Leave no one alone, especially not the most fragile and vulnerable, in the face of the coronavirus epidemic.
This is the commitment Sant’Egidio makes when responding to, with a sense of responsibility, the current health crisis. In compliance with all necessary measures and effectively contributing to the containment of contagion, we must maintain, if not strengthen, the bonds of solidarity that are for all, especially now for the most isolated, a vital support.
Our members continue to visit people living on the street, bringing them not only food, but also useful products to protect themselves from infection (such as sanitizer and tissues). As soup kitchens, senior centers, and drop in centers close, our friends are increasingly without basic necessities and exposed to hunger and thirst, on top of the pressing health risk. There has been a dramatic rise in hunger and need in the streets of our cities, which we cannot ignore.
We are also staying close to our elderly friends, especially in nursing homes, through phone calls, cards, and letters. As the death toll for the elderly continues to rise and the destruction of the virus becomes clearer, the Community has launched an appeal to all people of goodwill to accompany those abandoned in their old age. In addition, we recognize that many nursing homes and assisted living centers are severely understaffed and overburdened, and so we have been in touch with staff to find ways to send along appropriate assistance, such as hand lotions, meals, and words of encouragement to these health care workers as well. Knowing that loneliness kills, we redouble our efforts to remain socially close while physically distant.
If contagion is physically distancing us, solidarity unites us and makes us stronger in the face of fear and helps to protect us.
All those who wish to help can contribute financially or by purchasing useful items.