Wanna learn a cool new word? The word is “micromort.”

A micromort is a unit of risk defined as a one-in-a-million chance of death. Micromorts can be used to measure riskiness of various daily activities. For instance, for my mini-vacation three weeks ago, my classmates and I traveled to Branson, Missouri, a distance of approximately 250 miles. Driving that far, one way, carried the risk of one micromort. So round trip would be two micromorts. Here is the crazy part of it: just living one day in 2010, without doing an- ything carried the risk of 20 micromorts. (8000 in a year)

Here are some risks involved with leisure activities and sports. Scuba diving: 5 micromorts per dive. Snow Skiing; 0.7 micromorts per day. Skydiving: 8 per jump. Base Jumping: 430 per jump. Climbing Mount Everest: 37,932 micromorts. (Stay home, on this one)

Travel: Each of these is one micromort: Walking 17 miles. Biking 10 miles. Driving 250 miles. Flying 6000 miles.

Chronic risks: add one micromort for: Drinking a half liter of wine, smoking 1.4 cigarettes, liv- ing two days in NYC, eating 100 charbroiled steaks, drinking Miami water.

Other activities: Hang gliding: 8 per trip. Giving birth: 120 micromorts

The point should be clear. Life always involves a bit of risk. Nothing is absolutely safe. Any- thing can be dangerous. Life is a tradeoff, willingness to do anything carries some risk.

Let’s apply this to our current situation. We will do our part to make Holy Redeemer Church and School as safe as we can, but it will never be 100% risk free. Nothing is. Life is always a bit of a step into the unknown and risky, and each individual has to figure out for themselves how much of risk they are willing to take. You try not to take foolhardy risks (you may want to give up your dream of giving birth on Mount Everest), but you have to continue living your life taking calculated ones.

And that’s why, whether you are a believer or not, you have to trust in God.

Father Kevin


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