Kids are going back to school- maybe. People are returning to the office- somewhat. Gyms and movie theatres are opening up- kinda. As our culture plows through the challenges of the coronavirus, we are all finding that there are not many reliable resources for guidance, not even for what is actually going to happen out in “the world”.
There is an opportunity here to stop relying on the “authorities” and start setting up some risk management systems for ourselves. In fact, a trademark of a resilient relationship is careful consideration of the future and plans for cautiously engaging in risk. A trademark of raising resilient children is planning and managing risk.
Having no plan and counting on outside information is proving unreliable and in fact, can be considered too much of a risk at this point. Passively wondering what to do? High risk! Being proactive with the few facts that we have requires working with several essential pieces. The first is having a strategy for making decisions, The second is to separate the kinds of risk, and the third is to aim for quality results, the fourth is to be prepared to be agile in the face of conflicts. The fifth is to always keep your values and principles on the front burner
Have A Strategy
The single most important decision any family can make at this time is to have a strategy. A strategy is a plan of action and a means of attaining it. How can we develop a strategy in the face of so much uncertainty? The strategy defines what it is we want to accomplish overall and some of the means for getting there. It will need to take into account variables in order to be translated into tactics, which is the how, or way that we will get there. In terms of our families, that may look like
1) We want to keep everyone healthy and productive
2) We expect there to be some setbacks and will take them into account in developing the tactics or the “how” of our plans.
3) We will get clear in advance how much risk and what kinds of risks we are willing to take. Take some time to consider what will youtube strategy be through the COVID times.
You can count on them lasting at least a year, possibly more so take into account that your plan will cover 1-2 years of some variation on what we have experienced so far. Part of any strategy will be easing into risk rather than taking giant gambles for no clear payoff.
Kinds of Risk
What amount of risk and kinds of risk we want to take is super important. To define the kind of risk will inform us as to how we will participate in the face of schools, gatherings, and opportunities.
Who is living with you and what level of risk are they at? Who do you interact with and what level of risk are they in?
If your household is mostly low risk in terms of COVID, that may give you a little room to play with- your risk is lower. If you have regular contact with over 65’s, that raises your risk. Once your clear on these basics, you will be able to assess how much risk going out into the world is. For example, subways apparently are a lower risk when we follow guidelines, use disinfectant, etc. Schools are a mixed bag- no clear indicators on those. If you are a high-risk household you may not want to send your kids to school OR you will want to ensure that risks at school re minimized for example.
Make sure that when you are taking risks that they are for something worthwhile. Some seniors for example are very clear that video life with their families is not adequate and is willing to have time with kids and grandkids under the assurance that their kids and grands are careful about managing their exposure opportunities in their lives. This is a quality decision. Taking vacations, again be willing to pay more for lower risk. Don’t just trust promises online of cleaning without following up, getting verbal confirmation, or checking reviews. The bottom line, only believe people you know you can trust.
Because the outcomes are not yet clear, your plans need to be agile. Don’t take risk without having a plan of action if the risk falls through. Are your kids going to school? How will you handle it if there is an outbreak in the school? If you going to quarantine, will it be the whole family? One parent and the child? Just the child? How will you manage it? Your plant need to take into account the worst-case scenario of every foreseeable outcome.
Always roll with your values on the front burner. That means if the family is your primary value, do not compromise it. It will be tempting to take unnecessary risks just to break the monotony of more isolation. don’t do it. Remember to nurture yourself first, your marriage second, kids/family third, and work last. That does not mean you don’t work, it means you always make sure that when your choosing you choose from your priorities not from what appears to be urgent at the time. If your not sure which values and priorities matter now is a great time to talk about them