It is an interesting journey through Risk management to determine what are hazards what are risks. So for example smoking can be a health hazard where there is a risk of cancer. This risk can be likely or unlikely depending on how much you smoke, your physical condition and disposition of getting cancer (in the family).
The mental health issues arising from COVID-19 communications can express that COVID-19 is a high risk with high likelihood of catching or it could be a low risk with low likelihood of catching depending on where you live, your age, occupation and so on.
However, perceptions can make it high risk/high likelihood if information is conveying warnings without balance and mitigation strategies that include wellbeing given the mental health issues are a major factor in illness. Some may argue that unresolved issues from the past may have a baring on future illness. Disease or dis-ease is a truism. So there are philosophical approaches to risk. Awareness raising helps us to notice and take precautions to ensure safety and wellbeing.
So let’s look at hazard.
Hazard: the potential to cause harm.
Risk: likelihood of harm in defined circumstances.
According to the PM on advice from the Chief Medical Officer COVID-19 is a mild virus that won’t kill the majority. Therefore, for the majority it has a low potential to cause harm.
In relation to risk. COVID-19 has a low risk hazard for the majority that is unlikely to cause harm given health and 93% recovery rate.
If we look at the elderly and immune compromised.
The potential to cause harm to the elderly and those with compromised immune systems who come into contact with someone with COVID-19 has the potential to cause harm. It is a hazard.
Risk and likelihood of harm:
Now if the vulnerable person doesn’t come into contact as the spread is elsewhere and all practice physical distancing they are unlikely to be in physical contact with a COVID-19 case. Then the risk or likelihood of harm is low.
However, if there is a outbreak and people with symptoms are around. Then the likelihood of harm increases the risk of contagion. In this defined circumstance of a outbreak in a defined geographic space (small space the higher), then it could be a high risk of causing harm.
So it depends on whether it can cause harm and the likelihood of harm (risk).
This can be impacted by the perception of risk given media coverage. Communications must be very carefully configured to ensure there is not mis-perceptions. Facemasks for example need to be evaluated for hazard and risk in respect of the fabric blocking a disease coupled with the hazard (potential harm) and the likelihood of risk. Is COVID-19 airborne everywhere where all must wear masks (assuming they can filter a virus out) or do the masks add to the perception that it is everywhere and that everyone saliently is showing consent to the existence of COVID-19 by visibly wearing a mask as a sign of compliance. Others notice and copy thinking it must be true. So we have to be discerning about the equipment, why it is needed, are the claims true scientifically and medically or is it part of a media campaign with other desired outcomes?
The same assessment could be made for possible alternative cures such as:
Are these alternatives, a hazard?
Are these alternatives, a risk?
If not, then it can do no harm trying them if they work, which doctors claim they do? Why block them? We have to assess the potential harm.
I wonder how powerful is the placebo effect?
When people get focused on a virus they may forget the other areas of potential hazard and risk:
Perception of danger
Fear based division (community policing)
These need to be evaluated as part of the mix of potential hazards and risks.
Another area of focus could be vaccines. Specifically the DNA medicines given traditional vaccines are not likely to be used given the novel virus. Some say this virus is natural, others say it is lab based. The latter means there has been inserts into the DNA material to express certain characteristics of disease – respiratory, headaches, shortness of breath. If it is a designer virus then vaccine manufacturers have to produce a patented response which may not be a cure but could be an inhibitor. I say patented as they will definitely patent the vaccine to ensure superordinate profits. This is a huge global market.
So, what sort of hazard or risk do they pose?
Vaccine injuries – what types, cause harm and likelihood?
Vaccine deaths – cause harm, likelihood?
Nano particles in the vaccines – cause harm, likelihood?
Bypassing animal trials – cause harm, likelihood?
Fast tracking vaccines – cause harm, likelihood?
DNA damage/changes – cause harm, likelihood?
GMO damage to the environment – cause harm, likelihood?
(biological life is recycled in earth systems)
Risk of depopulation – cause harm, likelihood?
If the risk are indeterminate given not enough research, evidence based studies, industry biased studies or political expediency given profits (or corruption), mis-information, then there has to be an assessment about the potential harm and likelihood of risk.
Therefore, before any mandating of vaccines the public must be fully informed clearly of the hazards and risk by consenting to allow vaccines to be injected given Big Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology companies are involved in formulating vaccines, editing/adding gene sequences and changing possible molecular structures. This is a risk according to some doctors, scientists and virologists.
The Precautionary Principle must be followed if there is doubt and uncertainty as more lives might be lost if the vaccines are faulty given this is a global initiative by a few companies. The profit incentive must be balanced by public health and wellbeing. Always a tension in commercial ventures and is why regulators who are neutral are needed to ensure fair play and the public interest.
Bare in mind that DDT was seen as safe when introduced into the environment, GMOs are considered safe, smoking was considered safe by doctors. So we have to be very careful as we don’t always get it right. So group think can lull us into a false sense of “right” but healthy scepticism can ensure we keep asking questions. This is why propaganda and misinformation on all sides can shutdown important questions that may save life, this is particularly the case when agendas are at play. So we have to weigh up risks based on past behaviour and likely future behaviour and who is involved.
If these are not taken into account then legal action or class actions can be an outcome increasing the risk to those in decision making positions and responsible for causing the hazard and risk.