OPINION: ARE THINGS FUSING INTO CONFUSION?

The Malta International Airport’s periodical newsletter to its shareholders for March 2022 informs them that more than 1,000 flights scheduled to operate through the Islands’ international airport during the quarter of 2022 were cancelled after announcements related to the COVID pandemic.  In early April, an easing of pandemic control measures was announced by the Health Minister, Chris Fearne. The poor lad was during those days also himself pronounced positive. 

Naturally, the lobbying Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA) was both contended and not (you see these poor guys are, like Oliver, always asking “for more”!). At these same times, the nurses and doctors’ unions at Mater Dei Hospital (MDH) made the simple declaration that they simply couldn’t keep up with the constant increase of COVID cases at the Islands’ major health care facility. How much of the increased exposure and spread of the disease may be attributed to all the henceforth totally uncontrolled influxes of foreigners into Malta?

Confused?  Nobody blames you.  This is a period when confusion has turned confounded in our local scenario, and the authorities’ formerly appearing as steadily in control of the situation, has suddenly started to come over as both losing the script as well as, which is worse, allowing a nation-wide spread of confusion in many people’s minds.

Various sectors are reacting in different ways. Not the least of these, are many parents who are simply confused about the extent of the risks that their children – with or without masks – might be facing if and when they attend school. Would one dare mention MCAST and the University here?  Also not helping is the anomalous situation where one is about to leave one’s house, and knows that wearing a mask to go out in the street is no longer rigidly required. But, if then when out there now in Malta’s nice spring air you may suddenly need to go into a shop to make a purchase, you may well find yourself barred from entering for in fact not having such a facemask.

There is also now a lot of newly-added confusion regarding the inoculations – absolutely needed or otherwise? – situation, particularly, now, also the so-called fourth booster.

Nobody so far has come out clearly whether our senior citizens will again be contacted by the health authorities informing them of their personal situational needs.

Thinking optimistically, one might even say that, as soon as the post general election euphoria passes out, and Minister Fearne will again be getting on top of the day-to-day requirements of his Health Ministry, then much of this factually felt general confusion in many people’s minds may well be tackled head-on, and much more clarity than is the case with the present situation might well return.

As the bard would have it: “Hope springs eternal in the human breast”…