‘The Pandemic Party Hub won’t start itself, ladies and gentlemen! Hop into the pool and never look back!’

The Skinny | No. 46 • The Great Pandemic-Party Spike

What are we skinning? Malta’s latest spike in covid-19 cases, and the measures raised to tackle them.

Why are we skinning them? Because it is a matter of national concern and key political manoeuvring.

Political manoeuvring? Mainly ye olde health vs economy chestnut.

But that was always gonna be a tough one to balance. Don’t nitpick. I wish I didn’t have to, and I wish it were indeed nitpicking. But allowing large-scale events to go ahead more or less unchecked is a pretty bad look during what still is pandemic-time.

You’ve put it in a way that I cannot disagree with you without seeming irresponsible. And that’s the problem. What do you mean?

Well, there’s nuances to it, surely. Of course.

I mean, let’s just put it out there: the Hotel Takeover and Sta Venera cases made the news because someone, somewhere, actually thought to get tested... That’s true, and while our testing was always pretty intensive on the whole, we know there will be gaps. Hence the scary through that what’s actually reported might just be merely the tip of the iceberg.

Exactly. So why scapegoat the Hotel Takeover and Sta Venera feast? Well, it’s less of a scapegoating of those events in particular, and more of a reaction against the idea of celebratory mass events while a global pandemic is still raging.

But it’s natural for the numbers to go up now that we’ve re-opened to tourists and are taking steps to kick-start the economy. Careful of the corona-collateral damage argument, that’s a slippery slope.

What I mean is that we do need to start from somewhere... Yes, I agree. But mass events really shouldn’t be that ‘somewhere’. It’s a bad look.

Anyway, the authorities have put new measures in place. But the doctors and nurses remain unappeased. It hardly inspires confidence.

Yes, looks like we’re gearing up for a long, bitter summer. Well, our tourism minister did say there will be a summer, and the double inconvenience of Covid-ready tourists compounded with a terrible heatwave proves that there will be a summer indeed. With a vengeance.

Do say: “While it’s understandable that economic realities do need to be balanced out with health concerns during the pandemic, the fact that tourism is among the worst-hit industries right now should not give government and business lobbies carte blanche to ride roughshod over the otherwise excellent progress that Malta has made in its ongoing fight against the novel coronavirus. Caution and responsibility need to be applied across the board, and should not merely be left at the discretion of the individual.”

Don’t say: “The Pandemic Party Hub won’t start itself, ladies and gentlemen! Hop into the pool and never look back! R-Factor, here we come.”

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