Are the Maltese taking COVID-19 way too seriously?

The COVID-19 pandemic has been on everyone’s mind for the most part of almost two years now. Throughout the period of this devastating pandemic, it has been a rollercoaster of events where the whole world experienced fear due to lockdowns, the economic fall-out, rising cases and deaths. In a recent Eurobarometer survey, it has been determined that the Maltese are more fearful and frustrated than the EU average when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The data shows that sixty-five percent of Maltese respondents indicated that the pandemic had created feelings of uncertainty for them. When considering that the EU average for this is forty-five percent, one notices that feelings of uncertainty surrounding the pandemic are significantly higher in Malta. With respect to feelings of fear, the average of the EU was found to be at twenty-two percent whilst for Malta this was also notably higher at thirty-five percent. In terms of frustration, the Maltese that indicated such feelings amount to forty-one percent whilst the average in the EU is that of thirty-four percent. Similar to the EU average is the outlook with respect to hope for the future. Thirty-eight percent, which is quite close to the EU average expressed a sense of hope when asked about the future.

According to this research, it has been deemed that the overwhelming majority of people living in Malta believe that health should be placed above the economy in the context of the pandemic. Although many people have indicated that health should be prioritised over the economy, more than half of the respondents have stated that they have been financially impacted. 

It was also found that the overwhelming majority of people were not too pleased with how the COVID-19 pandemic was being handled on a national level. It is important to note however, that the data was collected in March and April, when daily cases were at all-time highs locally. At the time, several people argued that things were too relaxed in Malta and that measures were required.

Over ninety percent of respondents highlighted their belief that the EU should have the competence to deal with such pandemic crises. 

As the impacts of the pandemic subside, with few daily cases, low hospitalisations and a geared vaccination campaign, Malta has been lifting restrictions, with the wearing of masks outside set to be the next measure to be lifted.

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