“It’s time to care”
We are all – individuals, families, companies, countries – heirs to an extraordinary phenomenon, our greatest asset: life.
As civilization, we ingeniously invented the market economy, a mechanism which has grown increasingly sophisticated, but has always had a sole purpose: to meet the needs of human life. As we face the Coronavirus pandemic, we must be clear and united on a common cause, while respecting the opinions and needs of all.
We believe that our priorities as individuals, families, companies, countries, and as a civilization, is to safeguard life. In order to do this, we must follow the recommendations of institutions, medical authorities, and scientists for whom safeguarding life is at the core of their training, accumulated knowledge, and daily experience.
It is time to care. To take care of ourselves, others, and the relationships we have made with the world. Society, and companies, must urge governments to do what is necessary and to prioritize investments in public health, in protecting the economy – especially small businesses, and in meeting the needs of society’s most vulnerable, today and always. There can be no doubt about the path we must take. We must act quickly in order to save lives.
We have done this across all our companies. We are in constant contact with the World Health Organization and authorities in many countries so that best practices can be adopted, and information reaches the millions of people who make up our network.
The pandemic will teach us important lessons about life. We will face a severe economic downturn and, more worryingly, a marked increase in social inequality in Brazil and across the globe. We believe we can take better care of people and the planet, when we do return to normal life.
In this complex context, we seek to do our part. We understand that it is crucial to continue and expand the production of cleaning products, which will play an essential role in combating the pandemic. As we should, we are doing this alongside significant precautions to safeguard the health of our employees, in cooperation with health authorities. We must do everything we can to take care of ourselves and of others, isolating what must be isolated above all else: the virus.
We are encouraging self-isolation and remote work for those not directly involved in production and distribution. We are ensuring the greatest possible stability for employees during this crisis.
Of course, we have strived to work together, supporting and connecting with our millions of consultants and independent representatives as they face the challenges of maintaining their work activity in the current conditions – while always ensuring we observe precautions around social distancing.
In these times of reflection, we want to share a belief that has always united and motivated us: “Life is a chain of relationships. Nothing exists by itself; everything is interdependent”. Physical distance is essential to prevent the accelerated spread of the virus, but it must be done with compassion, empathy, and solidarity. At this point, doctors are not simply sharing their opinions, but leading us to the best science available. To them and all health professionals, we express our greatest respect and gratitude. We also express our admiration for countless leaders in civil society who, aware of our interdependence, lead with communal and effective initiatives to bring aid where it is needed.
We are all experiencing material losses. We face these losses with the resilience of those who have gone through many crises before. Crises pass. We want to stress a fundamental idea in all areas and activities that we pursue as a company, and as citizens: beyond simply living through the losses and the crises, it is time to take care of one another.
We are witnesses to a fundamental moment in human history. Amidst the uncertainties that mark this moment, may our reflections lead us to make decisions about who we want to be when we emerge from this period. While the future appears clouded, our hearts can nourish us with hope for a better world. While we are the products of an individualistic society, we now have even greater reasons to dream of the emergence of a more cooperative and united humanity. Certainly, the poet was not naïve when he wrote, “the dawn is slow, yet will advance”. He was simply describing how beauty is born, in wait of our gaze.
Luiz Seabra, Guilherme Leal, Pedro Passos and Roberto Marques