The first wave of COVID-19 is crashing toward shore. If, and how many more, waves will follow during the coming years is anyone’s guess, but one thing is certain: the freedoms we once enjoyed may be changed forever. What will be the new normal? What will a virus-phobic world society look and feel like? I imagine we’ll make it up as we go based on our comfort levels.
Before we go further down the path, we need to answer an important question, because it will influence every decision that shapes the new normal. The question: how much risk are we willing to live with for the quality of life and freedoms we desire? If we don’t decide this up front, I’d bet we will make decisions, pass laws, and enact guidelines that drive us toward 100% safety and zero risk policies. And who doesn’t want total safety; it’s a feel-good place to be. But what’s the cost in quality of life, suppression of personal freedoms, sacrifice of privacy, and financial livelihoods?
If we decide how much risk we’re willing to live with, it will make it much easier to make important decisions in work and leisure. Some of the questions that businesses are wrestling with include:
- How many people will be allowed on an elevator at one time?
- Who, when, and how should employees be screened before entering the office? And what about visitors?
- Will the much-dreaded cubicle concept finally be taken out by COVID as opposed to the research which showed how it cost businesses much more than it saved?
- How much sanitation is enough to protect employers from employee lawsuits claiming the company was negligent in providing a safe work environment?
- Where, when, and for how long will face masks be mandatory? Will we be required to wear them so much, they become fashion apparel much like a men’s necktie or women’s jewelry?
- How many people will be allowed to congregate in the break room or have lunch together?
- How will these policies be enforced?
- What’s the repercussions for violators to policies?
Some of these may seem like tongue-in-cheek questions, but are they really? If COVID-19 is not one-and-done, but a virus we live with and have to mitigate as part of our world fabric, we need to get serious in asking ourselves the tough question. How much are we willing to give up in our lives and for what level of protection?
About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional life coach with an extensive background in leadership and business consulting. She has a passion to help people be the hero of their own life stories. She administers assessments, designs and facilitates workshops, and coaches both individuals and teams. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com