Take a snapshot of life in the different states of Australia over the past 6 months and it feels like each state and territory is a different country. With borders, for the most part slammed shut, each state has their own narrative about how to survive the pandemic. New South Wales and Victoria experience high daily Covid numbers but are opening up and easing restrictions as 70% and then 80% of the population is vaccinated. WA resembles a feudal kingdom keeping out the infidel virus and Queenslanders just keep on dining out and surfing with rarely a rumble in their daily lives from the global pandemic.
This leaves us all in very different places and adjusting to a major shift of really living with Covid all around us while we rely on vaccination rates and minimal restrictions to manage covid numbers. Some months ago Victoria aimed for zero cases of Covid, Today Victoria recorded 2,297 new cases and 11 deaths and we’ll be opening up and easing restrictions because the 70% vaccination target has been met.
But how do we live, work and play in this new Covid normal world? I’ve been thinking about the different dilemmas we may face in navigating Covid normal. We all tolerate different levels of risk. What will life be like in our Covid normal world? So here’s a little quiz to help us think through how risk tolerance meets life in a Covid normal setting…..
What would you do in each of these scenarios….?
- Friends suggest a holiday to Fiji. There are some great travel deals on offer. What will you do?
- A friend has made a point of not getting vaccinated because she doesn’t trust the vaccine. She says she’ll drop off some magazines at your place tomorrow. Are you OK with this?
- You’re given free tickets to the Melbourne cup with 10,000 people attending. Will you go?
- Your local supermarket is closed for deep cleaning after being a covid exposure site. Will you shop there tomorrow?
- A friend has invited you and 20 friends to her small flat for drinks. Will you go?
- You are given a spa voucher as a gift. It’s a public spa bath. Will you go?
- Your boss suggests you take an Uber to drop off some boxes at the post office.. are you OK with this?
- You call a plumber to fix an urgent leak. He arrives at your house but doesn’t wear a mask and mentions that his son had Covid 2 weeks ago but he’s Ok now. All good?
- Your friend consistently ” forgets” to check in with a QR code. What do you do?
- Your grandkids want to go to the cinema to see Luca, a kids movie. Do you go?
- You go to the gym but there are used tissues and water bottles left on equipment and it looks like it hasn’t been cleaned for a while..any action?
- A close relative dies in the UK. You would normally book a flight and make sure you’re there for the funeral. Will you go?
- In a long supermarket queue the person in front of you keeps sneezing and coughing. They have removed their mask. What do you do?
- A close friend who you see regularly, mentions she is not vaccinated because she read an article…… Do you do anything?
- You haven’t seen some friends for months as they are very anxious about covid. Now things are opening up you’d love to reconnect. How will you do this?
- A friend is struggling with anxiety and is not leaving his house very much. How can you help?
- You’ve recently recovered from mild Covid and call a friend to reschedule your regular coffee catch- up. She says she’s busy. This happens 2 weeks in a row. What do you do?
We’ll all be making decisions around our health and navigating these unchartered waters. How we make those decisions may lead us into conversations we’ve never had before around risk, legality, morality and even ethics. How do we make these choices?
- What feels right and comfortable for you?
- Think it through..then act
- Take a breath before you respond
- Consider alternatives
- Is this a relationship you are invested in or a transactional encounter?
” Openness, respect, integrity- these are principles that need to underpin pretty much every decision you make.” Justin Trudeau
Words by Nora Vitins