The view over Mgarr reflects the location and the feeling of the inhabitants of my small island in the middle of the sea:
Gray is the predominant color at the moment. With the first COVID infected everything changes here!
After a beautiful winter with sun and warmth, fun carnival goings-on and beautiful evenings outside in restaurants and pubs with music with friends, not only does February 2020 end, but also the "easy going" in Gozo.
Here, too, all of the toilet paper suddenly want to hamster and the large supermarkets are also overcrowded during this time. Everyone is panicked, because a lot of goods come from Sicily across the sea. Will the supplies come? In the meantime, that has subsided and reason has returned.
The discussions in the Zepis are also only about the virus: what about the tourists who are currently in Malta? Are there new ones coming and what about those who are now abroad and coming home?
Questions that concern not only the citizens but also the government of Malta. It reacted quickly and banned landings from Italy, Germany, Switzerland, France and Spain on day 5 of the first infected. Whether by plane or by ship, entry is not permitted for anyone who does not live in Malta. Anyone who starts their trip to the islands will automatically be put in quarantine at home, whether infected or not. 14 days hotel or apartment instead of the usual week that travelers plan for Malta and Gozo. Quarantine here means not leaving the house, the state of health is checked upon entry and whoever gets caught on trips to the city or the surrounding area really pays for coal! In the beginning 1000 € per person, now 3000 € are due!
This applies to everyone who is sent to home quarantine by the health authority and we are checked daily by the police. Anyone who is not at home needs a good reason.
Despite everything, the number of infected people is increasing, but many are coming back home and have the virus in their luggage. Schools, universities and cultural institutions have been closed for weeks and the towns and cities are almost extinct. Events are canceled and the churches, synagogues and mosques hold the service virtually.
The airport has been closed since Friday, March 21st, 2020, only cargo is taking place and the peace in the sky is eerie!
The ferry to Gozo can only be used on foot for people living here. Most work from home. Keeping distance is also the means of choice here.
Malta a country of delivery service proves itself in the crisis!
Everyday shops in Gozo take orders over the phone and then deliver home in the afternoon. The municipal administrations go online with help platforms and everyone participates:
Help with shopping and doctor visits, online yoga and gym courses, anti stress workshops online, game instructions, private transport and private music videos are on offer. Practiced neighborhood help is very popular here. Now let's see how it goes on.
Hotels, B & Bs and apartments are empty, bookings are zero and cancellations are received every day, even in the otherwise popular private rooms. The rat tail of cleaning aids that are no longer employed, helpers in restaurants, pubs and closed shops, but also the suppliers of these companies are facing difficult times.
As an optimist, it is becoming increasingly difficult for me to look to the future with hope.
Take care and stay healthy!