Thursday marks exactly one year since the coronavirus was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization.
Since then, the virus has taken some 2.6 million lives around the world.
365 days ago, a cluster of COVID-19 cases shut down communities. Soon after, businesses, restaurants, schools began to follow. At that time, the coronavirus was a foreign concept. Now it is part of everyday life.
The COVID pandemic has highlighted a world of inequality, where discrimination has passed unquestioned and livelihoods have been destroyed. The threat posed by failing health systems and lack of resources is as real today as it was at the outbreak of the pandemic, especially in underdeveloped countries.
As we reflect back on the past year, it is important to note how much we’ve lost and how far we’ve come. In response to the pandemic and myriad other crises, we came together as a community in ways we never could have imagined – supporting one another, finding solutions to complex challenges, and making significant sacrifices as individuals and as an organization. None of it has been easy, and for many in our community, the consequences of the pandemic have been nothing short of tragic. We want to extend our heartfelt condolences to those of you who have suffered the loss of a loved one, and my compassion to all who have faced – and may be continuing to deal with – your own serious health issues or other significant disruption to your lives due to COVID-19.
We remain hopeful and optimistic that we are turning a corner. While we continue to see new cases of COVID-19 in the communities we serve, we try to have adequate resources to support and provide medical care to those who become infected, through your generosity.
Looking ahead to what comes next, we all are thinking about a return to “normal,” and what “normal” even means anymore. No matter what happens, one thing we know, for better or worse, is that things will never be the same.
Without question, this year has tested us on many levels. There has been heartbreak and disappointment. But it also has made us stronger. I’m grateful to every one of you for all you have given of yourselves to help refugees in need through our programs and we hope you allow us to continue our mission. In so many ways, you have shown that you truly kept our organization impactful.
From all of us at SEMA US,
Thank you very much.