It’s time to use individual risk management

I recently listened to another one of my condo association conference calls to discuss our current Covid-19 protocols for the community. After listening to the same status quo recommendations to remain in lock down for fear of infection, I started to think about all the high risk situations I’ve been involved in over the years and it occurred to me that it probably wasn’t all luck that I made it through most of them SO FAR! There must have been some training, experience and lessons learned I used through the years that have guided me and my family to mitigate risk and live through many threatening situations. I believe this is true for many of us. We are all responsible for our own safety and must use reasonable, time-tested measures to mitigate risk against any threat to our survival while still leading productive lives. Allowing someone else to manage our decisions on how best to do this, strips us of our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Threats and reckless behavior by others will always remain constant but we must do what WE can to mitigate their risk to our existence.

Listening to some of our national/state/local leadership, bureaucratic agencies, media and yes, even condo associations, it’s apparent that many of the people that are making our policy and restricting our freedom have no experience in evaluating and developing risk mitigation measures for themselves. Their solution to decreasing their risk is to deny the rights, privileges and freedoms of every individual regardless of whether it will realistically help the overall situation. There will never be a time in this life that we will not be assured of daily threats to our existence. If we are waiting for the day when coronavirus will no longer be a threat to anyone, then we will continue to live in fear and unable to get on with a productive, meaningful life. Previous to coronavirus, we had lived with the threat of catching the flu, TB, cancer, being robbed, having a traffic accident or a hundred other threats but none of these have stopped us from living a free and productive life.

When I confront people on what it will take to convince them to go back to some semblance of “normal” life in reference to the coronavirus, they state that we must be assured of zero risk of being infected. With this metric, I can’t think of any way we will ever move forward on this issue. These people have been so affected by the mass hysteria of this situation that no amount of reasoning or logic will overcome their fear. So, instead of telling them that our response to coronavirus is completely unreasonable and will never rid us of the risk, I bring up a similar threat we deal with daily--traveling by car to the grocery store to ensure our survival by not starving to death. Everyone knows we have a greater chance of being involved and possibly dying in a car accident than most other threats we face, yet we still venture out daily to this grim reality. Why do we do this if there is more chance of dying in a car accident than from coronavirus? For many of us, we formulate a risk mitigation plan that includes conscious decisions of wearing seat belts, following the rules of the road, traveling outside rush hour windows, not driving in inclement weather or at night, bringing a passenger for another set of eyes, maintaining our vehicles in good working order, pulling over when we are tired and always driving defensively. However, all of these measures can still be overcome by one reckless driver. But no matter what laws, policy or standards are set, the fact remains that we leave our homes everyday with the chance of never coming back. The only way to completely remove this risk would be to not allow anyone to drive a car. We would all think this to be completely unrealistic and unreasonable, yet this is exactly what we are doing for the coronavirus. How can one scenario be dealt with completely different than the other? We will never be able to get car accidents or sickness from viruses to zero! Each individual needs to determine, by their own mitigation plan, whether the risk is worth taking. The government, media or condo association cannot be left to make the decision that should be made by each individual. Everyone should be responsible for looking at the situation from their vantage point, determine a plan to reduce risk and then assess if it meets their criteria to venture out into a dangerous world.

Even as we slowly open up the country, decisions on the coronavirus have been made by a select few directing everyone to remain inside, stay away from work/family/friends, mandate full-time wear of onerous gear, take away every leisure activity/travel/amenity; all of which have basically led to a completely unreasonable, unproductive and unfulfilling situation. Not to mention, driving our country and citizens into bankruptcy. The people advocating this are the ones that don’t want to allow individuals the freedom to formulate their own mitigation plans but rather want EVERYONE to submit to an unreasonable set of rules that still have no way of reducing the ever-present risks of life. The end result is a life of increased risk due to an unproductive, unmotivated and fearful nation. Our greatest fear should be that each subsequent threat will inevitably be met with even more onerous restrictions of our freedom.

We will never be able to fully prevent threats or mandate the behavior of others, but we should always have the power and freedom to decide how we minimize risk to us and our families. Make your plan today!

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