News - March 26, 2020

Two subjects

Guido Camps

A column should really only address one subject, but today my daughter interrupted my online consultation, sporting her unicorn hairband and singing ‘Let it go’ from the film Frozen. In other words, everything’s different in these extraordinary coronavirus times, so I’m taking the odd liberty as well.

Guido Camps (34) is a vet and a postdoc at the Human Nutrition department. He enjoys baking, beekeeping and unusual animals.

First I want to come back to the subject of pensions, having had angry emails from readers saying: ‘I have a right to my pension and there is enough.’ Now I don’t begrudge anyone a pension, but I don’t begrudge myself one either, so I’m sticking to my point that a low coverage ratio is a necessity. Postponing cutting it is stealing from the younger generation. But you’ll see now that these strange coronavirus times and their impact on the stock market will be used by the senior citizens’ associations as an argument for not cutting it now, in exceptional times. Sounds logical… Except that even at my relatively young age I have already witnessed the following ‘exceptional circumstances’: the dotcom crisis, the financial crisis of 2008, the Greek crisis, Brexit and now the coronavirus crisis. I’d like to think the next 30 years of my career will be less eventful, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

Anyway, I don’t really have time to think about my pension now. Because, like me, everyone I know is working flat out from a house full of unicorn daughters to teach and digitalize courses. I wish them all luck, and I’m finding it inspiring to see how hard everyone is working to keep the university going from a safe distance. As we say in Dutch: strength, everyone!