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September 21, 2020 COVID-19 Series: Checking on kiril.kartunov in Bulgaria

Where are you from and what is the Covid situation in your country right now?
I am from Bulgaria and live there currently. It is a small country in Eastern Europe that contributed to relatively small numbers of infections at the beginning of the pandemic. Unfortunately, with lockdown over and summer stepping in, (tourism is a big part of the economy in the country), cases jumped significantly. I hope the situation here will take a turn for the better during the autumn when people are back to work and home from vacations.

What were the major changes/challenges in your daily life during this crisis? (As pertaining to work, family, free time, etc.)
There were many challenges to handle in this unusual situation. Having the kids at home and not being allowed to go out is a full-time joy to live with 🙂

Is your work at home life affected by any family members living at home? Spouse, children, pets?
They understand the importance of me working and we have reduced interruptions to a minimum.

Did you discover any new hobby/ passion during this period?
Forest tracking for the day is not a new passion but brought us a lot of fun during the weekends. It feels safe to drive outside the city and walk for several hours in nature.

Was there a place you planned to travel that you couldn’t make it to?
Yeah, there were many plans. Unfortunately, plans are to be broken 🙂 I enjoy travel and had plans to visit friends in Germany, travel south for the summer, and fly to the US for TCO… but I guess this all moves to next year for us travelers.

Did you use your experience as a remote worker to help others (friends, family) to cope with the new reality?
We at Topcoder were working remotely long before the pandemic thus it was relatively easy to jump into the new situation. For some friends it was not that easy and we discussed how to work from home wearing slippers 🙂

What did you learn during Covid that will improve your life after?
I spent the time taking courses and exams to certify myself and improve in my career. I have taken the Contentful Certificate Professional exam and learned the basics of the Kotlin language.

How do you think the future will change after Covid ends at a global level?
Covid changed many aspects of life. People are now more socially distant than before which has negative consequences. I hope when the pandemic ends traveling will be back to “normal”. Globally, technologies like Zoom and Slack picked up and are here to stay. We are not traveling to the other side of the word just for a day to meet someone. Now you do this over Zoom.


James Marquez


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