Our personalized risk assessment tool!

A visual guide to our user-friendly interactive

Thinking about which activities you can and should participate in during this pandemic can be overwhelming — that’s why when a few weeks ago team member Emily Oster wrote about using a risk-benefit matrix to think about these choices, we thought it would be useful to give everyone a chance to make their own matrix. Many of you have already made use of this interactive risk assessment calculator when we linked it in one of last week’s issues.

But in case you’ve yet to check it out, we wanted to dedicate this issue to breaking down exactly how to use the tool (in four easy-to-follow steps!). Below, we include examples of risk calculations from a few of our team members to help you get a sense of how the tool can help.

  1. Example 1 (link to Google Sheet)

  2. Example 2 (link to Google Sheet)

The spreadsheet allows you to assign the personal benefit you get from activities you partake in, then arranges those activities according to risk level in a matrix to help you decide which activities are worth the risk. The total risk and total benefit numbers give you an idea of the overall value and risk associated with the all of activities you choose to do in a two week period.

Total risk is calculated by adding up the TMA risk factor for each activity you mark with “yes” (to indicate that you have done or will do that activity in a two week period). Total benefit is calculated by adding up the personal benefit level you assign to each activity.

Because this interactive is largely about choices between non-essential leisure activities, we wanted to acknowledge that it does not take into account the risk that people are forced to take on due to their occupational, familial, or social circumstances — a non-essential leisure activity that exposes you to COVID could also ultimately increase risk of exposure for those who might have less control over their risk of exposure due to the roles they must take on. Activities that our team deemed as posing particularly high risk to community members are indicated by asterisks on the spreadsheet.

We also wanted to acknowledge that you may have particular circumstances that make certain activities more or less risky for you and your family — this tool is meant to provide general guidance and a framework for decision making. Feel free to adjust your interpretation or use of the tool according to your needs and check out the child care decision-making tool Emily created in collaboration with Maven, if relevant for you and your family.

And now, what we’re sure you’ve all been waiting for: the visual guide! As a reminder, the template can be found here.

This issue was adapted from a post on the site available here, with thanks to reader Nathaniel Seelen for assistance with initial drafting. Please feel free to share your thoughts, questions, and concerns — you can get a hold of us via email, TwitterInstagram, and the site itself.