Christian Colombo from Malta: “Humanity is amazingly resourceful when dealing with adversity”

#GlobalHumanismNow: an update from Malta Humanist Association

  • blog Type / Membership blog
  • Date / 17 April 2020
  • By / Mahalet Tadesse

#GlobalHumanismNow is a series of mini-interviews with our Members and Associates from all around the world where we ask them how they are coping with the global coronavirus emergency, to explain what initiatives they are taking, and to tell us how the global humanist community can support them.

All interviews are available here.

Today we speak with Christian Colombo, Chairperson of Malta Humanist Association.

Humanists International: Hi Christian, thank you for accepting our invitation. What is the situation in your country, Malta?

Christian: So far the situation seems to be under control with around 300 cases and a partial lockdown. Most people are coping well and there are lots of initiatives to help those who are under quarantine or jobless.

(UPDATE: as of 17 April, Malta has 399 cases and 3 deaths)

How has the government responded to the crisis? 

The country is heavily relying on the advice from healthcare professionals, gradually increasing measures based on the number of cases discovered. There is also lots of testing based on case tracing. It seems like the government has managed to avoid an uncontrollable spread of the virus due to this approach.

A pic from “Astronomy and the Search for Meaning”, an event organised by MHA in 2018

How has the crisis affected your organization and the individuals within it?

We have not gathered information about this, however, the impression I get is that there is increased anxiety among some of the members.

How is Malta Humanist Association responding to the crisis? 

We have prepared a poster with services that can be accessed by those in need during this time. We signed a joint press statement with many other organizations and NGOS to demand an immediate food and shelter initiative for people in need. In this regard, we also have members who are involved in food delivery to those who can’t go out and buy their own groceries.

How do you think we should face this emergency as humanists? Which humanist principles should we value most right now?

Christian chairing the 2020 General Assembly of Malta Humanist Association

I think the most important humanist principles we should value in these days are:

  • Compassion: the need to help and support those who are badly affected by the situation
  • Reason: the need to base our actions on evidence and refrain from panicking and spreading false information
  • Civic responsibility: to follow the health authorities’ orders

How can the international community support your efforts?

We are luckily not in need of any help at this moment. Let’s help who really needs it, the less fortunate.

And what is your message to the global humanist community?

Humanity is so amazingly resourceful when dealing with adversity, let’s all join hands – even if remotely – and we’re sure to surmount these difficult times as we have done throughout history!

Thank you for participating in the #GlobalHumanismNow series, Christian!

Thank you, Giovanni.

If you represent a Member or Associate of Humanists International and you want to participate in the #GlobalHumanismNow series, please contact us at [email protected]

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