We are all experiencing the same thing these days: how the whole world has changed in just a few weeks! What high-level official talks and forces could not do, a virus has done in a matter of days: the defence has cut us off from our parents, our children, our grandchildren, the outside world, our daily routine, our leisure activities, our freedom of choice. We understand and we accept it, because it is the only way to avoid a great tragedy: the rampant and unmanageable destruction of the epidemic.
At the same time, our bonds, the joy and responsibility of belonging together in the worldwide extended family of the Lepramism Union have become even tighter. Thank you for the way our Supporters have always been able to see beyond the narrow world of themselves and to see the distress and misery of others! I would like to thank each and every one of you for this! I used to say "Our Supporters are farsighted!", able to think in the inhabited Earth, the whole of Humanity! God bless you all!
If ever, now is the time to forget the "them" and "us" categories for good! The invisible virus has taught us that in minutes! We are afraid of the same thing all over the world, we are all in the same doubt! But we are defending ourselves in healthy, civilised and developed conditions to ward off a new disease. But if an epidemic breaks out in the same environment where people with leprosy live, it will be unstoppable for the whole planet! There is nothing to contain, no way to protect in a crowded, destitute environment, no rules of protection to enforce!!! Some pictures below of the various working areas of the Lepramissiion, from my personal experience, are perhaps sufficient proof of this! That is why it was a frightening moment the other day when the first official report of the first coronavirus infections arrived from the largest refugee camp in the world! But it is also frightening to read that elsewhere, doctors who screened for the virus were stoned to death by villagers! We cannot yet even begin to comprehend the possible consequences of all this for the whole of humanity!
No more "them" and "us"! There is only "us"! One and indivisible humanity!
Therefore, I am even more grateful for those who now join us even more in the cause of the most oppressed living far away, and think of them as family members in the inseparable and indivisible Big Family of Humanity!
God bless and keep you all in good health!
Márta Fazekas Riskóné, Director of the Lepramisszio
3 April 2020.