This week, the MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority-New York City) posted a result of a recent survey. New Yorkers are more afraid of crime in the subway than they are of COVID in the subway.

The mayor is not happy about this.

He wants people to think they are safe. Safe from crime. Safe from COVID. Safe from whatever.

What do we mean when we think of the word safe?

For arguments sake, let’s say that 100% of the people want to be safe. It’s something that we all want to a certain degree.

But do you think every person has the exact same definition of what safe means?

Some might thing having money in the bank means safe. Some may think having a good education means they are safe. We could go on and on with all the things that people say bring them a feeling of safety. But let’s just say that there are lots of ways that individuals think convey safe.

Some people think that a vaccine will make them safe.

Some people do not think the vaccine will make them safe.

Do the people in either of these groups have the right to tell the other group that they are wrong?

Do either of these groups have the right to make the other group feel guilty?

Now let’s touch on what we talked about last week: needing to show proof of vaccine.

Some people feel safe when every ID is checked to ensure that someone has been vaccinated or tested.

Some people don’t feel safe when confronted with someone wanting them to prove something.

Do either of these groups have the right to tell the other group that they are wrong?

Do either of these groups have the right to make the other group feel guilty?

Think of the things that make you personally feel safe. Now think if these very same things make someone else feel unsafe. Put yourself in the shoes of a person not like you.

Who is right?

Who is wrong?

What is safe?

59 thoughts on “Anything Can Happen Friday: Safety

  1. Hmm, this is another ‘how long is a piece of string’ questions that will keep us busy all day 😉 I think a lot depends on how we define safe. Is it a state of affairs where one finds themselves in a state within a comfortable or statistically significant margin of eliminated risk or is it an indefinable state of accepting a level of risk that one is emotionally content to accept? Hmm 😉

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I like it. I think that safety is a word that people assume means the same thing for everyone. But it doesn’t. Each of us has an internal safety barometer. We have to realize that others might not be in the same scale as us. Doesn’t make them wrong…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Claiming something is for Safety is often used as a way to restrict people’s freedom and discriminate against certain groups, even if it’s not the main goal. Risk reduction is HUGE, as far as corporations. Scarily huge. I do not want to live in a risk free world. But I respect people’s rights to be afraid and restrict their OWN freedom. As far as subways, yeah, being a victim of crime is way more scary to me than Covid.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There is no such thing as risk free. My mother in law fell getting out of bed and screwed up her hip. We could choose to just never get out of bed. But then we risk other things…so yeah

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My son lives in an apt and he is upset because the new mgmt has made it a rule that you can’t have or use a grill on your patio. We discussed how this is related to insurance, risk, and also discrimination. The apts are low income and grilling outside is a popular recreational activity that has no been eliminated.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. We have the no grill on roofs or patios rule here too. Totally insurance related. We think we can prevent every disaster. We can’t….


      3. I told him it was a common rule, but it had not been a rule there until the new mgmt. I told him , get a good job, buy a house, and then you can do what you want! lol

        Liked by 1 person

  3. You’ve woven in that concept of trying to define right from wrong again! I think you are extremely courageous to keep doing that as a means to spark discussion…because I know that you know that there is no defining right from wrong. Those terms, and the morals and ethics behind them, are different for every individual/entity. So does the concept of safety take precedence for the individual or the group? Is individual safety more important than looking at overall applications that will keep larger numbers safe? I am wandering into scary territory here, because those questions lead right into laws and who makes those laws… and back around to who gets to decide right from wrong…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know I’m taking a risk…😉….but we need to think about how one thing relates to another. We look at a rule or application of with blinders on. We don’t see the broader interpretations of those rules or applications. How things correlate so to speak. And if we don’t really think about the concept behind the rules…we will never progress. We will be the civilization that dies of hubris. There are those that don’t see the contradictions in their words or actions because they think of something as an individual concept or act. That’s a very dangerous road. I’m pretty sure you get what I’m thinking here


  4. I think everyone has their own personal idea of what safety means. And that’s usually based on experience or beliefs. Since it is so personal, I don’t think anyone has the right to tell someone else they are wrong for thinking or believing something differently. I may not feel safe taking the vaccine, but I can’t insult others who do. I may feel safe taking the vaccine, but I shouldn’t hate on those who don’t. We all have personal choices in our lives, and yes, some do affect others. But in the end, our view on what we feel safe or unsafe with is a personal matter.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. So, say restaurants are now open, in fact it’s week one, for a full capacity fine dinning experience.

    Before seating you the hostess has verified your entire party vaccinated against the current unpleasantness. It’s your understanding that all in that room have had the jab and your risk/reward calculation adds up to bring on the grub and you now are comfortably set to chow down in good company.

    Suddenly, your waiter, a guy you’ve tip often and generously, pre-plaque, clues you to the party of four that have been sitting next to you for an hour, and informs you that this group lied and presented bogus proofs of inoculations to the hostess. Have these attractive and well dressed scofflaws, simply put your gang at risk, pay them never mind, or have they become an immediate threat?

    Remember, you’re gonna make this decision most likely too much vino buzzed, and truly pissed that these people selfishly stepped all over your personal space, solely because they considered themselves above the rules. Is it fight, or flight, or just so what.

    Most people, for better or less better, can deal with risk/reward when it comes to day to day personal safety.

    ( like the heavy drinking elevator mechanic) Sorry.

    Few, very few, have any clue on what constitutes, or how to handle, an immediate threat. As recent events are repeatedly making horrifically clear.

    Many laws and social doctrines are codified in the hopes of limiting people in having to distinguish, contend with, and manage an an immediate threat.

    Pre-biblical…you steal a cow in daylight when the farmer is away. Penalty, if caught. Give back or replace the cow. Steal the cow at night, when the farmer’s at home. Penalty. Off with your head.

    Immediate threats seldom end well.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Personally, I leave my apartment anything Can happen no matter how well I plan. To think you’re safe means you think you can control something. We all know you can’t control anything. I’m a control freak, yet, I realize the inherent danger of every single thing I do.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Come on L.A. I understand you can’t prevent lighting from striking your flight, but are you suggesting it doesn’t really matter if you’er taking Tree Top Airlines.

        Jesus take the wheel. Really. People make plans, God giggles. All matters being magical. May as well mosey on down the street for that four egg sandwich, when it will be just a fresh come sunrise. O.K.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I clearly try to prep for everything. I have lists and schedules and protocols for everything. Does it help? Sure. Is it foolproof? No. I can have fresh batteries in my smoke detector, and fire extinguisher and an alert button. If my neighbor leaves their gas on, does all my prep matter if their apartment blows. Mine goes up too. You know I’m a planner. I double triple and quadruple check things. My life may go smoother than someone else’s, but it’s not flawless people who get the vaccine may still get sick. People without vaccine could stay healthy. As my mathematician friend says….much is random…

        Liked by 1 person

      3. To Whom Much is Random, Much Will Be Required.

        Yep, and by all counts you be a master of due diligence in managing the randomness of the day to day.

        But let’s take a three number lottery. I would think the Big Apple has one. Numbers 0 through 9. If you pick three of those daily randomly drawn numbers, you’ll be a winner. And there is a fix numeric chance in your doing so.

        Say, your birthday is the ninth month and the sixteenth day. So on said birthday you play…916….and lo and behold, You Win.. those are the numbers….and it feels absolutely magical.

        But, I’m sure you have figured out already, that winning on your birthday didn’t vary the odds. They neither increased or decreased.

        But casually ask others about the odds on getting the winning numbers on their birthday. The over estimations you receive will likely stun you. Sure, some will know the real deal right away. Others will come around to it. Some just never will.

        My point being that even a fixed number can feel random, skewing personal believes and behavior, allowing factors to enter the equation that have no truck on any outcome, but demanding that all summations be given equal weight.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. True. Everything you said is spot on. But the people who think there number is magic are always going to think differently than me. Some people want to be led, others want to lead…I think it starts there

        Liked by 1 person

  6. My family has all taken the vaccine and we feel safer. I was on the phone yesterday with a close friend who is not going to take the vaccine. She said, “Did you see the article on Twitter of 18 dangers of the vaccine?” “No I didn’t.” I replied. I’m glad for her that she feels safe not getting vaccinated, but I don’t think she needs to judge me for taking the vaccine. I’m not judging her decision.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I agree that people have a different threshold when it comes to safety, but if others cause me to feel unsafe then it may be my issue but it can be a genuine cause. Some people are afraid of small spaces, this is not something that someone else is causing them to feel unsafe and does not inpinge on anyone else. Second hand smoke was deemed to be dangerous and yes that affected people who smoke. I feel that public safety should be considered at times. No one is going to feel 100% safe when out in the world, but I would feel awful if my actions made anyone feel unsafe.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Each place we stay in we inhabit different fears. When I lived in New York, I was too naïve often to be scared when I should have been. Now living in Florida, I am often afraid of snakes entering the house and for awhile, coyotes. Unfortunately, other people brought this to my attention in my downtime. I believe it is what we are unaware of that will eventually take us.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Just got off the phone with my daughter after having this same discussion, literally. The rest of us in the family have all been vaccinated. She does not want to get the vaccine (made too soon, no animal testing, no knowledge of long term risks, blah, blah, blah) and she says that she feels judged because she doesn’t want to get it. One of her friends IS getting the vaccine and she says she feels judged for getting it. I try not to judge. Everyone is entitled to their own feelings, it’s their body, etc. I didn’t mind showing my proof of vaccination/ID at the baseball game the other night. Our daughter could not come because she didn’t have the vaccine/or proof of negative covid test within 72 hours (plus they were only selling seats in blocks of 4 so we would have had to find 3 other people to go and that might have caused a whole different set of issues). I’m looking forward to being in a room with other vaccinated people without a mask. She will continue to wear masks. It is definitely a subject that’s not going away for a while.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s a very personal decision, and we all need to remember that we do need to do what feels right for each of us individually. Imagine being guilted into getting a vaccine and having gotten the J&J one…how would both people feel right now? Both things carry risks

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I don’t consider BASE jumping or flying squirrel suits to be very safe, but people keep doing that stuff anyway. Doesn’t cause me any grief. Knowing that so many people aren’t vaccinated means I must take appropriate caution to protect myself – I can’t force anyone to get vaccinated. Should some government force it? Not here, but I’m sure in some countries that is exactly what is happening.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Cool question, LA. One of my favorite topics. Feeling safe is relative to ones’s experience, like most things, so for sure some things that make people feel safe, will make others feel unsafe. Will always be this way, and also changes and is dependent upon the context, which is why open communication, real conversation, not performance conversation where we just say things to please or upset each other is critical to conversations about safety. Have a great weekend, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I agree with what you’ve implied here. Safety is a matter of personal understanding. I don’t think we have a right to tell anyone that their wrong about how they perceive they are being safe.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I listen to people talk about safety, and I think it becomes so easy to think we all define safe the same way. I don’t see people thinking this through from point a to point be, truly encompassing the whole idea. We need to stop doing that. We need to understand the implications of each individual having their own idea of what it means to them, and we need to respect their thoughts on the matter, even if they go against our own thoughts…if you get my meaning


  13. I don’t think there’s such a thing as total safety, in any situation. But we do each have different levels of risk tolerance, and different ideas about what keeps us safe. I chose to get the vaccine, but I don’t judge those who chose not to. And I don’t think it’s a good idea to require people to get it.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m going to judge.

    People who refuse to have vaccinations despite all the evidence it is safe to do so, are free not to have the vaccination. That is their right.

    They are, however, not entitled to engage in a full range of social interactions, because they increase the risk of infection for others.

    With freedom comes responsibility and you have to accept there will be restrictions to enable us all to live together.

    Liked by 1 person

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