It is 10 p.m. on June 11 when the French ambassador to Switzerland knocks on the door of a house in La Croix-de-Rozon (GE). Didier Pittet opens, invites the visitor to enter. He goes to pick verbena in the garden and makes herbal tea. The diplomat came to tell the Geneva infectious disease specialist that Emmanuel Macron was looking for a world-renowned epidemiologist to lead a scientific expert mission responsible for evaluating France’s management of the coronavirus crisis. Professor Didier Pittet would do the trick because he is Swiss, therefore outside, his reputation is international and the health crisis has been managed rather well in Switzerland.
Didier Pittet still wonders where he will find the time. He heads the infection prevention and control service at the HUG, leaves his office to enter a crisis unit or meet with a State Councilor, sleeps four hours a night, has 3,000 overdue emails at all times. However, he answers yes because the proposition is tempting. He, the ambassador for twenty-five years of hand hygiene for the WHO, will take a new opportunity to promote hydroalcoholic gel, an essential defense against the virus.