COVID-19: A message to all St John People across the world

I join with His Royal Highness Duke of Gloucester, our Grand Prior in sending all support, appreciation and the very best of wishes to all St John people and their loved ones in what is a terribly difficult time for the world. I thank our Sovereign Head and our Grand Prior for their indefatigable leadership and support.
We sail in waters that are uncharted. Not since the Spanish influenza pandemic during 1918-1920 have we seen a healthcare challenge of this scale and its consequent impact on lives and communities simultaneously affecting so much of our globe. Governments, organisations, groups and individuals all have key roles to play in slowing the spread of COVID-19. Difficult decisions are being made and hardships endured against the backdrop of a rapidly changing and escalating set of circumstances. I encourage all of our members and their families to follow health authority advice and do what they can to contribute to the global effort to control this pandemic. Wherever possible practice the key elements of social (spatial) distancing; social isolation where possible; meticulous hand hygiene; avoid touching one’s own face; diligent cough and sneeze etiquette; know the symptoms of COVID-19 infection, report if you feel unwell and immediately isolate yourself.
Amidst all of this turmoil, I know that we have tens of thousands of St John people, staff and volunteers, in all types of roles who are standing up to provide healthcare services to those in need. St John Establishments around the world are playing various roles from frontline support for state healthcare services; transporting non-COVID patients from acute healthcare facilities to sub acute; providing in-home care for the vulnerable; administrative teams supporting those in the field and much more. We also have leaders coordinating our local and global efforts to ensure all Establishments are connected, have access to the best information available and are supported.
Whatever your role supporting your communities and doing that in the name of St John, I extend my sincere and heartfelt thanks to you. Just as St John people aided the community during the Spanish influenza pandemic in the early 20th century, so is St John back on the frontline in the 21st century
Above all, stay safe, stay well, keep connected and feel supported. You are all part of our worldwide organisation that it is responding in the best traditions of our Order with our principal objective of caring for our lords the sick and the poor.
My thoughts and prayers are with you all and with your loved ones. We will get through this, together.
Professor Mark Compton AM GCStJ
Lord Prior