Managing Risk – Our New Normal

Have you heard it said that we are entering into an era of trust? We have never had access to such a vast amount of information since the coronavirus pandemic began. With so much information available from polar-opposite viewpoints, it has been difficult to know what to believe. Unfortunately, the behaviour of current world leaders would question people’s faith in authorities. This does add to the challenge.

Recently we are experiencing the loosening of lockdown restrictions. The reopening phases allow us to interact with small family or social groups again, and many businesses are reopening. The simple pleasure of spending time in the company of people we missed and longed to see is good for our souls. However, our need for social connection and the fulfilment we get from spending time with loved ones is also revealing twinges of mixed emotions.

One obvious revelation that the Covid-19 pandemic has unearthed is that we humans have such a varying spectrum of beliefs and values that we choose to live life through. Collectively we did a brilliant job during total lockdown. However, as soon as liberties returned you can see how some peoples values and judgements have altered to the point that by watching their behaviours and actions, you would scarcely believe that a potentially fatal virus is circulating.

Okay, we have all heard of lockdown haircuts and rave parties. We have seen images of football celebrations and overcrowding on the country’s beaches. After lockdown it is understandable that some people will pursue instant gratification, forgetting the potential health consequences for themselves, their families or anyone who unknowingly crosses their path. So how do we manage risk in a world where the risk is invisible?

Knowing who to trust has become a daily dilemma, a necessary call of judgement for potential survival. People of differing values will adhere to varying standards of health, social distancing, and precautions. Outside of social interactions we need to weigh up and balance the fulfilment we receive from services, activities, and pursuits with the risks that they pose. Some businesses can be easier to trust. You might know their track record. Maybe you can see the precautionary steps that they have taken, or they share information on what they are doing to keep you safe? It can be more difficult to determine which individuals to trust. Not only are you trusting them but because of the parameters of the virus, you also need to trust the people that they closely interact with!

How to know who to trust? Life is short and it is for living. This is especially true when we realise how easily life got turned upside down during these uncertain times. As humans we need to participate in the activities of life that fulfil us, reward our endeavours, or deliver value in the form of health, wealth, and happiness. Although different for everybody this could be visiting a great restaurant, having a well needed massage treatment, or playing regular tennis. We need to focus on the aspects of risk management that we can control. Where to go, who to see, when is the safest time etc. We should have a good indication of which colleagues, family and friends that also possess risk management characteristics to interact with during these life pursuits.

Making the right call for you. Sometimes you will be invited to participate in something that you would like to do but may develop a “gut feeling” that suggests treading carefully. Consider postponing the answer you give. Schedule some time out to reflect, weigh the pros and cons and see if your gut is still signalling a warning. The ability to say no is a strength, and who knows, in times like these this simple word could simply be a life saver.