There’s a raging pandemic going on. I get it. Covid-19 is deadly and must be taken very seriously. Once you’re confirmed to have it, you have between a 1-in-50 and 1-in-1000 chance of dying depending on a bunch of things. Those are not great odds.
But you’re not likely to get it—especially with reasonable mitigation—from any given encounter.
So how risky is visiting a friend? A good question. I’m a HUGE fan of trying to find out rather than believing the memes on TweetyFacetagram. Let’s consider Covid through the same risk lenses we use on flying. Then you can honestly say, “visiting friend y, in this situation, with these parameters, is about the same risk as two paramotor flights. Is that worth it?”. I wouldn’t dream of trying to answer for someone else, but want to provide tools to make it an informed decision. Taking precautions is no more “living in fear” than is exercising good judgement when making go/no-go takeoff decisions.
I’m certainly not living in a protective bubble—I fly things, ride unicycles, run chainsaws, skate, fly more things, and so on. And I’ll bet neither are you. If you’re on this page, you probably fly something, likely a paramotor, or you’re thinking about it. Don’t give me that “well, I’m not doing it yet” nonsense. You’re thinking about it! Do you drive a car? Fly a plane? Ride a bike? Run on the roadside? Yup, they’re all risky. You’re not in a bubble, either.
How does the risk compare?
So I built a spreadsheet that attempts to quantify the risk of any given encounter with people. There are huge multipliers that affect risk. If you spend an hour with a friend in an open-air restaurant in a breeze, your chances are much less than if you’re inside with no airflow, mostly because you’re also subject to the risk of a bunch of people nearby.
You fill in those values in the spreadsheet and it equates your chance of dying from the encounter to chances of common things that we do. Go to this link and play around.
One thing I noticed is that with reasonable mitigation, like the outside thing, it’s less risky to visit two friends for an hour outside than to fly a paramotor for that time. Of course total risk depends on exposure. So make sure it’s worth it.
Live life, for sure, and make intelligent choices that match your desires. Hopefully this tool can help. Enjoy.