THE QUESTIONS WE NEED TO ASK OURSELVES

It’s May 29th, 2020.    Canada and much of the world is opening up.  The Coronavirus is still on the march.

At least for the moment, things appear to be improving.  Local infection rates are dropping. Substantial scientific progress is being made (see here, here and even here)

With things looking better locally than a month ago, a collective (largely) unwritten agreement has been made at both a street and government level.  It loosely states, ‘We now must move forward and get back to some sort of a norm – despite the risks.’  It’s like we’re intuitively sensing the probable downside of doing nothing and moving collectively to go back to life as close as it was.

It’s summer after all.  Mankind has an inherent need to move and that spirit is right now resurfacing across the planet.

Many, including the world’s top epidemiologists, are holding their breath hoping this is the right thing to do.

The virus is now on pace at 5+ Million Coronavirus infections.   Total new global infections still hitting record numbers daily.  It’s still picking up speed.  Just not here, now.

So we’re left with this decision.  We feel no choice but to accept the risk of increased interaction in order to recover as a society.  What’s the safest way to do that personally is thus a pivotal question.

Perhaps a Coronavirus Interaction Strategy would prove beneficial.

Review the latest science, determine where you do and don’t feel comfortable.  If you do it in advance, it will allow you to move more freely without excessive worry.

The two of the most fundamental questions we need to continue to ask ourselves as we venture forward are:

  1. Do I have a realistic, up-to-date strategy, that should protect me from the greatest possibility of infection?

  2. Given that the is world awash in conspiracy theories, is the information I’m basing my opinion on credible?

We’ll deal with these one at a time.   Before we do,  first let’s examine these questions.  If we’re going to invest some time into it, let’s make sure we’re really asking the right questions?  

Is a strategy really necessary?   Given that our communities seem relatively unscathed compared to many places around the world.  People feel safer than they did a month ago.  Is there really a need for any of this? 

We Think So.  It makes sense as the Coronavirus may never go away.

We have protocol and processes in our business.  It works better with it.  Why not think through your interactions to improve safety while at the same time making you less concerned about them?  Think through which situations you are and are not comfortable in ahead of time.

Base your decisions on science

Why science?  Despite the current anti-science political climate south of the border, science works.  It is the reason

  • your airplane typically doesn’t fall out of the sky
  • you likely don’t have polio today, and
  • your food in your fridge and freezer last weeks and months vs days. 

Science works because of principles we can identify, replicate and utilize to better life.

With that in mind, the question  ‘how do we do we get back to life as quickly but safely as possible’ becomes a very valid question.  To us, that means a personal interaction strategy based largely on clinical evidence, especially in light of the fact that B.C.’s top doctor Bonnie Henry says 2nd wave of COVID-19 is inevitable.

2. What about the Conspiracy Theories?

There is so much false and misleading information on the internet, and numerous scams.  How are we to know real science that we can safely base actions on,  from pseudoscience conspiracy theories?

This is fundamentally important, irrespective of whether or not any of them may even hold some grain of truth.  This is because conspiracy theories allow us to blame and blame brings with it a victim mentality.  When we blame others (both rightly or wrongly) we absolve our own behavior and typically DO NOT act ourselves.  This is not a time for that.

So, sitting around theorizing about this or that, while blaming others for what ‘should be’ is kind of like expecting the government to fund your retirement.  That typically hasn’t worked out too well in the past.  We need a plan. So what do we do?

We Can Learn From What Has Happened Elsewhere

Dr. Henry says “current lessons will guide response.”  We have to agree, so let’s get to that plan.

What Science Says About What Gets Us Sick

Despite the fact that there are no 100% guarantees on anything in today’s world, looking at science-based case studies of infections from what has happened elsewhere can help us build relatively safety into our routines.  This approach is emerging as a viable strategy that can ideally help us sidestep taking excessive risk in our social interactions.   

And the sooner the better.  Because the economic train we talked about last month is still in the process of going off the rails.  As a community, we need to get on with fixing the mess the virus has caused – before any real amount of social strife sets in.  Flattening the curve appears to have worked so far, but the approach has also flattened the global economy along with it.   We have to move or we all may suffer

So now let’s talk about…

Understanding The Infection Risks, Knowing Them, and Avoiding Them.  Because doing so will hopefully take some weight off of our collective minds so we can still hopefully have a great summer. (This blog is about helping our savers lead great lives after all). 

Immunologist and Biologist Dr. Erin Bromage from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth wrote a blog piece May 6th, 2020 (since updated) called Understanding The Risks, Know Them, Avoid Them. Various networks picked it up. 

In it, he discusses the importance of viral dosage and a formula for infection.

Bromage based his conclusions on various clinical studies (Restaurant, Meat Packing Plant, Dosage, Call Center) While these papers may have NOT in all cases been peer-reviewed to the degree one might expect from a Medical Journal, they do suggest a pattern of infection.  Here lie lessons to learn which one may adopt as we move forward.  

CNN and CBS have done extensive reporting on it here and here.  One of our team produced audio on the original full 20-minute blog post for anyone interested in the full details (which are further illuminating).   

We would suggest our clients make the time to fully understand his recommendations.  They seem to make good sense and a path forward comes clearest when looking at it in detail.  With that understanding, you can develop a personal routine of what you’re comfortable with.

With a lot at risk, it seems prudent in today’s environment to invest enough time learning to ensure a well-formed opinion.

 

We Will Overcome

We will overcome this challenge just like the other financial meltdowns we’ve handled before.  This is a particularly steep mountain to climb because of its uncertainty.  Yet as a society, we can no longer just sit and hope to wait it out.

As we try to do with our client’s portfolios, we’re erring on the side of caution here.  We hope you do too.

We leave you with some further reading suggestions some of our team found useful (here and here) and this great graphic which we hope will help understand how to spot bad science.

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Schneider Content Team