How the "corona situation" changed us, Part III

Novaston

We asked our employees how they spend their days in “isolation”. What, in their opinion, will change the situation with the corona virus, and what will personally change something when all this is over.

Mladen Mladenović, Senior Associate in Business Planning, Novaston Asset Management: Just before the state of emergency was to be declared, I came to the decision to move away from Belgrade and go back to my hometown of Zaječar with my family. Together with my parents, my wife, and my children, I am savoring each day, surrounded by the peacefulness of our front yard. This makes me feel like I am making up for everything that the hectic pace of life in a city like Belgrade, the professional responsibilities, as well as the parental ones prevented me from being able to pull off. Generally speaking, I believe that this situation has shown us that family comes first and that we are in short supply of everything else (social/financial and other components), but we can indeed make do without it — or even be better off at times. An economic crisis is imminent, and its consequences will be even more palpable after the Covid-19 era ends. It will be difficult, but I am certain that — at least in Serbia (on account of all the events we have faced since the 1990s to this day) — we will still be able to pull through all of this easier compared with some other countries in Europe and the world (at least psychologically, if not financially). As for myself, the isolation period has allowed me to know myself a lot better and discover some traits that I might not have had time to uncover/explore/use in regular circumstances. In this respect, I believe that when the pandemic ends, I will definitely be stronger and a touch more experienced and prepared in some thorny situations.

Kristina Klašnić, Financial Assistant, Novaston: I think the current situation is actually a boomerang of the way we have lived so far. Nature has found its way to snap people out of it. This is a time of great temptation for all of us and we must make the most of it. Now is the right time to look at who we are, how much we respect ourselves, what example we set to others, as well as to more appreciate our freedom and time spent with family and friends. This is a reminder to all of us that we are indeed equals and passers-by on this planet. I believe that this world will not be the same, and also — starting with myself — I want to believe that we will all embrace what true values in life are.

Bojan Petrović, Financial Manager, Novaston Asset Management: Aside from taking care of professional responsibilities, which fill each workday, I’m spending my free time reading books, watching films, and — something inconceivable for me until now — cooking. I have learned to make some dishes and realized that it’s really not such a big deal. As far as I am concerned, I will learn to give myself more credit and work on myself much more, starting with improving my language skills, learning, reading books... I think that being confined — being prevented from moving about — offers a slew of good opportunities for self-learning that I was not using enough. Spending the entire day in the apartment was incomprehensible to me, but now I don’t find it that hard at all.

Sandra Pekić, Public Relations Manager, Novaston Marketing Consultancy: For the first time, I am officially working from home, which has proven to be a good test for my organizational skills and discipline. My free time is limited because I’m staying with my parents, who can’t go out, but I do occasionally manage to write, draw, and even sew. I gave in to tips about “trying the things we had been planning for a long time” and I successfully planted garlic and peppers on the terrace. If only I could also bring myself to start getting exercise at home...These are exciting times. We are watching a live broadcast of the world changing, and we along with it. Online life is now the reality, innovation abounds. It will be particularly interesting to see the pandemic’s impact on people as social beings and their understanding of closeness, freedom, solidarity, and responsibility. Like most, I’m trying to hustle up some time to learn something new under the motto “if we don't get better, we will get worse.” I don't know if or what I will change on the personal level, but I do know what I won't — my people. They say that we are lucky if we have a few people who love us, and I was once again assured that I am extremely fortunate.

Josipa Glumpak, Property Manager, Novaston Croatia: Although my business responsibilities have not diminished much, working from home gives me the opportunity to use the extra time, I would otherwise spend in the car, in practicing some neglected but no less important activities. With the help of my mother-in-law, I decided to learn about gardening and agriculture (we have a greenhouse), and I'm considering using this knowledge to start an additional business - activating arable land and fields we own, that haven't been used for decades. I’m studying law because I believe that this knowledge would help me in my work after this crisis is over and the actual one begins. I returned to my long-forgotten love - exercising (quarantine is no excuse to turn into pudding!) and meditation (which helps me stay relatively normal in abnormal circumstances).The period since COVID-19 entered Croatia, with all the accompanying restrictions, I named the "back to basics" phase. A pandemic and then an earthquake, in a few short but effective minutes, reminded us that we are all connected and that caring for others is really about taking care of ourselves. At the same time, Earth and Nature have reminded us, with their incredibly rapid recovery, at the moment when humanity was imprisoned in their homes, that we only matter as much as they allow us, which is inversely proportional to our care for them. And lastly, I especially look forward to seeing the rest of my family and all the people I love. I plan to give them long hugs. Life is fragile and too short to be taken for granted, and we can never have too many hugs.

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