Reflections on a year of Covid-19

It has been a little over a year since the Basel community had to shut many of its doors as it battled the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. As we look back at the past year, Open Door Basel considers itself lucky, and is extremely grateful, to have made it through the year still in operation, thanks to the support of our member community.

Noeleen, Susannah and Siona are among the Open Door staff who have navigated through the storm with your children They’ve recently reflected upon the last year, highlighting the good, the bad, and the hopeful moments that continue to inspire them amid this pandemic.

What has been the hardest part of this last year?

  • The lack of face-to-face interaction with the children made it difficult to determine how they were progressing, and so we made sure to connect with parents as needed and offer additional advice and links to promote learning.
  • We were genuinely afraid of the future of Open Door Basel due to lack of income.
  • It was difficult for us at the beginning because, like everyone else, we didn’t know much about this virus! We followed the advice of the local Swiss authorities as much as we could to make sure we were united in our approach.

Through the dark clouds come the sun. What have been some of your favorite moments?

  • The little ones adapting so well despite not being able to say “Coronavirus” properly made us smile.
  • When families donated money to us, realising the financial implications of Covid-19, it was a defining moment for us as a community. We were not only grateful, but relieved that our members supported us during this time.
  • The team really pulled together. It was a great reminder that we are a strong group who lean on one another during difficult times.
  • The support from our members and positive comments regarding the work we sent home was another reminder of how connected Open Door Basel is as a community.
  • We loved the “to do” crafts that we sent home each week to our playgroup children. Most sent pictures of the child holding the finished project, which brought a smile to our faces.

Do you have inspirational moments from children to share?

  • It was a truly beautiful moment to watch classmates supporting and reassuring those who were fearful about the virus during the discussions we had in class about the pandemic.
  • Their ability to adapt to what is most likely the strangest thing they will ever live through was very inspiring. They seemed to cope better than us adults!
  • Seeing the children happy to return to Open Door Basel when our doors reopened was a great moment for us.

Is there something special you have done in your classrooms to make your students smile?

  • One thing we have really missed is being unable to hold our usual parties. So, we brought the party to the class, ie Christmas activities and goodie bags, dressup and goodies for Halloween etc.
  • Crafts crafts crafts!

Do you have any inspirational advice for parents during Covid times?

  • You are doing the best you can and that is all anybody can ask for!
  • Always reach out to us if you need learning tips for at-home engagement. You’ve supported us through the last year, and it’s our turn to support you.
  • Enjoy this quality time with your children. As difficult as it can be, remind yourself that being together is a powerful way to make it through this storm.



  1. I love this. It’s important to take a breath and think about the highs and lows of the last year. I am also so impressed by how the kids adapted to homeschooling, wearing masks and living under some kind of restrictions for over a year. Who could have imagined it. Also the way my youngest daughter says “coronavirus” still makes me smile!

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