September 11, 2020 COVID-19 Series: Checking in on maxceem in Ukraine

Where are you from and what is the Covid situation in your country right now?
I’m from Kharkiv, Ukraine. After 1-2 months of lockdown, everything has been slowly opened and now there are almost no restrictions except for wearing masks on public transportation and inside shops, rules which are poorly followed. As Ukraine has adapted to quarantine now, some cities have additional restrictions, like prohibited concerts or closed gyms. The number of daily cases continues to grow so it’s hard to predict where we will end up in the near future.

What were the major changes/challenges in your daily life during this crisis? (As pertaining to work, family, free time, etc.)
The hardest thing is to find a balance between reasonable safety precautions and the desire to have a normal active life, especially taking into account contradictory data about the danger level this new virus brings. On the one hand, I would like to participate in social activities, enjoy time with friends in a cafe, or go out for some event. On the other hand, there is some risk of getting the virus and I don’t want to end up in the hospital which provides quite bad treatment. I especially fear transferring the virus to my parents who are more at risk than me.

Is your work at home life affected by any family members living at home? Spouse, children, pets?
I’m currently living on my own. And as I’ve been working from home all my life I didn’t have any difficulties, even during the times when someone was living with me.

Did you discover any new hobby/ passion during this period?
Lockdown was a very productive time for discovering new things as there was nothing else to do. As gyms were closed I started doing yoga to have some physical activity. I completed a 30-day yoga challenge during the lockdown, and continue to do some yoga exercises. I’ve also started learning how to create music on the computer and to learn to play the piano. However, my passion for music faded away as soon as the strict lockdown finished and I could go outside. I’ve also replaced the gym with outdoor workouts as going to enclosed spaces like gyms didn’t sound appealing even after the strict lockdown was canceled. So I’m planning to keep up the outdoor activities until it becomes too cold outside.

Was there a place you planned to travel that you couldn’t make it to?
For the last five years, I’ve been living in Bali, Indonesia. I came back to Ukraine for a summer and had tickets back to Bali at the end of September. However, the airline canceled the ticket and Indonesia closed its borders  to foreigners at least until the end of the year. So I cannot go back for now. Most of my stuff was left there as I came with only small cabin baggage. I also had a plan to go to Italy with my family this summer which didn’t happen. But anyway, I’m enjoying staying in Ukraine for now, after being absent for 5 years, it got a lot better here.

Did you use your experience as a remote worker to help others (friends, family) to cope with the new reality?
My family came back to their onsite activities as soon as lockdown restrictions were lifted. And some friends successfully started working remotely by themselves. So it appeared nobody needed my help 🙂

What did you learn during Covid that will improve your life after?
I finally started a side project which I was thinking about for a while. It’s very interesting to handle a project not only from the technical point of view but also from the product point of view and to learn how to attract people. Hopefully one day I will create a successful project by myself.

How do you think the future will change after Covid ends at a global level?
I think the idea of remote work from exotic locations will become normal and people will start seeing big benefits from it. More and more people will understand that remote work gives them the ability to choose a better place to live. So people might move from the big cities to some nice spots on the Earth to fulfill their dreams. 


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