Dispatch from the Pacific. When Tropical Cyclone Harold meets the Novel Corona Virus

COVID-19 began to manifest in the Pacific Islands by early March 2020, starting in the US and French territories, spreading slowly to the independent countries of Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste. All of the independent Pacific countries responded with aggressive measures, closing borders and establishing curfews. Against this background, Tropical Cyclone Harold, formed on April Fool’s Day, began its devastating path through four Pacific countries: Solomon Islands with 27 dead in a ferry accident; Vanuatu whose northern islands, including Santo and Malekula were devastated by the cyclone with wind speeds greater than 200 km/h. The devastation continued in Fiji, with two tornadoes and devastation particularly in Kadavu and the southern Lau group. Tropical Cyclone Harold struck Tonga at the height of the king tide. COVID-19 continues to complicate relief efforts, particularly in Vanuatu. As of May 3, 2020, sixteen Pacific countries and territories had yet to report their first confirmed case of COVID-19: American Samoa, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Pitcairn, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Wallis and Futuna. The Pacific continues to lead by example motivated by collective stewardship with actions and policies based on science. Pacific leaders continue to work with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to implement COVID-19 management recommendations.