Message from CEO of Merck Foundation, Senator Rasha Kelej, on how to cope with Covid-19 lockdown



My Dear Friends and Partners,

I am like anyone of you, stressed because I have to work from home and I cannot travel as I used to do to continue our programs and perform the work I really love and be close to my people in Africa, my home.

I want to share with you my findings and what I decided to do during this exceptional time; Look after your mental health while you have to stay at home to avoid all but essential physical contact.

This will mean that more of us will be spending a lot of time at home either working, studying or resting and many of our regular social activities will no longer be available to us. It will help to try and see it as a different life experience, and not necessarily a bad one, even if you have no choice.

It will mean a different routine and rhythm of life, a chance to be in touch with others regularly on social media, e-mail, or on the phone, as they are still good ways of being close to the people who matter to you.

Create a new daily routine that prioritizes looking after yourself and looking after your family. Remember work and travel were distracting us from spending quality times with our immediate families and loved ones. You could also try to read a nice book or watch a funny movie, but please don’t forget to exercise regularly and eat healthy, try new relaxation techniques, or acquire new knowledge or even learn a new language on the internet.

Try to reflect on your life and career and plan for new strategies, changes, and resolutions. This unsettling experience might have its benefits. Make sure your wider health needs are being looked after such as having enough prescription medicines available to you.

But you can see below in the picture, the power of Physical distancing at the moment.


Stay safe and healthy

Dr. Rasha Kelej
CEO of Merck Foundation
(Working from home)


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