We mitigate risk in our daily lives all the time.
Sometimes, risk mitigation is unthinking, even automatic, like fastening your seatbelt before driving. Or wearing light colored clothes while jogging at night. It is why we designate a driver if we plan to drink on a night out with friends.
Other times, it’s not simple. For example, health or auto insurance coverage requires thought and probably some research to determine what coverage level meets your needs (and risk tolerance) at a given life stage. The same goes for a financial portfolio.
Sometimes the saying “go big or go home” applies.
A 4000 mile risk mitigation.
Yes, you read that correctly. Let me explain. My family and I: two vaccinated adults and two children too young to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, were on a road trip through some of the US National Parks, Monuments, and Forests (aside: on this trip I learned that the US also has National Lakeshores). The idea was to travel safely after 15 months of quarantine so we chose to stick to the outdoors, avoid crowds, and always mask around other people, even outdoors. We take our risk mitigation seriously in this family.
After a few months on the road, we decided to leave our base in Tacoma, Washington and visit my parents in Pennsylvania. The opening of the Canadian border to vaccinated US citizens had already been announced by this time. Admittedly, we were excited at the prospect of travel outside the US after having had to cancel or reschedule several trips due to COVID-19. What came next was a little more than we initially considered.
We decided to drive into Canada for a short vacation in Alberta. We planned our PCR testing, route, and sightseeing carefully with the intention of returning to the US through Montana and heading east across the northern states. The Delta variant was already a concern in some parts of the US. Vaccination rates were still too low in many states. The news kept getting worse. I checked the infection rate state maps. What if we drove across, but north of the border instead?
Why on earth would you do something that sounds so crazy?
A couple of answers come to mind. One, although we had a specific destination in mind, we didn’t have a timeframe tying us to the shortest route. I work remotely and the children are being homeschooled until they can be vaccinated.
Two, we wanted to enjoy our international travel as long as possible, having been unable to travel outside the US and now unwilling to fly with unvaccinated children when air travelers routinely keep their masks down for an entire flight while eating a bag of peanuts.
Three, to get this reaction from the inimitable Skip Williams, “YOU DROVE FROM ALBERTA TO PA THROUGH CANADA???????????” Why, yes, yes we did.
And last, to travel as safely as possible with the most amount of freedom and least possible risk. The least possible risk is key since one of us has a severely compromised immune system. Specifically, with worsening numbers in the US and anti-maskers and -vaxxers on the rise in the US, we felt much more comfortable driving across Canada. As we traveled in an RV and mostly stayed at National and Provincial Park campgrounds, we felt even safer. The parks weren’t as crowded as the US ones had we driven south of the border. Fewer big cities. A LOT fewer people.
I’ve been reading a lot of interviews and news articles covering the probable shift from “pandemic” to “endemic.” It is not something I find acceptable but I can’t change it. However, WE still can. What is missing is the willingness to tackle COVID-19 the way the US tackled polio. We practice risk mitigation strategies of one sort or another all the time. Let’s make mitigating THIS risk a priority.
To see how KingsBridge approaches risk mitigation, click HERE.
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