Rachel Maddow: “We Need To Recalibrate Our Idea Of Acceptable Risk”

The message delivered by Rachel Maddow in yesterday’s heartfelt plea is so important. “Whatever your level of acceptable risk has been up until now… It’s time to recalibrate it.”

People I interact with know to avoid the obvious, higher-risk activities. However, the activities we’ve all been seeing as lower risk now need to be examined as well.

Lower risk is “lower” risk. It does not eliminate risk. We need to get as close to zero in our risk-taking behaviors as we reasonably can. Any activity that isn’t essential to physical survival must be set aside for now.

This is why I canceled my haircut last week, even though my stylist lives alone, works out of her home, and has been going above and beyond what’s called for when it comes to implementing all necessary precautions. It’s also why I’ve returned to getting groceries delivered rather than going out.

These are the only activities I had planned. If there had been others I would have canceled those, as well. In fact, it’s become commonplace for me to not walk out my front door for weeks on end except to bring out trash and recycling.

It’s not a lovely way to live, it’s true. It is a sacrifice I am choosing to make.

My risk-aversion up until now has been in large part because I don’t want to contract this virus. It’s now in equal part because I recognize how important it is to leave space in the ICU available for those who don’t have a choice about engaging in the risk-taking behaviors I’m able to avoid. I am not an essential worker. I have the option to stay at home. Others do not.

Yes, the main culprit behind the horrible increase in cases has been the folks who aren’t taking any precautions at all. That doesn’t mean the rest of us should give up and stop doing our part to control the spread, though. We can feel extreme frustration about the actions of others while doing everything in our power to limit our contribution to this mess.

I am incredibly privileged in that I absolutely can stay at home. I understand and have a great appreciation for this. It is something that is true of many of us. And for the next few months, extreme isolation is an unfortunate sacrifice those of us who recognize our privilege and want to use it wisely are obligated to undertake.

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