IN A NUTSHELL 26/2019-20


It looks like the Chinese have already won their fight with the coronavirus. Companies, restaurants, shops all reopen and life slowly comes back to normal. One has to realize, however, that they took more drastic measures to contain the disease than any other country. Even now when new cases stopped to appear they use a special system to prevent a second outbreak. Two very popular apps – WeChat and AliPay have introduced a system of individual QR codes with different colours for every citizen. If your QR code is green it means your are safe and not spreading the virus, orange means you should be at home because you have quarantine, red means unconditional isolation. It is not obligatory to have a code like this, yet if you don’t have one, you will probably not be allowed into the underground, a restaurant or a public office. To get a colour you just download the app and generate your individual code. If you haven’t come to China from a country of high risk and haven’t gone through the disease, you are likely to get a green code.



Wojciech Mann, one of the most recognizable people on Polish airwaves, a translator, a comedian, an icon of Trójka, Polish Radio Channel Three, decided to quit his job. Mann (72) had worked there for a stunning 55 years. Even now he had many programs which were broadcast regularly and the listeners loved him. His decision comes after Trójka decided not to prolong the contract with Anna Gacek, Mann’s co-worker with whom he regularly prepared a couple of shows. The journalist does not hide his decision is motivated by difficult cooperation with the station’s new authorities. Over the last years many of Trójka’s icons either left their jobs or were fired and so what has been considered Poland’s best broadcaster in terms of music slowly loses its appeal. Mann himself decided not to accept the offer of competition and started publishing on social networking sites.



”When 80-year old Valentina Fyodorova spotted a group of children skating across a fresh sheet of ice, she was determined to give it a try herself” — starts a report recently published by Reuters. One could think the continuation would be: yet she quickly realised how dangerous and likely it would be for her to fall on the ice and break a bone and so she abandoned the idea completely. Not this time. Fyodorova must strongly believe in the motto ”the Russians never give up” and even though she learnt how to skate at the age of 79 (sic!) she now is a captain of a senior women’s hockey team in her village in northwestern Russia. ”A senior women’s hockey team” is a term bizarre enough in itself. Fyodorova probably became the captain due to her leadership skills she learnt when working as a school principal, but her sheer example of spirit must have done the job as well. The team is composed mostly from women in their fifties and sixties who all wear their age as a number on the jersey, not being ashamed at all to say how old they are. This story from Russia proves age is just a number.



In October 2018 we reported here the Singapore Airlines’ record-breaking (in terms of both duration and distance) passenger flight from Singapore to New York [Newark, to be precise; „In  a  Nutshell”, 38/2018]. Well, this record has just unintentionally been broken again – this time by a French airline, Air Tahiti Nui. On March 14 2020 it flew the longest ever scheduled passenger flight from Tahiti, French Polynesia, to Paris (15’715 km). Under normal circumstances there would have been a stopover in Los Angeles, but the circumstances couldn’t be further away from normal. Although, we shall revisit this statement in a few weeks. According to the airline, „the aircraft flew with a reinforced crew of four pilots and was operated by a next generation aircraft, a Boeing 787-9, twin-engine Dreamliner.” The aircraft was (understandably) „nowhere near full” and this enabled it to go the full journey without refueling. Since the weekend of 14-15 March the airline substituted the usual LA stopover with one in Vancouver, Canada. But since 16 March that hasn’t been possible either. For obvious reasons.


1. Using apps to track people is a great idea to fight the coronavirus.

2. Being a journalist on Facebook or Instagram (or running a blog) is better than working for a TV or radio station.

3. If you really want it, you can do anything, no matter how old you are.

4. We will all benefit from the current situation thanks to new solutions and inventions.

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