The Malta Independent 20 September 2020, Sunday


Alfred Sant MEP Monday, 3 August 2020, 07:03 Last update: about 3 months ago

The latest two athletic challenges staged in Malta – the non-stop swim from Sicily and the run along the perimeter of the islands – celebrated chosen philantropic goals and the joy of sports achievement.

Still, I believe there’s another crucial factor relevant to what was achieved, and one that cannot be ignored: stamina – the will and a strong determination to ensure that despite the arising difficulties, what one has set out to accoplish will truly be carried out. The three athletes who manned the two initiatives showed how necessary it is to sustain such an attitude. I liked very much this aspect of their endeavours.


As I see it, in Malta one defect is that stamina sometimes falters. Especially in public life, but also in economic and social initiatives, we see how when difficulties arise, slowly very slowly, a project that has been put on track is left to slow down. Which is why too, we have so many intiatives that once started, are put on snooze.

Probably those who display stamina and insist on continuing forward risk being labelled hardheaded. Yet, without stamina one arrives nowhere. The world was not built by people who only can navigate under clear skies.



Everybody’s going to Mars. The Chinese, Arabs from the Emirates, Americans led by Trump, and the Europeans as well apparently, unless they’ve already left.

It is difficult to say what attracts them to the planet except for the claim usually made that Mars likely resembled our own planet one day before its climate changed and it dried up completely.

The problem though is that Mars happens to be too small. There are so many nations lusting for it that when they arrive there, they’ll find that it’s just not enough, and they would all want to have the whole for themselves. The same thing happened towards the end of the 19th. century when European powers found they were all coveting at the same time the African continent and all struck out to grab some part of it. Then they decided they had better come to some agreement. However the arrangement they arrived at opened up the likelihood of greater quarrels between them. So started the process of deep turbulence in that region which still affects contemporary central Africa. 



Lots of explanations were given about how the corona virus pandemic affects worst older people. And it’s true that most of those who died were elderly, actually to a greater extent than is shown by official statistics. Lots of deaths were assigned to other causes. However, if one compares deaths for this year with last year’s, one finds that this year there have been more deaths but the extent of the increase is significantly larger than the count given for corona virus deaths.

In recent weeks a narrative has been developing about how – as the diesease spread – more and more middle aged and younger people were affected. More of them still recovered than was the case for the elderly, true. Yet it was also remarked that once recovered, a patient no matter whether young or old, does not regain his/her full health fast. A certain tiredness and susceptibility to other diseases remain. The disease is so new that we still do not know exactly how it affects people.


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