Tag Archives: coronavirus

Mind your own business

Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson were reflecting on their company Basecamp. As always they tried to bring it back to its core, treating Basecamp, the company, as a product. They came up with 6 things that needed to change in their eyes:

  1. No more heated discussions about sociological or political issues on the company account, that account should solely be about the work they’re doing at Basecamp;
  2. No more meddling with personal lives by pushing certain benefits, like fitness or education. What employees do —or not do— on their own time is their own business, not the company’s.
  3. Put the decision making back in the hands of the people who were hired for that. So no more committees, working groups, bureaucracy. Back to individual responsibility.
  4. No more indecisiveness or lingering. Explain it once, and then move on.
  5. No more 360 reviews, or ‘peer feedback’ for employee performance reviews. Yeah, ’nuff said.
  6. Be super aware of what it is you do, as a company. Usually that isn’t getting into social issues or getting behind certain movements. Just be responsible for what you are there for as a company.

I don’t know about you, but this so resonates with me, I just love it. Bring it back to the basics, to what is about: the work. And do not be nostalgic about perceived or assumed togetherness or camaraderie at work, just because you are being together in the same building, behind a desk from nine to five or in lots of back-to-back meetings.

That said, I am really curious where my own work and/or work in the Netherlands in general will go. Right now it is all still about digital and working remotely and all is great, as far as I am concerned.

But I fear that as soon as people start thinking there is any room (e.g. because of vaccination or infection numbers going down in some other way), there is a big chance all the steps taken could be thrown out of the window again, and we’d be back at the old ways of doing things in no time. That would be such a shame.

Let’s see what happens.

About: Changes at Basecamp

Testing, instead of vaccinating

All eyes in the Netherlands will be on the government’s evening press conference where a cautious relaxation of Covid measures is on the cards. The cabinet is expected to agree to reopening café and bar terraces under strict rules and an end to a controversial overnight curfew.

Netherlands – BBC News

This relaxation of Dutch Covid measures will take place, I think, mainly because they want to test more. Sounds illogical? Well, vaccination isn’t going very fast in the Netherlands and some people are making a lot of money from these testing schemes.

Yesterday, a surgeon at a local hospital managed to stop a big government-approved ‘test event’ where some 10,000 people were supposed to gather in Breda, in celebration of King’s Day. A petition for cancellation of the event he put online was signed a whopping 375,288 times (and counting). The petition states:


Distressed caregivers, patients on the growing waiting list, their loved ones and others


That celebrating a party with 10,000 people 400 meters from a hospital overloaded by Covid is a slap in the face of patients and caregivers

and request

Cancellation of this ill-considered pseudo-experiment.

Met 538 de zorg geminacht – Petities.nl

So you could say there is a lot of resistance here against organizing expensive events that are pushing testing, instead of actually makings strides with the vaccination program. And rightfully so, I would say, because personally, I just want everyone to be vaccinated as soon as possible.

Coronavirus — Where we’re at today?

As the Dutch are being afraid that the UK variant (and to a somewhat lesser extent the South African variant) of the coronavirus might start spreading at a higher pace here, and starts wreaking havoc on the public health system, in the US these variants are also popping up in several places, as well as a Brazilian variant apparently.

As far as I can tell, what variant they’re dealing with in California they don’t know yet. But it is apparently not the same strain as the UK one. So, either it is one of the already known variants or there is yet another mutant rearing its ugly head.

On top of that, now there are more and more signs that point at a possibility, that when the second shot of the vaccine is missed, this can help the birth of new mutations of the virus—and mutations that have an increased chance of being vaccine-resistant at that!

And I guess a worldwide vaccine strategy is becoming more important every day. As Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of the World Health Organization (WHO) said today,  it’s “not right” that younger, healthier adults in rich countries get vaccinated against COVID-19 before older people in poorer countries. I think that what he means by that (or at least I would argue this to be only logical), is that this thing is just too big for countries to decide individually what the best approach is.

Maybe with Trump out of the way, the US could make haste with joining the WHO again and fighting this thing together with the rest of the planet? Let’s see if Biden keeps his promise.