UN Resident Coordinator’s Easter greetings to all people in Ukraine
30 April 2021
On behalf of the United Nations in Ukraine, I extend my warmest wishes to all Ukrainians who are observing the Easter holiday this weekend.
Easter is a joyous time for all to spend with their family and friends, as well as a time to reflect on the past and look towards the future.
Unfortunately, this is the second year in a row that this holiday is being commemorated during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. While I am hopeful that with the rollout of vaccines the disease will eventually be brought under control, it will still take time for a critical mass of the population to be vaccinated. As can be observed, the situation remains worrisome globally and in Ukraine, and there is a clear association between holiday events and increases in infections. It is therefore critical that as celebrations proceed, all remain vigilant and exercise standard precautions to ensure the safety and security of loved ones, communities, and indeed ourselves. In this regard, I invite all to consult the precautions listed below, based on WHO and UNICEF guidance.
Among the most recent achievements of the United Nations in Ukraine, I would like to highlight the successful delivery to Ukraine of 117,000 doses of Pfizer and 367,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines by UNICEF though the COVAX initiative. Vaccines are the most essential tool in the fight against the pandemic. Hopefully, more of them will arrive soon, and more people in Ukraine will get protected.
While immunization remains a personal choice, representing the UN, but also personally, I encourage all to take this important step and vaccinate themselves and their dependents against COVID-19, based on informed consent, and per WHO recommendations. I also would like to stress that there has been a lot of disinformation and mixed messages in the media regarding the side effects of some of the vaccines. I encourage all to refer to credible sources of information on the safety of taking vaccines, in particular as provided by WHO.
Again, I wish all the people of Ukraine a happy Easter.
PREPARING FOR THE HOLIDAYS
· Shopping in crowded places and during crowded times can increase your risk of getting COVID-19. Shop online if you can, or shop at your local shop, at less crowded places and times if you cannot shop online.
· Be your own risk manager and think twice; do you really need to travel during the religious holidays?
· To avoid unnecessary risk, consider meeting virtually with your friends and family members you are not living with.
IF PLANNING A PICNIC
· Invite only close friends and family.
· Choose a picnic spot where there will be few people
· Take a hand sanitizer with you and use it frequently. If water and soap are available – remember: it’s always the better option.
· Do not share your plates, glasses and other utensils.
· Keep your distance when greeting other people – it’s better to avoid hugs this year.
· Stay at least 2 meters away from those who do not live with yon, even when outdoors.
IF GOING TO CHURCH
· Only one family member should carry the Easter basket to church.
· Invite other relatives, especially people from risk groups, to watch the religious service on TV.
· If you go to church, ask to get basket blessed outside, not inside.
· Even outdoors, wear a mask and stay 2 meters away from others.
· Keep your distance when greeting other people.
· Do not take communion or touch the icon with your lips.
IF HOSTING OR VISITING
· Get together in small family circles to protect relatives, especially older ones.
· Think if you can serve a meal outdoors – it’s safer this way.
· If celebrating indoors, ventilate by opening windows and doors, if possible.
· Remind your guests to wash their hands and keep their distance throughout the celebrations.