A life-changing event like the COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t occur every day, and for many – Malta’s CEOs included – their way of life can be neatly positioned into two piles: pre-pandemic and post-pandemic.
But what are the major ways that life has changed as a result of COVID-19? In MaltaCEOs 2021, 50 of the island’s business leaders shared how things look different for them today, compares to their life pre-COVID-19.
The lack of social interaction featured heavily in CEOs’ responses to the change in their lifestyle pre- and post-pandemic, with some finding it difficult to become accustomed to far less socialising. Norman Aquilina, CEO at Farsons Group, says that living a less social life is “sad but will hopefully soon be overcome”, while RE/MAX Malta’s Jeffrey Buttigieg admits that it affects him a lot, describing himself as a social animal: “I like meeting people and organising events, so that’s currently missing from my life.”
Another major factor is the lack of travel. For many, travel was a way of life pre-pandemic, both for business and for pleasure. Marsovin CEO Jeremy Cassar admits to travelling “once or twice a month” before COVID-19, while Evolve’s Christopher Busuttil Delbridge recalls travelling 12 times a year. For most, it’s been that long since they’ve boarded a plane, and when you live on an island as small as Malta, it can take some getting used to!
With less time spent socialising and travelling, a positive factor for many CEOs who share a home with their family is that time spent with loved ones has increased. This was the case for Würth CEO Arthur Calleja, who got to spend more time with his children, and GO’s Nikhil Patil, who admits to feeling “very blessed” to be able to spend a lot more time with family.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and often, humbler. For many business leaders in Malta and beyond, the pandemic taught a number of crucial lessons – among them are resilience and adaptability. Lifestar Holding Chairman Paolo Catalfamo describes himself as “more conscious that anything can happen at any time” post-COVID-19, and Jean Claude Muscat, St James Hospital Group CEO feels “more grounded and aware of how quickly things can change.”
How did COVID-19 change the way you live your life?
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