By gimmeacamera ・4 comments

On Tuesday 17 March, France declared its official lockdown. Italy has already spent a week in confinement. European borders are closing one after another. The US is trying to prepare for the same restrictions as COVID-19 keeps spreading around the world. Beside panicking and checking on our friends and family to make sure they stay home, what else can we do?

We can work. That’s what we’re good at, right? At Women Make, we are mostly used to working remotely. But how do you find the strength and focus to do it whilst your phone keeps reminding you of the apocalypse outside?

A few of us at Women Make met up on Zoom to share ideas, jokes and good news. Here’s what happened for those who missed it.

It’s ok not to be productive
We can all try and use the extra time we spend at home to commit to writing a novel, learning Korean or engaging in a massive spring cleaning.

However, those of you already in confinement know it’s not realistic. At least, not immediately. The first few days, you do not work. There’s too much to organise, too many loved ones you want to make sure are going to be safe and responsible. You are going to have to adjust to having your partner, your kids or your roommates around more than usual. So, for the first few days and until you settle down, it’s fine if you don’t work. Don’t add unnecessary pressure on yourself right now.

Set up dates
If you’re not yet in confinement or have been for a while, maybe you can commit to work again. But if your mind still wanders, then a good tip we shared with each other is to set up dates. Virtual ones, obviously.

Do you want to do some kind of home gym? Fine. Ask your coach if he’s willing to organise them on Zoom and invite a few people to a session. Or do it with 2-3 friends. Commit to a day and time where you will actually have to show up. It works.

It’s the same thing for work. Do you want to do 2-3 hours of work without interruption? Commit to do it with a few people you know. People who will show up on time and be silent on Zoom with you, working. Accountability works like magic when you want to get things done.

Learn something new
Maybe you feel like you’re not impacted so much right now, even if the rest of the world is. And that’s totally ok too.

So why not take advantage of these crazy times to learn something new or just improve on something? At Women Make, we have the advantage of combining 1000s of skills. Check the list below of the members who offered help. And feel free to add yourself in the comments and contact other members for their guidance. You can also search through all Women Make members by skills on this page.

@bhumi1102 - code, javascript, backend development
@laradurrant - kids & young people, code education, drawing, piano, fun silly things
@justirma - user research, finding people to talk to in surveys, setting up questions
@Clo_O - UX design, conversational design, UX research - French lessons
@amymcmai - Singing, piano, building habits
@mariesta14 - mobile & apps development, being a nomad
@claudiagonal - food industry, coding, javascript, Mexican cooking
@yuliyaseregina27 - product, SAAS, B2B, targeting big companies, Russian, copywriting, CVs
@GabrielaRadu - REST APIs, Android development
@Lynoure - how to make a corset (!!!)
@stephsmith - writes about product trends, working remotely and finding remote work
@gimmeacamera - business development & marketing, UX design and UX journey, CVs & cover letters
@marie_dm - iOS development, launching on Product Hunt

Good news and positive thinking
Memes are not the only thing we talked about in our session. But I gotta share with you what made me laugh the most yesterday. If you find yourself giggling hysterically to memes and videos of people DJ-ing on the stove (like this genius), that’s fine. You’re allowed. There’s a pandemic outside, chill in any way you can. It’s good for your immune system.

Among the other good news we discussed:

Bhumi’s brother-in-law was able to leave the hospital before the madness and he’s safe, at home.

Lynoure is grateful for spring coming because she can see the trees blossom from her window. People are also kinder than usual. Note: France is still waiting for that sort of after-side effect, but we might be naturally immune to it.

Lara is grateful for people coming together, especially online.

Gabi raised money with a lot of people to donate to their local hospital. If you want to do the same thing, try to find a company that will match the amount raised and help you amplify your efforts.

I mentioned that a French hospital tested an anti-malaria medication on COVID-19 patients and saved 75% of them. Science is on it. It’s going to be ok.

In Venice, Italy, water goes crystal clear for the first time (ever) since people are in confinement. And it’s beautiful.

We can’t solve it on our own but we can definitely be decent, share positive news like these and stay-the-fuck-home.

Be safe everyone.

Your comment

Thank you for sharing! Navigating this is quite challenging for everyone!

I found that switching from work to something like creative hobbies after work actually helps to stay more productive and focused the next day, it helps to switch our brain for something absolutely different than work and news.

  • Knitting
  • Drawing (find a Youtube video and try watercolors or anything you like, it's very meditative)
  • Cooking, following a totally new recipe
  • Calligraphy
  • Old good puzzles
  • Or something else you like or always wanted to try. It's time to do it!

Also @Clo_O created a Women Make subgroup to think about ways to help with the pandemic. If you're interested, join here 👉


Love it! Thank you for putting this together Tamara 💜 Let's stay home, take care of ourselves, & try to make this as pleasant as possible!