"Dear colleagues and friends,
"On behalf of the European Respiratory Society (ERS), I would like to express a sincere message of solidarity to all healthcare workers and scientists during this trying time.
"The COVID-19 outbreak is a rapidly evolving situation, and the true impact of the outbreak across the European region will not be clear for some time. However, thanks to your expertise, passion and resilience, the global community can look forwards to a day when this crisis comes to an end.
"Many of you will be working on the front line to provide essential, life-saving care, for which you should feel extremely proud, while others are working tirelessly to expedite the development of a vaccine that can bring this virus under control. This work is vital, and it is difficult to express in words just how grateful the international community is for the sacrifices that you will make over the coming weeks and months.
"During this time, ERS is continuously looking at ways to offer support. With this in mind, a COVID-19 resource page has been developed and is open access for all healthcare professionals to use or refer to. The features included on this page support the sharing of knowledge and offer a platform for dispersed professionals to connect on key topics.
"Finally, I would like to note that while you are busy providing care and comfort for patients or working to develop the tools to save lives, you must not forget to care for your colleagues, and most importantly for yourselves. To reiterate a valuable message from the World Health Organization, feeling under pressure during this time is a likely experience for you and being stressed is in no way a reflection that you cannot do your job or that you are weak. As much as possible, try to get enough rest and respite during work or between shifts, eat well, exercise, and stay in contact with family and friends.
"Be gentle with yourself and your teams and know that you have the support of ERS, its members and the international community."
Professor Thierry Troosters
European Respiratory Society President