Using Your Better Judgment   

Intuition. Gut feeling. Instinct.
   
What keeps you safe from harm? What makes you “think twice” before moving ahead on something? Is it past knowledge of a particular situation? Is it evaluating a dangerous situation someone else has encountered? Or, is it just “a feeling” that helps you decide?
   
This list could go on and on; however, we all have been in a situation where we know we changed our course of action because something just didn’t seem right.
   
With a large percentage of people in our community saying they are “over COVID,” although COVID is still here, how does that make you react? Many people are acting in ways that could have a dramatic impact on you, unless your gut feeling, intuition, or instinct quickly tells you how to be safe.
   
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently stated that 489 people die each day in the U.S. from COVID. Some people will think on an average that is just 9 people per day per state. Some will think that is 63 people per state per week, and some will think it is 303 people per state each month. People will use their intuition to be safe depending on how they view the numbers.
   
A modern 747 aircraft, a “jumbo jet,” can seat between 300 and 500 people. This number is similar to the number who die daily from COVID in our country. If this type of jetliner would crash every day in the U.S., is it likely you would be a frequent flyer, or even fly at all? Would your intuition, gut feeling, or instinct even need to kick in before you’d know the decision you would make? Many of us would not even consider flying. We would all demand that something be done to stop this from happening and that our government immediately work on a solution.
   
So, how we view our surroundings and the information we have about a situation make us all react differently, and with all the information and misinformation about COVID, we have a real mess on our hands. The head of the CDC recently said they needed to rethink how they are handling COVID. Wow, state the obvious!

While the CDC’s information has been very helpful, their efforts to communicate the information to us in an understandable manner have been dismal. We can look at our state and pretty much say the same thing. Now, combine this with social media feeding us only what we want to hear, whether or not it is correct, and we’re in what seems a dangerous nightmare, a never-ending horror movie.
   
People from all walks of life can agree and compromise on what needs to be done in a situation when everyone has the proper facts and understands they are correct. We see it done every day, in local government, non-profit boards, and township meetings. How did we get in the COVID mire of only believing what we want to believe, and not looking at things objectively and acting to stop COVID?
   
We all need to keep each other safe. To accomplish this, as individuals, we need to use our intuition and use the accurate information we have on hand. We need to use our better judgment.
   
When you are going to be in a situation close to others, be aware that anyone could have COVID, often without symptoms, so wear a mask. You should have an N95 mask on your person at all times, where you can quickly access it. Remember, making a quick stop to pick up something, you could end up waiting in a crowded line. Also, carry hand sanitizer.
   
Covid tests are readily available, so keep a number of them stored in your home. If you are not sure of someone’s health status, have them test before you get together. If you have been around others, you too should test. A friend recently had a visitor to his home. He tested the individual, who tested positive. This allowed both individuals to remain safe and allowed his guest to stop the spread of COVID to his home, friends, workplace, and individuals like you and me.
   
There are many people who are immunocompromised because of their age and/or health.
   
We need to keep these at-risk people safe. If you see someone wearing a mask or social distancing, give them space and do your part to keep them safe. Also, when you are visiting an elderly friend, neighbor or loved one, test yourself, even if you do not have any symptoms. Asymptomatic people also spread the disease.
   
Using what we know about COVID and how to stay safe, listening to your intuition, gut feeling or instinct, and making responsible choices protects us all.

Joe Smith resides in Mill Creek township, is retired from the insurance industry, serves on a number of nonprofit boards and is a member of Let’s end COVID!
Published: 9/10/22

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