The video of Robert Abela announcing we’d all be running come March made the rounds before today’s inevitable announcement of restrictive measures to try to rein in the rates of contagion from the covid disease.
Even the most ambivalent and terminally unconcerned gasped at daily rates of infection of over 300. Deaths are creeping up and the mood to celebrate the vaccine is soured by the simple reality that the vaccine has given us a false sense of security.
It’s quite simple, really. The vaccination protects the ones that have been inoculated, bless them. But that’s no reason for the ones who are still waiting their turn to go on as if nothing was the matter.
But Robert Abela has been encouraging us to “enjoy summer”, “stop being scared”, “return to normality” and as of March, using the Maltese idiom for coming back to full business mode with a vengeance, to “go running”.
We should have been more careful. Robert Abela yesterday mocked Bernard Grech challenging him to say what he would have done differently if he had been in his place. The answer is in many thousand Facebook moans where through all the drivel, there’s common sense and basic logic to be found as well.
Now that the weather is getting better, that people are naturally more inclined to go out, that Easter holidays are approaching and schools will be on half days: now we shut down restaurants.
We kept restaurants open through January and February, pretending the infections that decision was causing never really happened. And now, when restaurants were hoping to do some proper business, they have to close their doors again.
And of course, businesses have to send employees to work from home again, challenging the economy’s productivity just when it needs it most.
Coronavirus is far from uniquely a Maltese problem. But Robert Abela is. We’re being run by an infant.
His conduct at today’s press conference betrays the tension within him. He realises now that his mindless optimism of the last several months would not alone be enough to take the country through these times. He harangued journalists who asked him pointed questions, raised his voice, flushed his furious brows, gesticulated frantically.
He looked anything but calm and on top of the situation. He looked like what he is: frantic, panicking, drowning.
We saw today a prime minister refusing to acknowledge what he knows better than most: that he’s out of control and that he never really was in it any way.
For pity’s sake, don’t wait for this toddler to submit to the pressure of his hapless underlings before you decide to protect yourself and the ones near you. Stay home. Stay safe. And if you’re going to rely on hope, hope you’ll never need these people to protect your life. They don’t know where to start.