Now that the sudden rise in Covid infections has deeply shocked the country’s population we all together have a decision to take.
Either we go for the blame game in a big, hurting, disruptive way.
Or we come together to do all that is needed to save this country from the feared second wave and prevent so many unnecessary deaths.
It is clear there are people who should be blamed for this spike – in primis Prime Minister Robert Abela who has been for a long time undermining the advice of the health authorities, pooh-poohing all talk about a second wave, and pushing for a re-opening that we now see was premature.
Next the largely inexperienced Minister for Tourism who started pushing for a re-opening even before her leader. She has come to be dominated by the MTA when it should have been the other way round.
Next come the mostly government-appointed bureaucrats, some of the hoteliers and the intermediate bodies who have been equally vociferous in arguing for re-opening.
Then we have the party organisers at all levels who saw a window of opportunity and jumped for it, seeing that other countries had banned mass parties. And of course the band and festa organisers who thought all this fuss was stupid.
Not forgetting those who should have been the bulwarks of society protecting it from a Covid spike – the police who should have banned the band marches, the church who should have stood firm when she realised the flow of events, and, as we pointed out in a recent issue, the flight crews who did not enforce the facemask protocol.
The end result was that people coming in what was billed as the Covid-free island found a country bent on enjoyment where the rules were for dummies.
(We leave apart here the discussion regarding the migrants coming in with Covid, noting that this does not seem to be the case with the far larger numbers making it to Pantelleria or Lampedusa).
The end result is what we now have, plus future developments we may only dream about in nightmares. Maybe we can stop pointing fingers and start to reason without turning the discussion into a partisan diatribe which is the worst possible option.
Clearly, we need to get back to the rules and see that they are enforced, starting from simple things like on the buses and in shops.
And the clamour of anger that has risen these past days should make it easier for those who have let this country down to stand firm when they come under pressure by those who stand to gain so much.
We are not doing ourselves any good by being so lenient. On the contrary, we risk getting a bad name for ourselves, in this as in other areas we can talk about.