In Depth, 31/12/2020

Five Most Topical 2020’s Features from Kharkiv Observer

Many people call 2020 a “difficult,” “unique” and “terrible” year. We had to look for answers to the challenges of this year! “COVID-19,” “pandemic,” “lockdown,” “zoom,” “distance learning” have become the most used words of the current year. But 2020 has taught us to live in a new reality, take more care of our loved ones and value each life. Everyone understands that the world will never be the same.

Kharkiv Observer has chosen the city’s top five news from 2020 which have been the most popular among our readers.

1. Family in Modern Society: Busting Gender Stereotypes on Sharing Household Chores

For the second consecutive year, Kharkiv Observer has taken part in the project implemented by the Volyn Press Club in partnership with the Volyn Gender Center, supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by Internews international organization. As part of the project, a number of articles on gender issues were published.

A happy family is based on love, care and mutual respect. Inside it, everyone, taking into account his or her gender and age, typically takes over certain household duties. This brings together householders in one friendly team. Otherwise, there will only be vanity, but little value. A family schedule should be drawn up to avoid this problem.

Is it possible to create such a family that is based on freedom, honesty and understanding, to combat “medieval stereotypes” when the family institution was based on the obedience of the weak to the strong? Maryna Zherebna, the economist and financial director of a small company, shared her thoughts on this topic with the Kharkiv Observer correspondent.

Her family has come to the following conclusion: they say “No” to the rigid assignment of duties, but “Yes” to take into account the characteristics and needs of each individual and respect for each other. This is their evolution as a family, and there is something they leave to their children so that kids will be able to build their lives without limits.

2. Kharkiv Announces Quarantine to Prevent Possible Spread of Coronavirus

On March 13, under the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine Decree “On Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus in Ukraine” all educational institutions and kindergarten in Kharkiv were quarantined until April 3. Since that time, students learned distantly.

Since March 12 theaters, cinemas, a circus, entertainment venues and gaming areas in shopping malls were closed for three weeks. Sports events were not been held during this period.

Kharkiv International Airport and Kharkiv Metro public utility enterprise provided additional anti-epidemic measures.

Kharkiv residents have responded to introducing quarantine differently. For example, the Facebook user asked who would he leave his child with. Another user shared a picture from a supermarket where one mask was sold for 24 UAH (about 1$).

3. Kharkiv Introduces New Quarantine Regulations

According to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine’s decision “To Ban Passenger Traffic and Limit the Number of Participants in Mass Events up to 10 People,” dated March 17, Kharkiv authorities implemented certain restrictions in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus in the city and its region.

Metro stopped operating on March 17 until April 3. Up to 10 people were allowed to be transported in trams, trolleybuses and buses performing regular passenger traffic on city routes. Since March 18, transporting passengers was prohibited by rail in all types of domestic connections.

Since March 18, the work of business entities, which provides for the reception of visitors, was banned. The prohibition covered catering facilities, shopping and entertainment centers and other recreational facilities. At the same time, retailers of food, fuel, hygiene products, medicines and medical devices, communications, as well as banks and insurance companies continued to operate. Public catering facilities worked only on the targeted delivery of orders, providing the staff with personal protective equipment.

4. Kharkiv Doctors’ Innovation: Artificial Lung Respiration Ventilator with Plastic Bag to Fight COVID-19

Kharkiv doctors came up with the solution on how to save the lives of patients infected with COVID-19 with the aid of ordinary plastic bags. This method, which saved the lives of hundreds of patients in the 1990s, became useful nowadays as hospitals faced a very critical shortage of artificial lung ventilation devices in Ukraine.

Volodymyr Korsunov, the professor of the Kharkiv Medical Academy of Postgraduate Education, explained the method when the patient’s head is placed in a container with the necessary pressure. The doctor stated that this technology is not his invention and was actively used about 20 years ago.

The specialist suggested using modes of mechanical lung ventilation with constant air pressure for patients with uncomplicated cases. The machine made of locally produced components costs about a few hundred UAH, unlike overseas devices that cost thousands of dollars and demand outstrips supply.

5. Taras Danko, professor of International Business at National Technical University “Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute,” shared with our readers the article on the topic: “How is Coronavirus Crisis Changing International Business?”

According to the professor, the coronavirus crisis is dramatically changing lifestyles, markets, workplaces, business processes and value chains. There is no more international business as usual. There is no panacea for the coronavirus economy. Thus, we have to abandon old practices and adjust to the “new normal.”

Many business leaders acknowledge that time has come to invest in the new future. New global markets emerge and they demand new services and products.

COVID crisis is a tipping point. It is a perfect disruption. It exposes how many ways international business has changed in the last decade.

The Norwegian professor concludes that “the post-COVID-19 world will see a rise in global virtual teams organized around different technological solutions, including eventually augmented and virtual realities.”

Along come new sets of skills for international managers in every aspect of international business, be it marketing, financial management or innovations.

What will be observed in Kharkiv in 2021? The city is on the threshold of changes. In December, Kharkiv mayor Hennadiy Kernes, who was in power for 10 years, passed away. The city is awaiting reruns for the mayor elections next year. Election results, depending on each of Kharkiv residents, will show the way our city goes.

Text: Natalia Ivanova

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