The Risk Of Being Alive and (another) New Normal

Updated: May 30


The Covid-19 pandemic has been a once in lifetime experience.  Rest assured it had a beginning and it will have an end. What has happened in the middle is also unprecedented.  I’m not talking here about the healthcare providers or first responders that even prior to this were known as super-heroic.  Not even about the poor souls that have passed and their loved ones who are now grieving their loss.

I am moved to talk here about the majority of us that are effected in one way or another but have to dust ourselves off, straighten our eye glasses and get back in to the game of life even if it’s slowly.

I am also not going to talk politics or medicine because besides not being qualified to do so, there is plenty of that going on now to fill another day in lockdown.  I am going to stick with what I am qualified to speak on.  That is as an expert at managing personal risk and navigating new normals.In some circles it’s referred to as resilience.

Fact: There are risks to being alive. Accidents, disease and other causes - sicken, hurt and kill people every single day and with no exception.  Right from an early age, with the help of our parents or guardians, we somehow figure how to safely navigate and accept these and other risks to our very life and limb.

Call me a pragmatist but the longer we live and older we get, statistically there is an even greater risk that we are going to die.  

Along the way of life, we can do things to minimize risk and also hopefully extend our up time here.  

Some examples of widely accepted things that delay passing on are: At a younger age when accidents are more common, it’s around taking those precautions.  As we begin to age, it’s eating healthier, exercise, annual check ups and wearing a seatbelt.  However even while doing these proven “life preservation” things, there are still no guarantees.  We will not ever completely eliminate the inherent risks that being alive presents.  Is it not simply managing these risks as we live our lives? 

Even staying at home behind the safety of our four walls longer term carries its own set of risks and at best only provides an illusion of safety.

The New Normal coming our way that we’ve heard so much about  is nothing more than the latest buzz word.  I say that because this is not our maiden voyage at new normal.  Granted this may be a substantial one but its far from your first new normal experience:

Ever have a breakup of a significant relationship? 

New normal 

Ever become a parent?

New normal 

Ever have someone you love die?

New normal 

Ever lose or leave a job for another or for retirement?  

New normal 

Ever move to another state?

New normal

And so on, life becomes different perhaps but it also

goes on...

Having lost close loved ones, battled depression and now living with a chronic disease (one that can kill me suddenly) has given me practice and perspective on what living with no absolute certainty is all about.   My late Mom, who having lost a son when he was 13 when asked “how did you ever get over losing a child” she would promptly reply, “you never get over it - you just learn to live with it.”

While our leaders are deciding when lockdown downs are lifted and what the rules of this new normal is, understand that life is for living and only you can decide what that means.  We want guarantees, however, no amount of playing it safe including even prudent precautions will make life totally free of risk.  The sooner we warm up to and accept this reality of being alive, the more we can deeply appreciate the gift that every day brings and really start living life!

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Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino Companies