Risk (noun): The possibility of something bad happening.
Risk (verb): To do something although there is a chance of a bad result.
Cambridge Dictionary definition of 'risk'.
By definition, one thing we know about risk is that risk is inevitable. Life would not be life without something bad happening. If we want to get more philosophical, if there was no bad, would there be any good?
Obviously, we need to reduce risk factors as much as we can so that we get the best possible outcome. Take making a cup of tea for example. We need to make sure the cup is next to the kettle, or at least the right way up before we pour the boiling water. We need to make sure we keep away from the hot water itself and have no distracting moving objects around the kettle as to keep it in our hands as we pour. We need to be able to have the strength in our arms to hold the weight of the kettle as not to drop it and it's very important that our feet are safely grounded on the floor so we don't slip. But with all the above ticked, there is still an small inevitable risk that something might go wrong and boiling water might go all over the counter top, floor and (dare I say it) our toes (or worse).
Risk is a part of life and without taking a risk, we would never get that cup of tea that we so wish for. Focusing only on the risk would mean nothing would be possible; getting in our cars, crossing a busy junction on foot, chopping onions. The list is endless.
Coronavirus is restricting so many things right now and making small tasks almost impossible. I really don't want people to suffer unjustly because of a silly virus or to be a silent spreader because I can't help but move around and do my weekly tasks such as food shopping and visiting family members. But this is no time for shutting off.. this is a time we need to work together using the tools we have. We need to embrace the risk by reducing the risk factors to as small as possible (PPE, hand sanitiser, lots of space and minimal face to face interactions) and work towards keeping society and the economy running.
As a music therapist, I need to use my tools to reach out into the community and support those who need the most help, not accept that the whole world is on hold because of a virus.
Risk is always inevitable.
So I strive to reduce the risk by using PPE and by washing my hands, instruments and environment. I reduce the risk by running online sessions as a temporary measure to reduce face to face contact. I reduce the risk by running risk assessments for every new place I work. I reduce the risk by keeping my distance and making sure the space is open and airy.
Music therapy and life as we know it has had to adapt to this new way of life - for the moment - and I hope we can get back to normal as soon as possible. But in the mean time, lets keep connecting, having fun and making music because after all that's the good part of life that we really really need right now!
Wishing you a healthy autumn where ever you are.
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