I was 15 when the war came to my town. I have just finished 1st class of high school and sent the first article to IT magazine, the second one (already agreed) was never sent as I have no place for my computer in the basement where I lived with my family whole summer and autumn of that year.
Such disruption in the life of a teenager is a horrible thing, but it was much more horrible for my parents who had to go to work every day even though there was shelling every day. Sleeping in the basement and “going above ground” during the time in a day when there was no danger meant that the life has almost stopped for me, but the worst case was that we didn’t know how long it will last and what will be the outcome as we were afraid that our town and the whole part of the country could be occupied.
On September 17th 1991 one of thousands of grenades that were shelled to the city hit my house. We were in the basement, no one was injured, but our living room was destroyed. The same day, when the shelling stopped we started to clean and fix up the room. Furniture was destroyed, but after a day or two, the room was empty but liveable. I was astonished that on the third day my parents bought a completely new set of furniture and placed it in the living room. We were in the middle of the war, but they were sure that we won’t be hit again. This was the right spirit (and they were right).
(this is my grandpa clearing the room)
Even in such conditions, life haven’t stopped, there was not a day where the basic shops weren’t open. There were no shortages of power, water, gas and even petrol in special conditions where the town was encircled from 3 sides and the front line was literally on the city borders.
In difficult times it is important to stay calm, listen to advice and try to make life as normal as it can be. Schools were closed reopened only after the armistice during summer next year – kids were able to finish their classes in two summer months to be able to continue normally in September ‘92.
Of course, times of isolation could not compare to the times of war and we are now 30 years in the future from the first part of my story. Internet and telecommunications are making our home-islands connected and many of us are capable to work from home. Everyday life is now changed in many manners, but many of us can still be productive.
Daily standups, regular meetings, telcos – however it is called are now crucial to be able to keep going and do all work tasks as normal. Connection with the team and keeping an eye on all milestones are crucial to continue in these conditions where there is no single person in most offices.
I’m having a small ritual with my working colleagues – 15 mins coffee at the start of the day and we are doing it remotely. Workdays should look as normal as they could even though times are not normal.