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Working together in times of COVID-19

Our situation changed drastically this March. The COVID-19 pandemic forced a rapid transition to online teaching and working from home. It was also a challenging period for me as acting ombudsperson. Did people have trouble getting in touch? Things got quiet for a while, but people found their way to my online 'office' pretty soon. It's been busy ever since, and I really appreciate that. I also learned a lot over the past period and explored some subjects in my field in greater depth.

UvA studies on the impact of COVID measures on student and staff well-being (the crisis monitor) show that we are currently experiencing considerable work pressure and academic workloads. So what can we do to keep students and staff engaged with their work and studies? And how is the situation affecting our mental health and undesirable behaviour? I discussed those issues with different people and read a lot of articles. I ended up writing an article so I could explore some of these things in greater depth and share them.

The crisis monitor also shows that both students and staff need some sense of a way forward. At the time of writing this blog, we are still in the midst of serious measures with a major impact on our daily lives. Meanwhile, working and studying online has also become a more important part of my day-to-day work. We're starting to refer to this period as the 'Age of COVID' rather than a COVID pandemic. We'll definitely be working and learning from home for some time to come. Our challenge lies in working together to make sure it all goes as smoothly as possible.

I am always available to staff and students who want to talk about any problems, complaints or ideas they would like to discuss. If necessary, I will take action, either via telephone, email or Zoom. Please feel free to get in touch!

Jacqueline Schoone

T: +31 (0)6 1186 0520