Is Covid-19 the one risk on which I have nothing to say?
This is my first post about the Covid-19 crisis except one I put on my other website about the Christian response to this pandemic. That is because I am no medical expert and must rely on the advice we all get. I concentrate on that coming from the government, the NHS and the BBC to avoid the fake news which abounds. I advise everyone to follow the guidelines and obey the instructions of those who know.
How is Covid-19 different from other risks?
This is a new virus and experts can gather data only as things develop. There is little else to go on. I expect many more ‘experts’ will appear later to exercise 20/20 hindsight and criticise everyone else. It is also different in the speed of its spread, the long incubation period and the high number of mild cases where symptoms are not obvious. All this makes it particularly hard to deal with.
What of the government’s handling of the Covid-19 crisis?
You may know that I have often been critical of the government over such things as social inequality, austerity and Brexit. However, in this situation they seem to be trying to do their best when there is no clear Right Answer. I have often said that Risk Management is usually about balance: you have to balance one risk against another. If they had taken more stringent measures too soon, the economy would have suffered. If that sounds academic, think how you would have reacted had you lost your job or if your business had collapsed when only a few cases had occurred. There is always the risk of measures being ineffective where people don’t believe they are necessary. Think if pubs and schools had closed weeks ago.
Are other countries handling the Covid-19 pandemic better than the UK?
So far the evidence is inconclusive. People will be able to evaluate the different responses only when it is all over, as results at this stage could be misleading. Even then, we will need to be careful, since no two countries are alike. The state of their health services, the general health of the population, the ability of the authorities to control individuals’ behaviour will all be different. We also do not know how far the climate might affect the spread or severity of the disease.
If you want to know more about balancing risks, or Risk Management generally, try reading Load The Dice.
Take care – stay safe!