St. Anton, Austria came to an abrupt end when we were asked around 2.30 pm while casually chatting on a chairlift to leave the town as soon as possible. By the time we returned to our apartment and while throwing everything into our luggage I told myself to keep calm. I wasn’t calm really but I functioned. My friend and I were too late. The train station was closed already, nobody was allowed to enter. Policemen with masks tried to be nice to us but we were concerned. People standing there in bulks waiting for buses, taxi drivers signaling “no” and the sudden realization that I couldn’t just call a friend or relative and ask for a pick-up.

Because there is a chance that I contracted coronavirus. The next step was to try to get a ride to the next train station, but our landlord wasn’t allowed to leave the city. Walking was not an option either. Asking other people to take us on, probably a little late in the game. Through a friend, we got a ride to Zurich on a bus and I was very happy when my friend and I arrived at my home. It’s more than 24 hours ago and the shock seems over. I’m suddenly in a 2-week quarantine.

This pandemic has disrupted life worldwide, resulting in (to-date) over 150,000 cases and over 5,000 deaths. You can see the live updates here.

People are rightfully worried due to the unfolding scenarios: food and essential item shortages due to hoarding, misinformation and hysteria. Due to my role(s) I have been following the topic on all media for a while now. During the last week, I had a lot of good conversations with my friends. What I can share now are a few tips although I’m really in the middle of this experience myself right now.

Prepare for Self-Isolation

First and foremost, self-isolation requires letting the people around you know of it – the isolation is as much for their benefit as it is for yours. If you suspect that you do have symptoms of the coronavirus, you must also do the following:

  • Stay at home and separate yourself from all other people. If you can’t use a separate bathroom, disinfect all areas all the time.
  • Wash dishes in the washing machine.
  • Cut down your visits outside to the absolute essential medical visits. Call the doctor before you go there.
  • Store your waste securely, as it will contain used tissues and other potentially-infected litter that must remain with you until you are cleared of infection.
  • If your symptoms worsen, seek professional medical help immediately.
  • Don’t use communal washrooms. Hand washyour clothes and towels in your apartment.

For details on how to effectively quarantine yourself from others and best practices involved, please read this article detailing what to do in such a scenario. A list of what you should and should not do is also available here.

It is mandatory for those with travel history to stay in isolation, so please make sure you follow medical protocol.

Buy Groceries and Stock up on Food

If you’re like me you might not eat at home a lot. I’m the opposite of a hamster buyer so I really needed my friend to go out grocery shopping yesterday. I will look into online orders when I run out of essentials.

Remember that we are Not at War

This is a crisis and a pandemic and maybe worse than anything we have experienced in our generation but do you remember Chernobyl in 1984? I felt similar then. We were not allowed to go out even though we couldn’t really see the “danger”. Still, we’re not at war. Shops are still operating and we have access to clean drinking water from the tab here.

The images you are seeing online of empty shelves in grocery stores, barren city centers and overflowing hospitals (especially in Italy) can make you panic. You must ensure that you don’t so that you can follow the common sense but critical advice from the government and medical professionals. For me, the best way to avoid panic is by working and prioritizing.

Follow the Guidelines of Your Local Authority

In Switzerland, this is the BAG. https://www.bag.admin.ch/bag/en/home.html

I find their updates very helpful. If you live in another country follow the guidelines set by your local authorities, both administrative and healthcare.

That means, avoid unnecessary contact with others or your face, wash your hands frequently and definitely self-quarantine if you have returned from another country or a known “hotspot”.

I was asked to inform the authority about my quarantine and I contacted the cantonal office for Zurich. They shared these links with me.

https://www.bag.admin.ch/bag/de/home/krankheiten/ausbrueche-epidemien-pandemien/aktuelle-ausbrueche-epidemien/novel-cov.html

https://www.bag.admin.ch/bag/de/home/krankheiten/ausbrueche-epidemien-pandemien/aktuelle-ausbrueche-epidemien/novel-cov/selbst-isolierung-und-selbst-quarantaene.html

Get Medical Advice from Your Doctor or Trusted Sources

I read a lot online and most medical information is not backed by evidence and if you’re not sure you can trust the source you can always get a second opinion from your doctor by email or phone consultation. For example, I read twice now that you should only take Paracetamol against the symptoms.

https://twitter.com/CHUVLausanne/status/1239144803847360512?s=20

Coronavirus Infoline for CH +41 58 463 00 00, 24/7.

Plan how you will Deal with a Lockdown

Most European countries have shut down schools, educational institutes, theatres, libraries, and public gatherings. So far, public transportation in Switzerland still seems to run on the clock as usual. However, there will be delays and changes due to border controls. Also, currently, it looks like I won’t be able to go home to my family for a while. I assume we will need medical clearance before crossing a border again.

Stop Your Business Travel to Other Countries

If you haven’t yet got stuck anywhere, there is a high chance that you will get stuck next week. Unless you are an MD who saves lives I’m not sure if your business trip is really needed right now. I suggest you cancel your trips until Easter. Then you can reassess the situation.

Replace “Essentials” with Home-Made Products

Due to the unfortunate shortages created by people stockpiling items, you may be seeing empty shelves in supermarkets and grocery stores. Most shops now have implemented limits to how many of each item people can buy, ensuring that everyone will be able to get essential items such as hand sanitizers, toilet paper, and basic food. However, where this is not the case, think about ways to replace “essentials” with home-made products and buy the ingredients now. For example: Could you use the old newspaper to make your own toilet paper? Or how about creating your own alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Innovate

Most of Europe is in some degree of shut down at the moment, which means that both people’s daily personal lives and their work routines are affected. Businesses both large and small have been impacted by the disruptions, facing varying levels of financial hardships. Startups, in particular, will be hit hardest, particularly those which require mobility from employees.

That said, however, innovation is essential for any startup’s success and this incident should be treated as yet another opportunity to innovate. Thanks to high-speed internet and laptops, most professionals are able to work remotely from home for this period. However, this increased load on cloud services such as Slack, Zoom, and Hangouts has resulted in those services experiencing slowdowns and issues in the face of such unprecedented load.

Upgrades to those services don’t have hard timelines because of the restrictions in place, so organizations have been clever about it. I know of a few companies who have implemented a sort of time-share for work hours.

They have divided people’s working hours into slots to balance the load on remote/cloud services and ensure better productivity than everyone clamoring to log in remotely. A few other businesses are alternating workdays for teams – while slower, this works better for more project-oriented work.

Take stock of the remote working conditions of your teams and order laptops and mobile phones if you have not done so yet.

It’s also vital that you review deadlines and stop pestering your teams with less critical topics right now. Prioritize!

Establish emergency contact groups with your team either via Whatsapp or Slack.

Take Small Steps

Constant media coverage reinforcing the difficulties faced ahead and the issues happening currently, worry about loved ones and humanity, in general, all take their toll. Therefore, I would advise you all to steel your hearts and persevere – now is the time for us to show our resilience. If you are struggling, the following steps may help:

  1. Take things one day at a time. What are you working on today? What are you eating today? How are you relaxing today?
  2. Set yourself small, achievable goals for the day. They can be work-related or personal.
  3. Put aside some time for your favorite hobby. This is a stressful and anxiety-filled time for a lot of people, even if they are not consciously aware of their worry levels. Engaging in a relaxing hobby will help you regain a sense of calm.
  4. Check-in with loved ones at least once a day.

Resilience would be required a lot more for expatriates, who may find themselves in a tougher mental challenge than most. They could find themselves not being able to be reunited with their families or to care for elderly family members. Being away from family is tough on the best of days, but in this time of global worry, it is all the harder. I wish there was some instant solution I could provide or some concrete tip that could help out, but unfortunately, the reality is that as an expat you will have to bear this situation.

If you are stuck in a situation where you are unable to be with your family, try to stay in frequent contact with them over messaging, voice and video calls. Both they and you will be feeling vulnerable right now, perhaps lost and reasonably worried, and talking to them could act as emotional support for everyone. You can also try to read up on the home country’s approved medical advice for the region and help your family understand and act upon it, to minimize their chances of contracting COVID-19.

If you want to repatriate, speak to your Global Mobility Manager now. Check if your company works with International SOS too.

Sleep is Important

Try to Get Sleep

It is easy to say “resilience” and be done with it, but the fact of the matter is that these are difficult times. People are and will experience helplessness, loss, grief and more – it is perfectly alright to feel all those things. Worry is a natural response to what is happening around us all, and in a situation like this where global events are out of our control, it is fine to be worried. A good way to regain some measure of calm would be to control the little things still in our power – organizing your house, getting your washing done or perhaps cooking and enjoying a meal.

If you find your sleep disrupted by anxiety or worry, you can try some of our tips on improving sleep. Sleep deprivation can affect your emotions even more so trying to maintain a good sleep cycle can help you manage yourself better.

Be Mindful About Your Statements About Other People

We have all been joking around about Italian pasta and the Chinese rice. However, we have to be careful that we are not all turning into a bunch of stigmatizing, prejudiced racists. Having coronavirus is not an act of God. It’s not a consequence of shameful behavior. At this point, it’s just bad luck. Let’s be mindful of how we treat people in this situation.

Think About Your Resources

My mom just asked me if I didn’t have any extra sanitizer in a bag at my grandmother’s house. Funnily, this was leftover from the RockMeRetreat 2018 and “parked” there with other materials. She will now give it to my aunt who’s at risk and I’m so grateful that I could help with something so small from a distance.

Keep Calm and Make a Plan

I sat down yesterday with a friend and we wrote a list of how we will deal with this. Writing about the experience of being quarantined was a part of the list. We also agreed to check in on each other daily. I can hardly handle a Sunday at home without going out so the part where I’m isolated from my partner and other people needs a lot of self-care.

If you are feeling confused or anxious, I recommend you speak to a doctor. People react differently to crisis situations and often it helps to talk about your experience. I also want to mention that sharing a bit more love and being a bit more empathetic than usual goes a long way here.

Kind Regards,

Angie

More Resources:

https://foph-coronavirus.ch/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/AS2020.030.00773D.pdf

URGENT request to stay at home now! This is a Doctor from UZH, one of our best hospitals.

https://doktor-video.wetransfer.com/downloads/66c890900962a8c5a4c7e3735edb523120200315210045/d058bf

COVID19

Dear Clients,

It’s Easter Monday and I hope you are safe. I will tell you about my journey with #covid19 shortly. In case you are wondering if we are working…Yes, we do work. However, I’m on sick leave for a few more days recovering from #Covid19.

My Covid-19 Update No. 3 ~ 13 April 2020

 

– Our RockMe! Executive Coaching sessions are offered only on G-Hangout until at least 30 April 2020.

Our Terms and Conditions: We don’t charge any cancellation fees for short-notice cancellations during this state of emergency. We understand if your children are crying in the background and need your attention. As of 1 May 2020 T&C will apply again.

– #GlobalMobilityAcademy Workshops will be postponed to a later point in time, probably not starting before 1 July 2020. There will be homework to be completed before the courses start. You will be informed by email.

#TransitionCoaching: You can book coaching sessions in case you wish to get through any type of transitions. Sessions are limited to 90 Minutes.

#RockMeApp: Online support is available 24/7 via our #RockMeApp. Everyone who signs up by 17 April 2020 gets free access to our RockMe! online program. I wish to help you through this. Hence, this is a gift!

#HireMeExpress: If you are looking for a job right now check out our #HireMeExpress program. Sign up by 17 April 2020.

#GlobalPeopleClubSandwich: We will continue to blog here. ~> Sign up to get our updates “The Global People Club Sandwich”.

~> Guest Bloggers: We accept guest bloggers if you meet our guidelines.

 

 

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Other Channels


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***Global Mobility Folks***

Please join the Expatise Academy Portal for group chat and online support. We offer a very special #COVID19 deal on the full content right now.

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***Trainers and Coaches***

– If you’re moving to online coaching and want to try out the #RockMeApp email me to angela@globalpeopletransitions.com. We can help you move from physical 1:1 to online in a GDPR-compliant way.

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HireMe! now for Post-Covid19 Talks and Workshops on

Global Mobility, Expat Experience, Global Talent and Leadership Development, Culture Transformation, Transcultural Communication, Diversity and Inclusion, Social Recruiting, Global Talent Acquisition, Digital Organization of your Global, Virtual Teams, Global Career Planning, and Transition Planning for Expats and Expat Spouses.