Today is March 17th, 2020. By now, the corona pandemic has paused public life all over Europe. As of today, the WHO reports over 170,000 confirmed cases and just over 7,000 deaths. Stock markets are crashing, shops are closing, and companies are struggling to adapt to the changing boundary conditions on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis. Earlier today, Volkswagen and Opel announced to shut down production facilities in Europe to cope with the crisis.
Today is March 15, 2020. By now, the corona pandemic has far-reaching consequences for public and private life around the globe. As of today, the WHO reports over 150,000 confirmed cases and almost 6,000 deaths. Countries and companies are issuing travel bans; theaters, music halls, cinemas, gyms, restaurants, and shops as well as schools and daycare facilities are closing down.
The crisis is creating an enormous workload for many: Healthcare professionals are working 24/7, caring for those infected (as well as for other patients) and engaging in research to find a cure or a vaccine.
Für 2020 habe ich – anders als in vorigen Jahren – keine Neujahrsvorsätze aufgeschrieben, sondern zwanzig Wünsche formuliert, die aus meiner Sicht dazu beitragen können, dass unser Zusammenleben in den anbrechenden Zwanzigzwanzigerjahren möglichst gut funktioniert.
Ich wünsche mir für die 2020er…
… Paketdienste, die Pakete zum erwarteten Zeitpunkt an den Empfänger liefern, für den sie bestimmt sind (1/20);
Seit Ende der vergangenen Woche gibt es auf Instagram einen Account mit dem Handle 12062020olympia. Innerhalb weniger Stunden zog der Account so viele Follower an, dass Instagram ihn für einen Bot hielt und vorübergehend deaktivierte. Der Account gehört zu einer Crowdfunding-Kampagne auf Startnext, die Geld für “Die größte BürgerInnenversammlung Deutschlands im Olympiastadion Berlin mit bis zu 90.000 Menschen” einsammelt.
Last Friday, in many countries around the world, millions were out on the streets to protest for action against climate change. In Germany, hundreds of thousands of people gathered in more than 500 towns. Over the weekend, newspapers and social media buzzed with photos showing large crowds in public places; many of my friends and acquaintances posted their own snapshots from the protest marches.
“Hellhound”, you whisper under your breath, “hellhound, ghoul, vampire, or skeleton. What kind of algorithm would that be?!”. You just got the results for the ‘personality under rigoruous examination’ (p.u.r.e.) test you took with the reputable Visionary Institute for Xpertise (VIX). You had hoped to get some indications for possible alternative careers once your current contract runs out, but somehow it seems these suggestions are not very practical.
“You are nominated!”, says a letter from the Union of Inspiring Wigbigwannabees (UIW). Surprisingly, you have been nominated for this year’s supercalifragilistic award for global expialidociousness (s.a.g.e.), a prestigious worldwide prize in recognition of outstanding leadership achievements. In the spirit of sustainability, the winner receives nothing but a ripe apple, so there are many stories about what past winners did with their award apples: some made apple sauce, some dried their apples, and one recent winner let it rot over months, posting daily pictures of its ongoing decay on social media.
“They’ve been stealing cattle from our giant competitor’s meadows”, reports Tiv, head of your company’s task force for what is stressing everyone (w.i.s.e.). “Who?”, you ask. “The guys and girls from the legal department”, Tiv says. “Apparently, they met offsite early in the morning before work to prepare some missing documentation for the supervisory board meeting. And then they were suddenly caught leading our competitor’s cattle backwards off the grounds”.
“Rage!”, exclaims Siu, “Black and murderous rage!”. Siu reports back from the first day of your company’s annual session for honoring all reasonable projects (s.h.a.r.p.). The session was established a few years ago to have all members of the top 200 present which of their past projects worked and which failed. The group is then supposed to jointly agree on the set of projects for the next six months. “They got into fights about everything. From apples to belts, from ships to horses – everything”. “I heard about it already”, you say, “but speak and tell the tale once more”.
“Horse whispering!”, cries Rit. “They want all female staff members to take obligatory horse whispering courses! On some remote Greek island! With evenings spent reciting Sapphic poetry! It’s going to cost us a fortune!”. Rit leads your company’s unit for effective regulations on spending (e.r.o.s.). “Horse whispering?”, you ask. “Yes”, replies Rit. “All female staff members?”, you ask. “Yes”, replies Rit. “Why?”, you ask.