Opinion | The Blessings and Burdens of Interconnectivity

By: | June 19, 2020

Dan Reynolds is editor-in-chief of Risk & Insurance. He can be reached at [email protected]

So much of our risk management energy in the past few years has been focused on cyber risk and the trade-off we negotiate between technological risk and reward. But now we have another lesson about interconnectivity.

International human-to-human contact, and the risk of passing a virus from one person to another, just shook small, medium and large businesses, markets and governments.

Brick and mortar retail, already staggering under the hammer blows it was receiving from Amazon and other tech giants, appears to be on its last legs. Something like going out to eat, which many of us took for granted as a part of our weekly existence, has now been exposed, ruthlessly, as a non-essential.

Perhaps most disturbingly, our federal and state government’s capacity to manage risk in coordination has been found to be woefully inadequate.

Did we really just witness the President of the United States arguing with state Governors about who had the authority to open up their states? As if that was even remotely the most important question.

Rather than turn anyone’s health and safety into some political football, we will hopefully learn a very important lesson here.

We, as a country, lacked the foresight and the will to confront this crisis as competently as a nation with our resources could have.

Will we get it right next time? Or will we watch the headlines about COVID-19 whither and blow away in the Internet windstorm and go back to our complacent, consumerist existence?

I fervently hope not. &

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The R&I Editorial Team can be reached at [email protected]