“If we show the greatest possible endurance and discipline at the beginning of this pandemic, we will be able to return to economic, social and public life more quickly and sustainably”

As Germany tentatively reopened some of its shops and services earlier this week, Chancellor Angela Merkel urged the German public to remain disciplined regarding social distancing rules to avoid jeopardising the country's so far impressive resilience to COVID-19. Although she admitted that we are "still at the beginning", Merkel reiterated that with nationwide cooperation it would be possible to emerge safely and sustainably on the other side of this crisis.

I have thus decided to theme this month's newsletter around resilience. As the whole world adapts to life in the era of COVID-19, resilience no longer resembles the 'Keep Calm and Carry On' of WWII. Instead, we are having to adapt and adjust in order to give our communities the best chance of getting through this difficult time. Although isolation has become the new norm, the World Economic Forum stresses that global cooperation and sustainable, resilient infrastructure must be the tools with which we build our future.

I have been extremely moved witnessing the outpourings of support, love, and gratitude being shown across the world, particularly for our various health services. The innovative ways many of you have found to help and connect with one another is a testament to your resilience, offering hope in this uncertain time.

As a network of aspiring and established researchers, we are all coping with our own circumstances, whether that be traversing the work/family balance, battling mental and physical illness, assuming care taking responsibilities, or finding research disrupted. An already isolating profession is made even more difficult. However, I also know that researchers are resourceful and determined - two vital attributes to nurture today more than ever.

Here at the DRN, we are doing all that we can to ensure that you get through this weird time as smoothly as possible. As well as collating a resource bank on our website (check out #DefResResouces on Twitter), we are searching for and hosting Twitter Hours and Webinars to keep you connected and engaged during isolation. We hope we can make this a long-lasting conversation, both about defence and security, but also about wellbeing, support, and guidance. Lastly, if you feel you need to talk to someone, please reach out to us on Twitter or via email.

On behalf of all the DRN, I wish you a healthy month!

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