“My dear colleagues, the strength of our United Nations is YOU – our committed and dedicated personnel. Events have moved at alarming speed over the past two weeks. This crisis is unprecedented. And I’m proud of how – together – you are adapting so quickly. I understand the enormous stress that measures to contain the virus are putting on you and your families. Many of you, like me, are working away from loved ones and worrying deeply about them, and working from home can feel isolating and lonely at a time of great anxiety.
“So please, let’s continue to look out for each other. And those who are most vulnerable. Let’s find inspiration in those who are ‘care- mongering’ rather than scaremongering. If you’re going to spread anything, let’s spread kindness. In the meantime, we can be proud that the United Nations continues the important work on which many in the world depends, although in different ways, and in different places.
“Please be assured that I, along with your senior management and crisis teams remain actively on watch, and will communicate with you regularly and listen to your concerns. We are already working on some of these including restrictions on movement, rest and recuperation, medical evacuation, leave and other problems that are emerging. I thank you for your commitment, professionalism and above all, your compassion. We are all in this together, and we will get through it – together. Thank you all.”
See below for an in-depth interview with UN Medical Director Dr. Jillann Farmer (13 March 2020).