Gretchen Watkins President, Shell Oil Company | Executive Vice President Unconventionals
Gretchen Watkins President, Shell Oil Company | Executive Vice President Unconventionals

These are extraordinary times. Given the threat COVID-19 poses to our community, it is natural to worry about the health of ourselves and our loved ones. Just as it is natural to be anxious about what the disruption will mean for our financial well-being.

But I am comforted by the many examples of us coming together to support one another. I am especially grateful for our Shell employees in the US, who are working hard to continue normal operations where possible and support critical needs around the world while taking precautions to keep our communities safe.

Today we are working remotely, or we are social distancing in work locations. At the same time, we are monitoring the situation across the U.S. as many local governments and health authorities take additional actions aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19. 

From school district and dine-in restaurant closures to shelter in place and quarantine orders, the government advice varies according to location and situation, but one constant remains: the need for practicing meticulous hygiene, social distancing and staying home when you feel unwell, cannot be overstated.

I have such deep admiration for the health care workers in our communities who are on the front lines of this crisis, just as I feel a deep sense of gratitude to the supermarket workers and all the workers across the food supply chain who are ensuring we have the resources we need to get through this period.

I am mindful, too, of the role our Shell staff, contractors and franchisees play in the continuity of these critical businesses, from the workers who remain on deep-water platforms in the Gulf of Mexico to those who staff our service stations to ensure customers have access to fuel, while taking precautions to safeguard health and safety.

Like many business leaders, I am providing regular updates to Shell’s US staff, who have been encouraged to work from home at least until April 6 and to only travel for business-critical reasons. In addition, I have encouraged them to make a special effort to find ways to still connect with colleagues, to check in on how they are doing.

In times like this, we absolutely must rely on one another – our co-workers, our neighbors, our family and friends. We will get through this together.

Take care of each other, and stay safe.

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