WUR is working from home. For now, there is no alternative. But how are we doing? Maarten Voors, a lecturer at the chair group Development Economics, tells us how he is doing.
‘I just told the children they must be quiet, but, nevertheless, I just moved outside. I work from 8.30 AM to 1.30 PM, during which time my wife Anna mentors the children (9 and 6 years old). My wife is employed in the cultural sector, which has pretty much come to a standstill. I spend the afternoons undertaking activities with the children. We are fortunate to have a large garden, so they spend a lot of time outdoors.
‘My work is undoubtedly affected by the corona crisis. The list of things I am failing to complete on time is endless. Not only is my work-day shorter, everything takes more time. This means setting priories. Education and PhD candidates come first. The research comes later, so I am falling back in that department.
‘I have three projects in Sierra Leone. Five international research assistants are involved, all of whom have remained there. However, all fieldwork has ceased. It is safe to assume that we won’t be able to carry out any fieldwork for the next year. Research funding organisations such as the NWO may not be fully aware of this. We are only able to collect digital data, which poses a significant challenge, if not impossibility, in remote areas of Sierra Leone.
‘Whether new things emerge in corona isolation? I play a lot of chess with the children’