‘Love in the Time of Cholera’ is a novel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. In this story, a man has to wait fifty-one years, nine months, and four days for his great love. While writing this newsletter, our quarantine lasted two weeks and will be extended by four weeks. Although not fifty years, still very difficult.
Love in Corona times is, of course, about caring for our children, our family, the elderly, our neighbours and the vulnerable in society. Love for work is not a vanished nowadays. We see people in health care fighting for their patients, teachers squeezing in all sorts of digital bends to teach students, and supermarket staff working overtime to meet our hamster needs. The best comes out in people.
The love for the own company is put to the test. Entrepreneurs have been discussing recently when the new crisis would come and how it would manifest, but no one expected this to happen in the form of a virus that decided to switch to another animal species at a wet market in China. Fortunately, in these turbulent times in a well-built society, government and business are no opposites. Our governments support companies, just as companies and their employees have in turn laid the foundations for prosperity and sound public finances through taxation.
Doing business in times of Corona: the previous crisis hit Triple E hard. As a result, we have become extremely conservative in our business operations, in particular our funding. We have more than a year’s work and strong equity and sufficient capital. That was of course also the goal for the previous crisis, only at that time Triple E existed just 1.5 years, so the time to build up a solid foundation was very short. That is different now. All in all, it does not hurt to learn from a crisis. For us, the idealism has remained, but it is based more on a business approach. We also learned that a family business is best equipped for this.
Love in times of Corona. What are the lessons? Even more than in the previous crisis, which was mainly economic in nature, the Corona crisis will force us to think about how we live our lives. It is in fact a true systemic crisis. Do we continue to transport goods all around the world? Must children aged 18 have a nice gap year in which they can travel around the world all alone to ‘clear their head?’ Didn’t the walk through the park with grandma we made this week make at least such a beautiful memory? Wasn’t the silence outside without the noise of airplanes and seeing the crystal clear starry sky due to the lack of smog as if you were thrown back to your youth forty years for those with time of life? The answer is easy to guess.
We will see what the lessons are. We are going to experience it. What we do know is that we from Triple E, close as we are, neatly keep 1.5 meters away, but we are looking forward to the time when we can take selfies again like this, of the team that always works at Phytorefinery the Growing Place (Fytoraffinaderij de Groeiplaats) on Saturday.
We wish everyone a lot of love in times of Corona. And oh yes, especially read a good book.