RISK ROUNDUP—Our current situation on March 20, 2020, sounds like the tag line from a movie trailer, “In a world that’s changing like never before…”
We at American Risk Managers are among the many companies that are facing new challenges due to the COVID-19 crisis, public responses to the virus and changing governmental guidelines.
Our staff was asked to share some of their personal and professional reactions, how the situation is impacting them and how they are coping and finding inspiration.
The Quarantine and I
After weeks of being careful to avoid the American flu, I was told to quarantine myself to avoid the Chinese flu.
On Monday, March 16, my wife and I and a dog named Tinker began a stay-at-home quarantine as a safeguard against the new virus.
Since I am a consulting Risk Manager, I took my cellphone and set up a temporary office in my man cave.
I called the office and all the clients I expected to have contact with and gave them my cell number with which to contact me.
The office sent me the files they thought I would need and I was set to cope with the requirements of the national emergency.
It all went well initially. Later, the glitches began to appear when the business began to spill over on the house phone. This resulted in my bride of many years (nearly 64 years!) having to run down a flight of stairs to tell me I was wanted on the house phone.
This proved satisfactory from my standpoint. However, being the observant and attentive husband I am, I didn’t think it would last.
Sure enough, at noon, the up and downstairs hike became a yell from the top of the stairs.
All of this has worked reasonably well… Sue and I are still speaking. The clients understand. And Tinker hasn’t bit me. But, the yell has now started to sound like a scream.
Oh well, maybe this will soon be over and I can get back to my comfortably cluttered office and leave this meticulously clean house to Sue and Tinker.
Walter, Sue And Tinker Are Shown Quarantined At Home In A Photo Taken From A Safe Social Distance. Tinker Is Even Giving The Stink-eye To A Neighbor Dog That’s Getting Too Close.
We Will Overcome
This is a hard time we are facing as a nation. I know through the love of God and working with each other this is something we WILL OVERCOME.
As an individual with a heart and lung condition, I am taking the social distancing very serious. I know that keeping yourself from others can be hard, especially if you are a people person. But it is part of what we need to be practicing at this time.
This is a good time for reflection and studying God’s word. The last few days have been wonderful weather and it has been nice to sit outside in the evenings and just enjoy the fresh air.
Take this time to relax, enjoy your family and seek the Lord. Please, when you are making decisions about what to do for the day, think about our elderly and those who have chronic health conditions.
“Be Anxious For Nothing, But In Everything By Prayer And Supplication, With Thanksgiving, Let Your Requests Be Made Known To God.” Philippians 4:6.
Hope in Hopelessness
During this time of quarantining and talk of curfews, it’s trying times. It’s time to kind of “check your powder and make sure it’s dry.”
Last Friday afternoon, a 10th grader got on my school bus and he said, “The strangest thing just happened. We just saw President Trump on television declaring a state of national emergency.”
I was thinking, “He’s probably exaggerating this to some degree.” Of course, later on, I got an alert on my cell phone from our school superintendent saying we were under a state of emergency and that we were suspending service.
And so, it’s going to turn out, that we will be out of school here for 3 ½ weeks. The first we could go back will be April 6, and I don’t know for sure that we’ll be able to go back then. I don’t know what the situation is.
And that’s the first topic of three I want to address here in the way this is affecting my life. First, it’s affecting my second job (after Risk Management) as a school bus driver.
Secondly, in our church, it’s become under advisement that groups of no larger than 10 people should gather together. And so, in order to stay in compliance with those guidelines, our church elders have decided that we’ll start videoing the Sunday Service. We’ve discontinued all the other services and that’s what we’re doing in our church.
And the third thing and final thing, is family. And when you get down to the basics, it’s family.
My wife, Tonya, is at home with our grandkids from two of our daughters that live next door to us. Our daughters and their spouses have other jobs they’re out doing during the week—even during this. They work in education and medicine and so they have to keep going out and fighting the good fight and we’re staying home to keep the campfires burning.
And talking about these three things, remember that three is a Biblical number—it represents divine wholeness and completeness and perfection.
As that’s what the Lord has for us. As long as we don’t lose sight of Him, and our fellow human beings, we’ll get through this. And we’ll be better on the other side than we were before we started.
The thing is… don’t lose hope. It’s during these trying times that people can see Christ in us.
Praying For Our Entire World
Since I am allergic to hand sanitizer and harsh chemicals, going out in public is a challenge, as everyone is doing what they can and are supposed to be doing to deodorize and keep everyone safe.
I’ve always been a frequent hand-washer and have trained myself not to touch my face in public, but the social distancing is taking a little getting used to. And it’s been a big struggle, of course, to find toilet tissue!
I would say my situation is nothing compared to those in quarantine.
I try not to watch too much COVID-19 coverage, as it seems to increase my anxiety. I am leaning on our Good Lord even more than usual. I know He will make good out of this somehow. Even if it’s that our world learns how to wash its hands, so that regular flu deaths drop dramatically next year.
I am listening to the birds sing, appreciating the spring colors as trees and flowers come into bloom, spending more time with God, speaking to my sister and son on the phone, looking at photos and videos of my grandchildren, taking advantage of FaceTime, and counting my blessings.
I have asked my Facebook friends to take fun photographs and post them to help uplift and inspire each other, and to give us all a break from some of the virus propaganda.
I am praying for those in quarantine, for the elderly, for those with fragile health and for persons on the front lines: nurses, doctors, truck drivers and people who work daily with the public. I am praying for my church family.
I also pray for our youth, some of whom are afraid for the future, and are missing major milestones like birthdays, proms and graduations.
I am praying for our entire world. This is a global crisis. Most everyone has grandparents, parents, siblings, friends and co-workers—somebody they can and need to pray for.
I feel that we’re in battle—as if it’s World War III.
But ALL countries are fighting together—against a killer we cannot see.
Giving up a few privileges temporarily seems a small price to pay to save the lives of our fellow man—and perhaps ourselves.
Please Take Care & Stay Safe. God Bless.
(Photo Credits: Feature Meme – Chazz H; Photo of Walter, Sue & Tinker – Chazz H; and Jesus photo – Rodolfo Clix/Pexels.)