Friday, May 22nd 2020
Our mission as a paint producer? To make the world a little nicer. To protect and beautify what we value with sustainable paint products made in a sustainable way. That is our goal.
Author: Marlies van Wijhe, CEO Koninklijke Van Wijhe Verf
And while we are very busy with that, the world around us comes to a standstill. COVID-19 holds everything and everyone in its grip. It feels like the British say so beautifully ‘surreal’. We have ended up in a pandemic for which zoologists and scientists warned in vain. As chairman of the Future for Nature foundation, I was perhaps better informed than average. I have two great passions: making paint and everything that goes with it. And biology.
That last passion brought me on the path of Future for Nature and in contact with people who are committed to nature protection and conservation of biodiversity. So yes, I know about the risks we run if we continue to reduce the habitat of animals. The smaller the distance between humans and animals, the greater the risk of a pandemic. And yet I, too, am scared out of my wits. Over the past twenty years, we have had a number of warnings that blew over, but this time it is serious.
The COVID-19 virus causes contradictions. It frightens people and connects them at the same time. It leads to hoarding and sharing. To deserted shops and restaurants and to enthusiastic handymen who make their own little world a bit nicer. Painting is in full swing, so there is still plenty of work to be done at our company. At a distance, but we can continue. Other entrepreneurs see their life’s work collapsing before their eyes and are looking with all their might for ways to survive.
I look with different eyes at the Black Death and the Spanish Influenza that we mainly know from the history books. Suddenly we understand better how our ancestors must have felt during those periods. We know so much more nowadays, but the world is still not makeable. What we do know is that people have always been inventive. In times of disaster, we innovate. Since the Spanish Influenza in 1918 a lot of new knowledge has been acquired, which is now being used worldwide to contain the virus. Until there is a vaccine, we have to be very careful with each other. And above all, think carefully about the importance and fragility of the earth’s ecosystems.
Recently, someone sent me a nice article by the renowned psychologist Jamil Zaki; he called on people not to talk about Social Distancing at this time, but about Distant Socializing. We, as Koninklijke Van Wijhe Verf, immediately acted on this, because it does indeed sound a lot friendlier and more social. This is another way we can make the world a little nicer together. Do you want to join us? #DistantSocializing