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27.05.2020

Victor Pinchuk has told about quarantine and fighting the Covid-19 pandemic

Victor Pinchuk has spoken with LIGA.net about the quarantine and fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. Read the full interview text below:

Where did you spend the quarantine?

Naturally, together with Elena, we have been staying in quarantine at home, in Ukraine. Our middle daughter who is studying in England came home too. We are together, and this is very important in such a situation. Three out of our four kids and my granddaughter are in Ukraine now. Only our son has stayed in quarantine at Stanford University, where he studies at the business school.

What will you do first of all after the quarantine is over? 

When the quarantine is over, first of all, I want to gather at my close friends my home, put some bottles of good wine on the table, and finally speak not over the phone. And I also want very much to meet wild nature again: to dive with an aqualung into a different world, to interact with the underwater.

What has the quarantine taught you?

It is probably incorrect to say: "the quarantine has taught me ". I would rather say, I have better realized over that time things that I had been understanding before. First of all, how fragile of a thing is life. How vanishingly subtle the line between it and death is.

Also, it has been the first time that I had such a strong revelation of how hugely important the role of the science and knowledge is in the world. All these recent months, all the strongest and mightiest leaders and idols have been listening to every single word of the scientists. Politicians introduced quarantines, businessmen suspended operations, even religious leaders cancelled services and closed temples. And this is inspiring hope. Maybe, after the pandemic, leaders would be more perceptive to proposals and alerts from the scientists on such key challenges as the climate change or artificial intelligence.

And I have felt another thing in a particularly acute way: how important the social interaction is to us, the homo sapiens. For all these months that we have been staying physically isolated, I have been receiving hundreds of messages and calls from my friends, partners and simply acquaintances from across five continents – even those with whom I had been interacting very rarely. And believe me, those intonations and words had never been more sincere and human. I hope this all will not vanish after the quarantine…

How much money have you spent on fighting the coronavirus?

We – I mean me myself and Elena – seeing what was happening with that virus across the world, started acting immediately, back in early March. We were realizing that it was that very case indeed where hesitation is fatal. We have allotted a budget amounting $ 10 million to fight the coronavirus. Most of those funds (from my and Elena’s foundations and Interpipe company) have been already spent to purchase medical equipment for hospitals, individual protection means for the healers, tests etc.

How much will Covid-19 cost for your business?

Everything is still happening, and therefore, nobody is able to evaluate the scope of the future loss. When the energy resource prices fell across the world, investment into its production went down, and naturally, it was the case for the demand for pipes. When the volume of transportation dropped, it caused less need for wheels. These are just some instances, but the trends are clear. We will have to experience a deep financial and economic crisis. Loss is inevitable, assessing that is only ahead. However, we are working hard, and we hope to go through that period decently.

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