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Pandemic Times – President's Message

Eva Holmberg Herrstrom
Eva Holmberg Herrström President, ICSW

The world is hit by a pandemic. Covid-19 is spreading very fast around the globe by direct contact between people. Most governments try to suppress the virus by closing down activities and borders. People are encouraged to work from home, education goes on the internet and elderly people told to isolate themselves.

We do not know enough about how to deal with the virus, it is new and unknown and treatment unavailable. The capacity of health services differs, but face serious challenges. Up to 96 % of those infected have mild symptoms and get well, but the virus is fatal for others.

The quick spread of the disease has severe consequences for society. Production of goods and services as well as trade is hindered or stopped. Unemployment is increasing fast, and many people face reduction of income or loss of it.

The economy may take years to recover, and the debt burden for countries and governments hard to cope with. Financial depression may increase mental health challenges. The less wealthy countries are hit harder.

Solidarity is at stake, and decisive for how the world will handle the pandemic. As young environmentalists say: We have only one planet. And we share it.