The Malta Independent 8 August 2020, Saturday

TMID Editorial: Coronavirus - We are still at risk

Tuesday, 28 July 2020, 09:08 Last update: about 11 days ago

The Coronavirus is still alive and kicking, thinking otherwise is irresponsible and dangerous.

The country managed to contain the spread prior to the opening of the airports, but now everything is at risk once more.

The argument of economy vs health is one that has been raging since the government began to lift restrictive measures. The authorities managed to get the country back to a semblance of normality without seeing a spike in cases, until recently, although many were still concerned that the lifting of such measures was too quick. Remember the worry that arose when restaurants were allowed to reopen?

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Regardless, the country got through it. Then came the opening of the airport and the ports, and concern rose again. While the country managed, for weeks, to keep virus numbers down, perhaps some measures should not have been lifted, such as those regarding mass events.

Now we are in a situation that threatens the country once more, as some greedy businesses organised events for huge crowds, resulting in people from different countries being in close proximity for long hours, inebriated. How did it make sense to, in the current reality where countries are still stricken by the Coronavirus, allow such events to be held?

Not only were the party-goers put at risk, but so were their very own staff, and anyone else who came into contact with those who attended.

There is only one reason that comes to mind… greed.

While businesses that organised such events should feel ashamed for doing so, putting their own interests above the interests of others living in Malta, the health authorities and the government are also to blame for allowing such an event to take place in the first place. Party-goers do not follow social-distancing guidelines. People at such parties drink, dance in close proximity to others and be merry. They do not to worry about keeping a 2m distance between themselves and the next person. Allowing such parties in the first place was a mistake.

Recommending that people wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines hasn’t really worked. One can just go on the Gozo ferry and see people shoulder to shoulder, with barely any masks being worn in sight.

Being selfish puts others at risk. The elderly do not want to go back into another lockdown, and rightfully so, yet their lives are in our hands as our actions might result in the need for such measures to re-emerge for their own safety.

Greedy and selfish actions right now could literally ruin lives.

People in this country need to work together so that we can overcome the virus, and not let our guards down just because numbers are low. Countries abroad have experienced a second wave, Malta is not out of the woods.

Wear a mask when out shopping or on public transport, don’t stand too close to others, if feeling unwell, stay home. Everyone should try and follow these rules as much as possible.

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