RE > Start

Herd immunity has arrived. Let’s give people their lives back and restore confidence


By Kevin-James Fenech

Kevin is the founder and owner of JOB Search - and FENCI Consulting

Recently we saw the ‘RE > Start’ campaign kick-off on social media. I love the logo and message but would expand it to include the whole economy. We also need to re-start our way of life!

By this I mean, let’s stop reporting every day the number of infections since this statistic is irrelevant now, especially now that we have reached herd immunity. What is far more relevant and important is the number of hospitalisations and deaths as a KPI, not the number of infections.

Let us ‘RE > Start’ libertarian free will and permanently lift the restriction of mandatory face mask wearing outside. I believe the science quoted is outdated and face masks are not an effective tool for scientific reasons (related to the particle size of COVID-19) but also practical reasons (use of face masks by people on the ground).

Let’s be honest about this and stop repeating the same old mantra of before since people do have access to the latest science on the subject and know that wearing a face mask outside, especially in the Maltese summer, is pure bonkers.

Let us ‘RE > Start’ peoples’ confidence and stop scaremongering in an attempt to retain public health control post herd immunity. The latest scare tactics focused on the ‘variants’ (*Indian, Brazilian, South African, Kent, etc) but the science clearly points towards the vaccines being close to 90% effective against any of the variants for those people who are fully vaccinated.

Let us ‘RE > Start’ travel, properly. I do not believe we need to quarantine or double PCR test travellers who have been fully vaccinated and more so once countries reach herd immunity. No one should have to go through the ordeal or cost of a PCR test to travel, at least within the European Union. I also strongly object to children under the age of 12 needing to take a PCR test to travel before, now or in the future.

We need to ‘RE > Start’ our normal way of life. By this I mean, the public health authorities should issue guidelines but then it is up to the individual to decide whether or not to abide by such guidelines.

I fear that public health authorities have fallen in love with all this power and control over our day to day lives. Similar to drinking alcohol, safe sex practices and smoking tobacco, people should be allowed to determine how they want to live their lives.

So now that we have reached herd immunity, please let’s lift the restriction of mandatory face mask wearing and a host of other restrictions. If we believe in the science of vaccines, we should feel comfortable from now to state that ‘Freedom Day’ (as the Brits are calling it) is here and all restrictions should be lifted.

The evolution of any virus is that with time it becomes more contagious but less effective (less deadly or threatening). With 70% or more of the population vaccinated the entire population is protected and as/when other countries reach herd immunity we can remove restrictions on a reciprocal basis, permanently. Failure to do so will result in a failed ‘RE > Start’ of everything especially the economy.

This is where the government must now play its role. It should start to restore confidence and arrest any overly conservative public health approaches from now, since this is going to stifle or harm business confidence unnecessarily.

I certainly think it was the government’s responsibility to get us to herd immunity (and well done for doing so) but as soon as we reach this important milestone, we must get back our freedoms and return to our cherished way of life.

So I shout out loud and clear, ‘RE > Start’ also means stop scaremongering and controlling peoples’ minds through fear. Switch from mandatory public health laws to guidelines and recommendations and get off peoples’ back. Stop the daily reporting of COVID-19 data and media briefings. The vaccine has won the war and the government now needs to change tact and restore confidence and encourage people to get back to their normal way of life.

‘RE > Start’ is the be all and end all. June is the month. The Government needs to eradicate the overly cautious and ridiculously cumbersome public health protocols some of which didn’t make sense even during the ‘semi-lockdown’.

Herd immunity has arrived. Let’s give people their lives back and restore confidence.

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