A new provision in Major League Baseball allows a manager to review a close play by sending the video feed to an independent group of judges. It has raised strong feelings, for and against the ruling, among fans. Obviously, depending on the verdict, fans are grateful for the judges overturning the call on the field – or even more upset that so many idiots can’t even make the obvious, correct call.

What if all of life’s difficult situations could be reviewed by independent judges on a remote video?

A parent makes the call that the child is too young for a sleep-away camp and that next year makes more sense; only to find out that “all” the child’s friends were there. They formed a solid bond that carried into the following school year. The parent “made the call” and ended up inadvertently hurting the child. Could a group of independent persons have helped that parent come to a different conclusion – still with the child’s safety in mind? How I wished for a group of independent judges who could help me make parenting decisions when our kids were growing up. Much of what we did was trial-and-error. The kids’ safety was always paramount, but we undoubtedly overdid it on more than one occasion.

Enter COVID. How to know if a given situation is safe? When to relax? When to persist in avoiding certain situations? Even with a vaccine, what should I do about wearing a mask? Even if restrictions on indoor dining are lifted, should I still put myself in potential danger by eating there? I have successfully avoided contracting this dreaded disease. I’ve lived like a monk most of the year. I am restless and bored; ready to get out and mingle, especially at music venues. Yet, I have come this far. What if one stupid move puts me in the hospital, after all these months? There’s no independent panel of judges to whom I can send a video. I just have to listen to the scientists, doctors, public health officials, people who know what they’re doing. The downside is I have to trust my fellow citizens to do the right things – stay distant, avoid large and unmasked crowds, get vaccinated, wash hands. We have not broken the back of this deadly disease, nor its variants, yet.

I have to trust the community to do the right thing. My team. Will they be there for me, for each other? Will they think of others or only themselves when making important decisions involving human interaction? How do I really know if I’m safe, or my family is safe? At some point, it comes down to risk. I am not much of a risk-taker. Going out in public, placing tremendous trust in my fellow citizens to do the right things, takes great effort on my part. I have no control over the actions (or inactions) of others. Then I see nearly 100% of everyone wearing a mask in the store. I see people taking great care to keep distant in a line of any kind. I realize that I don’t really need an independent panel of remote judges reviewing a video feed to make the call. It seems as though my team has done pretty well in making the call to keep each other – and ourselves – safe.

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