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Safety planning for 2021 post-pandemic: a personal choice

By all accounts, we are not yet halfway through the worst of the COVID pandemic as we soon enter the cold weather season. The most basic point of what we now know is that it spreads easily through the air with prolonged contact. Even indoor ventilation systems pose a significant spread risk. We also know that the most recent medical trends are worsening. The choice to remain close to home for the rest of 2020 is an easy one for me. But what about 2021?

My decisions are based on these observations and forecasts:

More than 1 in 30 of us should expect to be diagnosed next year after having at least minor symptoms. Of those, most – the large majority – will recover without serious illness but 1 in 12 of those will die. We don’t know much about long term effects after recovery.

We also know that government is unable and unwilling to force total societal distancing measures. By default, protection measures then become an individual choice.

So what does all this mean to my own business and lifestyle planning for 2021?

I’m going to presume that won’t happen within the timeframe being considered in this writing. No vaccine and no ‘cure’. When it does come, the comments in this post will be obsolete.

This means that each of us will be forced to choose whether every indoor (or less common prolonged close contact outdoor) social interaction is worth the risk. We will each choose our own perceived level of risk regardless of the actual impact of our choices which will remain mostly unknown.

My own choices are:

- fist bump instead of shaking hands. I won’t avoid hugs.

- follow official safety protocol regardless of my feelings on their effectiveness.

- avoid attending repeating non-essential higher risk events like the gym and dining out. I will find safer alternatives.

- attend occasional events for business purposes like Chamber of Commerce meetings where organizers are focused on minimizing risk.

- attend small group events like family gatherings or visiting friends.

- will not avoid individual business meetings but will push for more remote or outdoor walking meetings. I will consider the perceived risk level of each other person I am meeting in my choices.

The purpose of writing and posting this is to emphasize that safety protocol is an individual choice and to encourage more people to go through the mental exercise of consciously considering their own choices.