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Why I Only Mediate On Zoom

You really do not want to resume face-to-face mediation any time soon.  Sure, being in person has advantages.  The risk just does not justify it.

Most of what we hear in the news concerns public health. Yet even if the curve is flattening so hospitals not overwhelmed, if you are infected, you’ll be underneath that curve.  Potentially dead.

Erin Bromage, a biologist who specializes in infectious diseases, has written about individual health risks as distinguished from public health.  His post, “The Risks – Know Them – Avoid Them,” from way back on May 6, suggests a simple formula to measure risk: density of people, quality of ventilation and most of all, time.

People don’t have symptoms for the first few days they’re infected but are contagious.  If you are in an enclosed space with someone like that for a period of hours, which you will be in every mediation, you will get it.  Six feet apart is not a silver bullet.  Hours later, if someone with the virus has been in the room, it can still be a dangerous place.

Mediators—and lawyers—are in the business of minimizing risk.  The difference between in-person and being on video not enough to risk lives over.

Licensed to practice law in Illinois and Pennsylvania.

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