When Corona reached us
A dream that many soccer fans have: watching the great Liverpool FC at Anfield Road for once. Once back in Stuttgart, everything went fast - Corona takes over large parts of our lives. A look back.
As I take my seat in the stands at Anfield Road on March 7, all is still right with the world. Very much so! For the first time, I'm sitting in the venerable Kop - a childhood dream come true. Liverpool FC is hosting AFC Bournemouth. Three wins are still missing for the first championship title in 30 years. Jürgen Klopp's team is playing a record-breaking season. And I'm right in the middle of it. Salah scores, Mané scores, Liverpool wins 2:1. You'll never walk alone. Goosebumps.
At that point, I had no idea - like many others in Germany - what Europe was in for from mid-March. The first signs of a crisis were visible, but not with the sharpness, the force, the sustainability, and the speed with which it was approaching us. At the beginning of March, I had little time to concern myself with day-to-day politics; there was a lot going on, my schedule was jam-packed. So, I was all the happier to spend a weekend with friends, to be offline.
Back from Liverpool: Corona casts its shadow ahead
Back in Germany, on my last day off, Monday, March 9, I attended the second-division top match between VfB Stuttgart and Arminia Bielefeld. 1:1, not a particularly thrilling game. The week that lay ahead of us was much more thrilling. In the evening after the game, I had some time to devote to the subject of Corona for the first time. China. Iran. Italy. A feeling of unease began to spread. You can see the tunnel coming, but you don't know how dark, how curvy, or how long it will be.
By the end of the week, the time had come. We arrived at the Corona tunnel. On Saturday, March 14, Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn gave the recommendation for voluntary quarantine. Starting in the evening, I wrote an email to the Digacon team in Stuttgart and ordered the entire team to the home office.
What are the consequences of Corona? And how do we deal with it?
From then on everything went very quickly: Firmly committed projects were canceled. Tough decisions and talks were on the agenda. We had to put some employees on short-time work, we gave notice on office space. It was more gratifying that we were able to continue working for our customers without any major interruptions. At the beginning of the lockdown, the coordination effort increased. But our customers and we quickly realized that we could also work remotely, save travel costs, and thus gain time.
Of course, our people business is all about personal interaction, small talk over a cup of coffee, a quick chat in the elevator, or dinner with customers. In times of a contact freeze, this important social component suddenly disappeared. However, we have also experienced the positive aspects of the Corona crisis: digitalization topics have moved into focus at almost all companies, and the virus is acting as a booster here. We are convinced that the long-term consequences of the Corona crisis will trigger a surge in innovation and digitalization, especially among medium-sized companies.