The world is facing a pandemic that has disrupted our lives in unprecedented ways. At first, we heard that it was just like the Flu, and nothing much to worry about. Now we are in the unknown, but the ministry of health here in Denmark is very sure – it is a crisis.

Like many other countries, Denmark has declared a lockdown since the 13th of March to contain the spread of the virus and protect the health system. This means that all non-essential activities are suspended, including conferences, events, and social gatherings. As a result, I have to work from home for the foreseeable future. I have been working from home occasionally for the past few years, whenever I needed more flexibility or concentration.

I have to admit that I feel anxious and uncertain about what is happening and what will happen. I am glued to updates from the CDC and the European health authority. How long will this last? How will this affect our partners and colleagues? How will this change the world as we know it?

I don’t have the answers to these questions, and it seems neither does anyone else. Yet, the authorities are urging calm and rational behavior. Wear a mask. Avoid large groups. We can remain connected by technology. Despite facing a common and perhaps existential enemy, we are also divided by different opinions – US mass media is disgusting – the misinformation and what I would call disinformation – intentional sharing of bad information is rampant and the usual geopolitical shenanigans are ever-present.

This last month I’ve been focusing on the positive aspects of working from home. I am grateful that I have a job that allows me to do so. I am fortunate that I have a computer and an internet connection that enable me to communicate and collaborate with my colleagues and clients. I am privileged that I have a comfortable and safe place to live and work, my apartment. Despite lockdown I am fortunate for good access to supermarkets and all the necessities.

I realize that not everyone has these advantages. Many people have to work in ways that expose them to higher risks of infection. Many people have to cope with inadequate or unstable living conditions that make working from home impossible or impractical. Even more don’t have access to the food and resources they need as lockdowns prevent all “unnecessary” movement.

I worry for them, and when we are on calls with our partners across the global south, my heart aches.



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