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Letter from the SG President prof. Jacek Witkoś on the coronavirus pandemic

Dear Colleagues,

The world is now facing a health threat unknown in its modern history, comparable only to the deadly flu pandemics of the Great War era. COVID-19 has brought to standstill our offices, universities, workshops, shopping centres and airports. It has cruelly and relentlessly exposed the soft spots of the modern world as a global village: free trade, open borders and inexpensive transcontinental travel, taken for granted as cornerstones of our free and egalitarian civilisation, turned out to be critically conducive to the rapid spread of the pandemics. The modern plague has affected the entire globe. Although our hearts go out to the victims and their families suffering terrible personal losses especially in China, Italy, Spain, the UK and the US, very few corners of the world have been left unaffected and the numbers of infected patients and deaths are still on the rise globally. We have our friends, colleagues and SG partners in the worst affected places and we are here for them.

We are all involuntarily confined to our homes now. We can still work from home and share our thoughts and opinions through internet and social media but academic life, research and teaching are facing mounting difficulties, with all international events cancelled or postponed.

Yet, even in these ghastly moments we are all aware of the fact that just like the virus has affected the entire international community, people’s communal spirit will overcome its spell. Concerted efforts of national and international teams of scientists around the world are working day and night in numerous laboratories to produce a remedy for the virus. Single countries and nations could be quite powerless in the face of this scourge but joint international efforts are bound to bring about a major breakthrough soon. Together (is this not the ultimate message of SG internationalisation strategies?) we will prevail! We need to wait out the worst, buy the time through drastic quarantine procedures applied in every country and look forward to upcoming medical treatments which will contain the pandemics.   

I wish speedy recovery to all members of our SG community who are ill with the virus. I ask everyone for patience and keeping good spirits. I wish you all that we see the new effective medical measures in operation very soon. We will then resume our regular activities and start planning for meetings, seminars and conferences. We will be in our element again!

 

Prof. Jacek Witkoś 

SG President

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