man on moving sidewalk in airport

Getting Back to Work — Safely

July 24, 2020 | Mark Lewis

September 11th (9-11) changed us as a culture. It exposed our vulnerabilities and forced us to change our habits. Most notably, you can no longer show up at the airport 10 minutes before your flight and expect to board a plane. Recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic will be no different. The experience will change us as a culture; likely forever. As with 9-11, a new “normal” will evolve.

What we learned with 9-11 was that to ensure safety, we needed to participate in the solution. When I sit down on the plane, I want to feel confident that the person sitting next to me is not a terrorist carrying a bomb or a gun. But to gain that peace of mind, I must submit to a greater level of security screening than I did prior to 9-11. That’s the only way the system works. I’m not giving up any “freedoms” or “rights,” I’m simply permitting deeper security, so all of us can feel safer on the plane.

The post-COVID world will be no different. As we return to work and play, technology will undoubtedly be used to determine if individuals could have a virus or are sick. Going to work, an amusement park, or a ball game will most likely involve some form of testing or monitoring for potential illness. A few will resist this new paradigm saying that it violates their rights and freedoms, but I encourage everyone to think of this the same way they did with 9-11. If I go to my workplace, I want to know my employer is doing everything possible to protect my health. I want some assurance my co-workers aren’t infected with a virus. It’s no different than my safety expectation when I board an airplane.

For me to receive this level of health safety, I must also be prepared to submit to a greater level of health inspection. That’s the new health protection contract, if you will. If everyone is willing to be monitored or screened, you benefit because you know that everyone around you is also being screened or monitored.

Yes, post-COVID life will be different and I expect new health monitoring solutions will be needed for some time to come. I encourage everyone to embrace these new technologies as a way to help keep America working and all of us safer. Rejecting them based on “personal rights” will do only one thing; it will cause more pain, suffering and death.

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