By Dianne Foglesong, Communications Director
We call Middle School children “tweens” until they become High School teenagers. During this past pandemic year, many of us may feel like “in-betweeners.” Time has us waiting between what happened and what happens next.
As an adult, you know your time and days are not a renewable resource, and you want to make each day count. That may be one reason you hate uncertainty and go to great lengths to avoid it, as suggested by the old proverb, “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know.”
The COVID coping options you have as an “in-betweener” fall into two categories: decrease your risk or increase your tolerance for risk. You can follow public health guidelines masking up, social distancing, hand washing, staying outdoors, and getting the vaccine when available to decrease your risk. These actions not only decrease your risk, but they also decrease the risk for those around you. Or maybe you are so tired of the pandemic lifestyle changes that you increase your risk tolerance pitching your mask and eating inside your favorite, crowded restaurant. It should be noted, however, that increasing your COVID risk tolerance does not decrease risk for those around you.
On the other hand, there are times you may need to use both risk coping categories simultaneously. You have to embrace uncertainty to go to a doctor’s appointment or to have a medical procedure. Our health care professionals explain there is a risk in postponing medical care including routine physicals and screenings. Now you have to tolerate some COVID risk in order to be checked for cancer, diabetes, heart disease, etc. At the same time, you can follow the health care policies that decrease the risk during your appointment.
If you think about the personality characteristics of people who appear to be good at navigating uncertainty, you might paint their picture as willing to change, thinking to problem solve, and being self-aware to respond. Are these characteristics that we need to cultivate collectively as an organization to move our members forward during this in between time?