A Woman’s Guide To Risk Management In A Time Of Covid.
As I luxuriated in the bath and let the warm water wash over my body, the thought came to me that there are things I need to take care of, just in case…
You know, those thoughts and questions of “What if…” that pop into your head when you’re trying to soak in the pleasure of the moment.
Questions like, “What if I ‘get it’ and have to go to hospital?” To which the answer that immediately rose to the surface was, “I’d better shave my legs and armpits.”
Yeah. I know. Deep.
As a communications professional, I spent a great deal of my career preparing risk management guidelines and responses to be prepared for perceived risks cascading into real events.
Risk management isn’t about lobbying for the worst to happen. It’s about acknowledging what is the worst that could happen and then preparing ‘what if…’ responses. Responses that allow you to focus on supporting the best outcome in a time of crisis when time is limited and measured, calm responses critical.
So, in an effort to ‘be prepared’ I’ve put pen to paper to give you a quick reference guide on how to be prepared for the worst, plan for the best and always have hope of a good outcome.
- As already noted – shave those legs and armpits (unless of course you haven’t succumbed to the societal (and the fashion industry’s) pressure to divest legs and armpits of hair – in which case, I tip my razor blade to you. I’m not there yet. This old girl is too inculcated in the lore of smooth legs to let it all grow out. Given my predisposition for hairless appendages, I know it sounds vain, but really, the thought of lying in a hospital bed, fighting for my life while also fighting the critter in my head who wants to remind me, “You shoulda shaved those armpits lady! You look as mangy as a bear coming out of hibernation.”, is just, well, too daunting to think about. And yes. I know. The critter knows no boundaries.
- Skip the make-up. Let’s face it. Au naturel is the way to go when facing a pandemic and a bevy of doctors and nurses fighting for your life. Mascara streaks. Lipstick stains. Au naturel lets everyone see your true colour shining!
- My mother, who was always prepared for the worst that could happen, used to counsel me to, “Always wear clean underwear.” In her wisdom, accidents were always out there, waiting to happen. In the case of a pandemic, you never know when or if you’ll ‘get it’. So, wear those lacy undies tucked away for a romantic getaway. Wear that flirty bra. While it won’t make a lot of difference to the tired medical teams rushing to your care, it will lift your spirits up knowing that you are showing off your best from the inside out.
- Make sure you’ve got two or three of your best nighties, pajamas (whatever you wear to sleep in) clean at all times. If you sleep in the buff, consider investing in a couple of nice-looking nighttime ensembles. Nothing too flimsy or flirty, of course. Leaving nothing to the imagination is not good hospital etiquette. Looking your best, even when you’re feeling your worst does a lot for your mental health. And being prepared for recovery keeps you looking on the right side of life.
So, now that we’ve got the frivolous taken care of… if you live alone and have pets, make sure you’ve got a backup plan for their short and longterm care. Yeah. I know. It sounds morbid to plan for longterm housing for your beloved fur babies but that’s why you do it. You love them and want to ensure their well-being no matter what happens to you. Remember – prepare for the worst, plan for the best – and never give up hope.
Some other important and pressing things you need to do in a pandemic are to ensure you have a support team in place. If you live alone, do you have someone you call daily to check-in with? We humans are designed for contact and connection. We’re herd animals. So keeping your connections alive during this time of social distancing and sequestered solitude is vital.
On a more practical yet essential level, one of the most important items on the list is to ensure your affairs are in order. Like your Will and Personal Directive. Imagine someone else having to make decisions on your behalf not knowing what your wishes are. Not cool. For those taking care of your interests should you be unable to make your own decisions, your Personal Directive removes the anxiety and stress on what to do to protect your interests and honour your wishes with grace-filled compassion,
In these days of a virus sweeping away the world as we know it, being prepared for the worst that could happen leaves us free to treasure this moment right now in all its exquisite beauty without worry clouding our mind. It creates space for our hearts to beat freely and our imaginations to stretch into possibilities of how we can create better in the world, now and when this virus has passed. It sets us free to never give up on hope.