Greetings, UMV MRC members and affiliates. You may have noticed the lack of updates on our website for more than a year. This certainly doesn’t mean we were inactive! In fact, we’d made a conscious choice to focus on meeting urgent commitments instead – especially COVID response. We’re grateful to our diligent volunteers who maintained a steady stream of deployments since the pandemic began. For a recap of our work through FY21, please see our July 2021 newsletter.
GLOBAL ISSUES AFFECTING MRCS
All of us are affected by the two global concerns listed below. Our members have expressed concern about both of them. (Please see a separate article for initiatives specific to our unit’s directions in FY2023.)
COVID-19 – According to the April 13, 2022 issue of the New York Times Coronavirus Briefing, there are over 500 million cases recorded worldwide. The United States has experienced over 80M cases, with nearly 1M deaths due to COVID-19. Many feel that we’re transitioning from a ‘pandemic’ to an ‘endemic.’ That means we’re learning how to live with the virus through public health protections including vaccines, medications, and a range of safety precautions to mitigate the spread. The Omicron variant seems to be declining as the BA.2 variant emerges. Our unit will continue to respond as requested. Meanwhile, there’s been a dramatic reduction in local vaccination clinics and test sites.
UKRAINE – Many of us are shocked by the developments overseas. Our MRC’s current recommendation is to monitor the daily developments. When members ask how they can help, we refer them to established international relief agencies. Most of us can be more effective through service in the U.S. than by seeking deployments near the war zone.
If you’re thinking about helping on-site, please study the considerations below.
- This EXCELLENT article from the weekly newsletter EMS1 lays out the pros and cons of GOING there, versus helping from the states.
- One of the EMS1 links (from 2016 but still relevant) is especially useful: How to be a disaster volunteer.
- The US State Department’s United with Ukraine website is a good resource to learn more about the conflict and support services. If you are considering a donation to help those affected by the crisis, the website below lists several organizations that support the relief efforts. Ukraine Crisis - How You Can Help