'COVID-19 is a suspended sentence not life imprisonment', says psychotherapist who contracted virus

Psychotherapist and former journalist Karl Wright, who tested positive for coronavirus, says balance between implementing health safeguards and allowing society to restart activity is key

Psychotherapist and former journalist Karl Wright was speaking during an interview with Illum on Sunday
Psychotherapist and former journalist Karl Wright was speaking during an interview with Illum on Sunday

A former journalist who tested positive for COVID-19 has spoken about the importance of people restarting their social lives while ensuring they follow the health safeguards meant to prevent a second wave of the virus.

Psychotherapist Karl Wright said in an interview with sister newspaper Illum on Sunday that he had resulted positive following a swab test mandated by his employer, but that he did not experience any coronavirus symptoms.

Wright, a former Institute of Maltese Journalists president, said he had decided to leave his home following the test results, and stayed at a residence provided by his emplyer until he recovered from the virus.

Asked whether he felt the dangers of COVID-19 might have been overamplified by overreactions on social media, Wright told the newspaper that he believed this was the case.

He said that, at this point, it was important for people to start socialising again.

"Man wasn't created to stay inside alone and confined, but to relate with others and socialise," he said.

He however also emphasised that the advice of doctors had to be heeded when it came to safeguarding people against the virus.

"We can't on the other hand forget that health services have a [capacity] limit. It would be wrong if we forget the balance [between restarting normal activities and protecting each other from the virus], and consequently end up with a hospital which is full," he said.

Wright also called for more education when it came to COVID-19.

"The coronavirus bulletins are popular, but it would be better to provide something which is more educational... You sometimes see people with a face mask hanging around their necks, or others gathering for a picnic. It's important to be responsible - that is how a balance is found," he said.

"COVID-19 will pass too, and, to all those experiencing it, I say this is not life imprisonment but a suspended sentence."