A Pandemic Is Just Like Playing Frogger

The Team Goes on a Lockdown Creative Spree

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Collage of different home-made items. A pair of knitted blue slippers on a pair of feet. A grey jeans skirt made out of old jeans. A bowl of pasta, a stack of pancakes, a brioche braid and a layered chocolate dessert. A terrarium in a tightly closed jar, layers of sand, wood and greenery. A little plastic koala is in the jar as well, peeking out from amidst the greenery.

I can’t believe another month has passed. It feels like time is both standing still and moving at the speed of light.

Sometimes, I have moments where I find everything quite surreal. As someone who’s worked from home/remotely for almost six years, not much has changed for me — technically. I work, I take care of the dogs, I work out, I garden, I make stuff, I spend time with my wife, I chat with friends.

Except now there is this added mental load of living in a pandemic. Shopping has become more exhausting, getting prescriptions and going to the pharmacy is a scary ordeal, and even getting post delivered is a minor event of handling and potentially disinfecting things. And walking on the street is just like playing Frogger.

We’re building our own little ecosystems

It turns out a good way to get yourself through a pandemic is to pick up some hobbies, old and new, to make things or repurpose things, to create something. Have a look at what our team members are doing to make the lockdown more bearable.

Our head of marketing Dani was desperately trying to keep herself away from the computer after work, so she knitted herself some cosy slippers.

Swat.io’s content marketer Carina is turning clothes that didn’t spark joy anymore into new clothes:

Social wall post by Carina showing a jeans skirt made out of an old pair of jeans. The caption reads: “I decluttered my wardrobe and decided to turn two old pairs of jeans I haven’t been wearing for a while into skirt My motivation was that I want to become better at sewing, and I love the idea of upcycling old clothes.”

Swat.io’s people manager Steffi has rediscovered her love of cooking and baking:

Social wall post by Steffi showing an image of four different home-cooked foods: a bowl of pasta, a stack of pancakes, a brioche braid and a layered chocolate dessert. The caption reads: “During this lockdown, I’ve gotten back into the habit of planning ahead and have managed to regularly cook fresh (and mostly healthy) food. The baking is mostly to make my two kids happy.”

And our Walls.io designer Magdalena has created a plant terrarium. From scratch! With a little handmade koala in it!

Social wall post by Magda. The image shows a terrarium in a tightly closed jar, layers of sand, wood and greenery. A little plastic koala is in the jar as well, peeking out from amidst the greenery. The caption reads: “One of the reasons I created it (besides the 90 Euros I wasn’t willing to pay for it 😛) was because I was curious about the fact that you create the terrarium, close it, and then it is an ecosystem on its own that you don't even need to water. I wanted to know if it was true.”

It strikes me how fitting Magda’s terrarium is as a metaphor for our current times, with all of us living in our own little ecosystems and barely venturing outside but surviving because we keep our doors locked for the time being.

Meanwhile, our online marketing manager Veronika has simply focused on making her “commute” to work more fun — and ours by extension, thanks to this video 😉

What else we’ve been up to

Aside from all the fun and amazing things we’ve been creating in our spare time, we’ve also tried to create some good old content for everyone.

We’ve set up a coronavirus information hub with two social walls. One of them is providing COVID-19 news, while the other one serves up content to distract you a bit from the current situation.

Screenshot of a social wall set up for the hashtag #FlattenTheCurve, featuring information and tips for the public.

But, more than that, we’ve written up a handy little tutorial for how you can use a social wall to create your own information or entertainment hub in general. While our example hub may be coronavirus-related, you can really use this for any kind of news hub that you want to embed on your website or show at an event (for when events are a thing again).

We’ve also published a coronavirus-related showcase last month, featuring the Georgia Tech Alumni Association. Merely a week after the campus was closed, the university’s alumni realised how hard the lockdown would be on students and set up a social wall as a way of sending students supportive messages from afar. We love how quickly they reacted and started to figure out a way to help these young people who’ve just had the rug pulled out from under them.

And now for something completely unrelated to this damn pandemic: We just really love this video by Swiss organisation Pro Infirmis, advocating for diversity in fashion and the way fashion is presented in shop windows: