Written by Marion Aufseesser

3 April 2020

Dear Reader,

Once again thanks for being with me! I realise everyone is flooded with news, propositions etc. So, I do not take it for granted that you are taking your time to be with me.

We are ending our 3rd business week in COVID-19 confinement mode in Geneva, Switzerland.

Every pandemic changes society profoundly.

Check what Fabrice D’ALMEIDA and Yuval HARARI have to say about the current pandemic and the history of pandemics.

It’s too early to say what will change after COVID-19…for good.

How do you feel right now?

“Different folks – different strokes” I don’t think we can now generalise what will change. Maybe changes will occur according to different cultures around the world and to our specific personalities and values.

My guess is we have all changed already. For good? Will we go back to the past? How far? The future will tell.

Three weeks into confinement I find there is a quality of silence in the city, or rather the suburb where I live, a 10 minutes’ drive from Geneva city center.

Hardly any traffic at all.

I live near the airport: again, hardly any air traffic. Maybe one flight every 40 minutes. Usually a plane every 2 minutes.


What is breaking the silence these days?

Police cars and ambulances.

And even those seem to have become quite rare these days.

Every evening people at their windows are clapping their hands, thanking those who are still working. And not only the medical staff.

Mental health care specialists are calling out to protect the medical staff by following the rules: STAY AT HOME; they are telling us that hailing the medical staff as HEROES is not such a good idea as HEROES by definition should not complain.

The medical staff should however be able to say “Stop – I need a break!”

It is counterproductive therefore to call them HEROES as it does not allow them to follow the Emotional Curve I recently wrote about. HEROES don’t have breaks. Therefore we should not call them heroes but amazing people, in fact, everybody who keep it going while we are confined.

All those involved in either taking care of COVID-19 patients or other people involved in keeping our infrastructures up and running are just like us: human beings, with emotions.

They don’t have red buttons which they can press on STOP and not feel anything.

They may even feel more anxiety and fear than we do, sitting in our homes, albeit confined but only with a television link to ICU wards or any other places where we may be confronted with the virus, be it in public transportation, a shop, or the post office.


After a few weeks into confinement I can safely say that I have a set routine. I get up at my usual time and am at my desk by 09.00am. The only differences right now are that my husband (of 35 years) is also home working and that we pretty much take care of the chores to be done before we start our day.

We are fortunate to have two distinct working stations. I have kept my office and my husband has found his own favorite spot.

We have lunch together which is a novelty. It is breaking the silence!

At the end of the afternoon we usually try to make a health break and go for a good walk.

Again, we are fortunate and are making these walks into “urban safaris” trying to do another walk every day and trying to discover some new spots every day.

I send a QUIZZ picture from these walks every day to certain groups of friends. They can guess where we were, it’s a way to break the day for those who can’t go out at all.

It’s Friday again.

Last week I invited you to start the weekend doing something special.

Today I am inviting you for week 4 to think about a hobby, or a home project you always wanted to do but never got a chance to get to it. Now is the time! Or start learning a new skill, be it work related or more personal, you decide! The idea is to keep an organised and balanced schedule. Keep the week activities balanced just as you would for your food!

Do stay@home, but please do stay in touch and let me and others know what you are doing to stay safe, well and maybe even thrive in some ways.

Take care