After 15 days in bed, a 41.1-degree fever and difficulty breathing, Alain thought he was dying. When he recovered, one word stood out: solidarity.

My life changed after having COVID-19. I cannot compare my personal life before and after. It's very different. I mean, I'm still the same person, but something in me changed – in a positive way. 

I learned from this experience that life is fragile, but we all have an opportunity and a responsibility to add more value to society, be it your purpose, your passion – but even more so with solidarity. 

In those moments being ill, it's quite traumatising. After 15 days in bed and a 41.1-degree fever, and losing 10% of oxygen in my blood, I couldn't breathe properly. I felt like I had stones on my chest. And then I couldn't eat for two days. It was a very scary experience. The recovery afterwards is both mental and physical.

But one word was coming out when I finally stood up and got out of bed. I said “solidarity.” And this is the word I'm thinking about every day. 

I did think that I was dying. But in the end it brings so much positivity, as well. I realised I can do something with it: You can change your life. You can make more impact. Work more on solidarity, work on being a better person for your community, family, friends, your wife, your partner, your neighbors. 

For me, it’s really inspirational what’s happening with the pandemic. It sounds weird, because it’s a tragedy – right? But the positivity I see is those people who are finding solutions every day. The startups, the people in hospitals reinventing how they are working, my Roche colleagues reinventing how we deliver drugs in remote areas.

This pandemic is a positive way for society, corporations, startups, governments to collaborate, to make a shift. And I realised the part my team can play through transforming ourThe only way to go forward is through partnering and helping each other, building those partnerships and ecosystems. This was already there, but I now connected the dots. It all falls into place like puzzle pieces. 

To create a positive future – a sustainable future for everybody – we need to rethink how we are working as a society, and also how we are working as a community and as individuals. We are all part of an ecosystem, and it’s all connected.

I'm very grateful that I am part of an amazing company that is supporting patients. But I'm also grateful that I'm given another chance to also do more personally. 

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