Confusion and outrage have become the words of the day in Malta after revelations that no outdoor cultural activities will be allowed to be organised “until at least September”. And while everyone really should be angry and pile on the pressure as soon as possible, everyone should also know by now that a u-turn is already on the horizon.
COVID-19 has turned the whole world into a semi-spontaneous, day-by-day decision-maker. Governments have had to think on their feet and go back on announcements mere weeks after making them.
And the reason behind this is simple; we’re living in the midst of a constantly evolving pandemic, and most world leaders are populist machines with one bottom line: winning over as many votes as possible while keeping everyone healthy and happy.
Back in Malta, the situation has been exactly the same.
We’ve had our leaders swear they would never close anything again because “lockdowns cause pain”…. only to announce a lockdown under a different name mere weeks later.
We’ve had a notice to wear a mask on the beach when you’re ankle-deep in seawater… until enough people complained and it was swiftly removed even before the swimming season really kicked off.
We even famously had promises of going to “business as usual by May”… and yet will not be allowing people to organise or attend one public cultural event until September. For now.
Because why is this the one decision people think won’t get retracted?
COVID-19 has transformed life into a delicate balancing act between the two extremes of an ongoing health vs economy debate, and it’s up to every country’s citizens to stand up and cry foul whenever they feel the scales tipping too much towards one end of the spectrum.
No one alive right now has ever truly lived through a global pandemic like this, and everyone would love more clarity and direction… and yes, even though they might hate to admit it, that includes our leaders.
— Chris Fearne (@chrisfearne) May 15, 2021
@lovinmaltaofficialWhat do you make of this? 🧐 ##fyp ##malta ##fypmalta ##lovinmalta ##charmainegauci ##pressconference ##massevents ##festivals ##djs♬ original sound – Lovin Malta
We’ve been told Malta’s leading the entire planet on vaccinations and low cases for months now. Summer is just around the corner, and right after that, a rumoured election will quickly hit the islands. And at the heart of it all is a government that’s proven time and time again it will happily pull a complete 180 to keep the majority happy.
And that’s not even necessarily a bad thing. Politics is all about winning over as many people as possible with as little effort as possible. And it’s a good thing that we live in a country where enough people can come together and effect change… even if they’re branded as unpatriotic, pessimistic or a bunch of privileged whiners.
In fact, that’s precisely why Malta’s DJs, promoters, festival organisers and all potential party attendees alike should be outraged right now.
They should continue pushing the government for the proper, longer-term exit-plan strategy they’ve been promised for months now.
They should also demand better from a country that has been telling them we’re the best in the world while the rest of the globe continues to burn.
They should definitely be poking holes in our leaders’ logic. They should be shouting at the top of their lungs: “You really think we’re the best? Prove it”.
But unless the government is suddenly going for political suicide, there’s no way the plan for the entire hot season is (A) piss off an entire nation and then (B) proceed to ask for everyone’s votes.
So by all means; please be furious. Let’s work together and get this reversed sooner rather than later. But also, deep down, know that you can probably also be very hopeful from the get-go.
What do you make of this? Do you agree? Sound off in the comments below