Even the birds know this by now: Covid-19 epidemic brought great changes around for everyone, including, of course, our local heroes. We decided to ask them about what changed for them and what their responses are. This is how this pleasant conversation with Janja Viher from Kungota Municipality came to be.

We spoke about her general impressions and responses in the time of Covid-19 epidemic, but also about concrete actions in the framework of SmartVillages and LiveRur projects.

Find a few translated excerpts from our talk below

How has your daily routine changed?

It's finally providing me with "normal" working hours - instead of 12- or 16-hour days I am now in the office for 8 hours and then I'm able to attend to other things.

What change surprised you the most during the quarantine time?

It surprised me to see how differently people react in a time of a crisis, which is a good thing to know. The first 14 days a lot of people were calling me to get some information on what to do, how to act, especially call from local guest houses, tourist establishments in general, but now I feel like they've adapted to the guidelines we're trying to convey to them through our projects – that digitalisation is a necessity. Now they see this is true: that they will need to learn a lot of new things and that it will be very useful for them.

Do you want anything to be different when our lives are restarted after the Covid-19 epidemic has passed?

For sure. Especially when it comes to conducting meetings and coordinating activities. I feel online meetings and online collaborations make better use of our time and resources, especially when it comes to short meetings that take too much of our time in normal circumstances just to drive there.
And I would like for this newly-discovered awareness of local products and the importance of self-sufficiency to stay, which is especially meaningful to me with all the work we do with SmartVillages project.

What role do technology and telecommunications resources currently play in your daily life?

It enables us to collaborate and coordinate with local producers on a daily basis, we got a lot of things done that took a long time to arrange before the quarantine. There are no excuses left to not push things forward – everyone has an opportunity to join an online meeting, coordinate activities and get crucial things done quickly.

What are the concrete challenges in your community and what are the opportunities you see in this situation?

There was a great progress in very a short time in further development of local supply chains, but I still feel more could be done when it comes to the exchange of information.

What immediately puts you in a good mood even in such extraordinary times?

Nature. Nature and all the laws of nature. It gives me hope for a sustainable future, which is a great part of all our SmartVillages efforts.

Listen to the audio recording here (in Slovene)

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