Stories

COVID-19: We’re all in this together

The COVID-19 global pandemic has hit everyone around the world in different ways. People are feeling a mix of fear, grief, and panic. Hope seems like it’s in short supply.

At Medair, we’ve been thinking not only about the vulnerable people we serve every day, but also about you.

I know that some of you are on the frontlines of this crisis, caring for people in need as part of the global health care response. We are so thankful to all the health professionals who are helping people during the pandemic. I think as well of our Medair health staff who are working in remote and vulnerable communities, where it’s heartbreaking to see the impact this virus is having. Some countries still have no public health information to tell people what is happening or how to avoid spreading the virus.

United around the world

We are all in this together, united around the world at a time in history when divisiveness has too often become the norm. We are reminded of what really matters—the people we love, our health, and the ability to be together freely.

Like most of you, I am with my family in social isolation, working from home. In Switzerland, our family is inconvenienced and anxious, but we still have most of our usual comforts. But what about the people in need where Medair works? How can you practice social distancing in a crowded refugee camp? How can you wash your hands if there’s not enough water or soap? How can you get tested for a virus if there are no health clinics? The full consequences of this pandemic have yet to be seen, but we know that people in the world’s most vulnerable countries will suffer disproportionately, as they always do.

In DR Congo, we just rejoiced that we had the final Ebola patient cured and dismissed. One day later, the country’s first coronavirus patient was confirmed positive. Our team is now doing everything it can to help communities, local governments, and health facilities prepare, cope, and overcome the new virus.

Let’s stay connected

Our Medair staff have expertise on outbreak response, psychosocial support during crisis, and proven ways to promote health and hygiene, among others. We’re here to listen and offer support where we can. You can contact us with your questions or thoughts or just to stay in touch.

We cannot yet control the coronavirus, but we can fight against the loneliness. Do stay connected with people as best you can. Let’s keep on supporting each other and working in unity. We will get through this together.