Not all doom and gloom: From lower crime rates to bursts of creativity, Poles are looking on the bright side of life

From lower crime rates and animals appearing in previously human-dominated areas, through to an unparalleled outburst of creativity in all spheres of life, it’s not all gloom and doom. PAP/ Twitter

From lower crime rates and animals appearing in previously human-dominated areas, through to an unparalleled outburst of creativity in all spheres of life, it’s not all gloom and doom.

In a humorous Facebook post a few days ago, Polish police politely asked criminals to refrain from unlawful activities while they’re busy with new responsibilities related to the COVID-19 pandemic. And it seems the call worked with statistics showing there has been a significant decrease in police interventions.

Police have reported lower crime rates since the outbreak began.Marcin Bielecki/PAP

According to Warsaw Police spokesman Sylwester Marczak, the number of traffic incidents fell by between 40 and 60 percent depending on the day.

“We had days when we registered even 100 traffic incidents. The last day was a total of 46 events, which means a decrease of more than 50 percent,” he added. With fewer cars on the streets of Warsaw due to the risk of coronavirus the number of collisions and accidents is dropping.

The number of people committing crime fell after Police posted a humours message on Facebook asking them to stop for the time being.Polska Policja/Facebook

To lessen the Police’s workload with checking on those under home quarantine, the Ministry of Digitalization launched the ‘Home quarantine’ app. The app uses geolocation for quarantined users to check-in with authorities and confirm they are indeed staying at home.. It also allows them to apply to local social welfare centres for delivery of food and medicines.

Although the viral news that dolphins have taken over the deserted canals in Venice proved to be untrue, Polish deer decided to take matters into their own... antlers. With Zakopane’s bustling tourist streets now empty, the hoofed animals have taken their place, strolling through the Sienkiewicz and Kościuszki streets crossroads ten minutes from the resort’s main street Krupówki.

Małgorzata Michalczyk from Colliers International said that there had been no decrease in productivity since staff began working from home.Colliers International

Need is the mother of invention and Poles have proven this proverb time and time again. With new limitations on their daily lives, they are adapting very quickly to the challenges we’re facing due to the pandemic. From a country-wide network of volunteers (over 100,000 people are now part of Visible Hand, the largest self-help movement), to sewing masks and 3D-printing protective gear for hospitals, there seems to be no limit to what Poles are capable of achieving in times of hardship.

One of the aspects of this national characteristic is the revolutionary digitalization, that seems to have happened overnight. The elastic remote work trend may stay with us for good, as research and advisory company Gartner estimates one third of employees won’t come back to the office. This battle test for remote work tools can convince the unconvinced and alleviate any fears about the effectiveness of working from home.

With no people around, Polish deer have started to casually amble down once busy streets.Twitter

Małgorzata Michalczyk, Administrative Director at Colliers International a company dealing with real estate services and investment management, said: “We transferred 240 people to flexible work overnight. Although it was a large undertaking, thanks to proper preparation it happened efficiently and without any problems.

“Both the infrastructure worked flawlessly and the team quickly coped with the sudden change. All thanks to the fact that we had the opportunity to work from home before and everyone knew how to function in this mode. Currently, the entire organization is operating normally and we do not observe even the slightest decrease in performance.”

With ‘need being the mother of invention’ Poles have adapted very quickly to the pandemic challenges from setting up a country-wide network of volunteers to sewing face masks.Adam Warżawa/PAP

All this was possible thanks to a combination of three elements: access to portable devices, such as laptops, VPNs allowing access to company’s IT resources and collaboration services –  online communicators and team management software.

The killer virus gives little reason for cheer, but even in darkness there does appear to be a little bit of light.