Once upon a time, not too long ago, Maltese families fuelled by ignorance and fear of the Catholic Church’s fire and brimstone, were blessed with a multitude of children, sometimes up to and even more than a round dozen. In those days it was simply exhausting remembering the names of all your children, let alone keeping up with their mischief. Even more scary, imagine trying to pair socks on laundry day! But those days are long gone and now Maltese families can boast of a neater and more manageable one or two child unit.
However, with the imminent threat of COVID-19 upon us, authorities are urging the population to stay indoors, away from places where people can congregate and should spend their time watching TV, surfing the internet, reading, baking or making ganutell. However, now being in close proximity to one’s partner 24/7 and with a lot of idle time on one’s hands, people would predictably turn friskier. Where in the past the incidence of ‘having a headache’ was rampant, with working mothers and fathers simply too exhausted by the end of the day to partake of any sport between the sheets, the amount of leisure time available through this pseudo-lockdown presents infinite possibilities.
So what can we expect? Expert sociologist Dr Lana Casha Mula shared her thoughts on this unprecedented situation, “We can expect a surge in births by the end of the year. Probably this is due to the fact that when humans are faced with their own mortality, they tend to go a bit nuts and shag tirelessly. Combined with the fact that pharmacies are now on partial lockdown and most will only serve customers from behind a thick plastic sheet, one literally has to shout out his choice of birth control. Not a very encouraging scenario.
“Until a few days ago, it was a matter of mumbling your favourite brand, getting your supplies, paying the cashier and bingo! You’re out the door in no time. Supermarkets are no better. Shelves which were until recently stocked with condoms have made way for pasta, rice and more toilet paper, so basically, people are not getting what they need. So, this situation combined with hours upon hours of leisure time, I predict that we shall be looking at a huge baby boom.”
Sources close to the National Statistics Office stated that given the penchant of the Maltese for anadromes (LEGEND=DNEGEL anyone?) and the creation of bizarre baby names we are predictably looking at a lot of baby DIVOCs or ANOROCs to add to the list of Maltese original baby names. Bookies in Valletta are already taking bets that a year from now these two names will top the list of the most popular baby names in 2020.
Meanwhile unconfirmed reports emanating from the Ministry of Health claim that Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health, Chris Fearne is thoroughly pissed off at the news of a surge in births. “A bursting to the seams Obstetrics Department is all we need right now! People should discipline themselves and find other less risky means of entertainment. We cannot afford to stretch further our healthcare system. What with actual COVID-19 cases, people thinking they have COVID-19, people suffering panic attacks because of COVID-19 and related heart attacks because of COVID-19, our hospitals are stretched way beyond their limits!”
However, it seems that this view is not shared by Minister for Finance, Profs Edward Scicluna, “A baby boom would be most welcome. More people to contribute to our National Insurance. Our native population is ageing with a decline in births, an issue which urgently needs to be addressed. We are risking that in the near future there will be more babies born to foreigners in Malta than to Maltese women. So, I believe that this is the silver lining.”
Profs Scicluna’s point of view was fully endorsed by Patrijotti Maltin, who on their part are encouraging the population to forget about Netflix and go at it hammer and tongs for the welfare of our future generations. Warning: Senior citizens need not (should not) heed these instructions.
Disclaimer: Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. The above article is to be taken in the spirit it was intended… with no offence meant, and tongue firmly in cheek.