A vibrant and enterprising environment that adds to your academic success – that is more or less what it says in the mission statement of Erasmus University. But how do we keep that feeling alive if we are not on campus together? To be sure, our most important capital is found in people, not buildings. Yet the spark that ignites enthusiasm really does get more oxygen through one-on-one contact than from some shuddery Zoom connection.

Our work for EM has moved to our home offices or kitchen tables over the past few months. Which means we have missed the informal chats in the corridors of Woudestein. It’s also trickier to fully comprehend contexts when conducting interviews via faltering video connections. Though it all worked out in the end. Mutual understanding grew. We ultimately tried to keep a closer eye on each other, helping one another get through this difficult period.

Hunger for news

Fortunately, our target audience – staff and students – were able to find us via our channels: the website, newsletter and, in recent months, the Erasmus TV talk show. The hunger for news turned out to be insatiable. This was also reflected in our sharply increased number of readers.

Nevertheless, paper is more enduring in value than online media. Which is why we are taking a look back in this printed edition on this historical period which has left a lasting impression on everyone.

Proud of leading figures Erasmus MC

We are so proud of leading figures such as Marion Koopmans, Diederik Gommers, Frank Grosveld and Ernst Kuipers of Erasmus MC, who, thanks to their fight against the pandemic (together with the doctors and nurses who worked overtime in intensive care), were at the centre of media attention for months on end. After all, they helped determine the policy and offered hope for the treatment of COVID-19.

Of course, over the past few months there were still plenty of areas for improvement on the campus, as the survey we did on satisfaction among students regarding their education revealed. Still, it was extraordinary to see how education and research went fully online in no time at all.

That, and much more, is what this corona special is all about. We hope that while reading, you will be inspired to keep the spirit of Erasmus University alive and well in the coming year.

https://issuu.com/erasmusmagazine/docs/em_coronaspecial_09-2020

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