Marie Benoit’s Diary: Chronicles of a dentist caught in the pandemic

Dr Klaus Vella Bardon is a dentist and has a twin brother. There is also a younger brother, eight years their junior. They had an idyllic upbringing in St Paul’s Bay, throughout the Fifties, where their father was the village doctor.

 Klaus graduated in Malta in 1970 and then studied at the dental school of Dundee 1970/71. He opened a clinic in Malta in 1972 and worked in Libya and did locums in Abu Dhabi for a brief period. He found that the vast expanse of sand and sea had a great impact on his spiritual maturation.

His wife Susan and himself have been married for over 44 years and they have been blessed with four children.

He has worked on various committees and associations and is now involved with Life Network Malta.

Klaus loves music and is a skillful player of the accordian. He is also a regular and followed contributor to the local press.

How were his lockdown days?

“As news of the Coronavirus pandemic intensified, my wife Susan and I were visiting our daughter in Ghent, Belgium. We were enjoying mild late winter weather in early March and most of the days of our short ten-day holiday were remarkably sunny. Due to their central heating, living indoors in Belgium is much more congenial than it is back home. Although at the time, Belgium seemed totally indifferent to the pandemic, Susan was getting alarming messages of the looming pandemic from Malta on her smartphone. I persist on using a basic cell phone and thus live in blissful ignorance unlike so many others who spend every waking minute scrolling through the endless information that floods the Internet.

On a positive note, together with our daughter, we were able to visit a Ghent museum and see the splendid exhibition of Van Eyck as people had started to cancel their bookings. There would otherwise have been no chance of visiting this highly regarded event as it had been booked up for weeks.

The gravity of the pandemic struck us very suddenly as Susan and I were on our return trip to Malta on the 12th of March. We were hoping to travel home before any measures were taken. We were hit by the new measures as we were trooping down the tunnel towards the awaiting Air Malta plane. The passengers were all ordered to stop and wait. Wait we did for almost two hours, standing up in close proximity. A young Italian stood in front of me and being aware that Northern Italy was starting to be really badly hit by soaring mortality rates, it was rather worrying. No official bothered to show his face. The reason was obvious. They were scared out of their wits and were awaiting instructions as we stood and waited. It always amazes me how people will meekly put up with inconvenience when gripped by fear of the unknown. I was furious, and when we were cheerily greeted as we went aboard the plane without even

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