By Sam Hoober, Alien Gear Holsters
If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, you probably stocked up on toilet paper. Obviously, the COVID-19 outbreak and pandemic (because that’s what it is) has imposed some conditions on all of us and as a result things are going to be a little weird for a while.
Granted, how weird it gets is going to depend a heck of a lot on where you are. The small city I live in is quiet and fairly reasonable. Densely-populated cities and suburbs full of panicked, cabin-fever-addled people on the other hand might get a little strange.
So let’s talk about a few things to do to stay safe.
First, let’s discuss self-care. Make sure you’re doing what you can to keep yourself in the healthiest emotional state as you possibly can, obviously alongside ensuring that you and others in your household have enough food to eat and so on.
People who are on edge have a habit of making other people on edge, and that’s how minor irritations can become arguments, those become fights, and then those possibly get too far out of hand. So just make sure you’re taking care of yourself.
There are some reports of fighting and such in grocery stores. Do what you can to avoid pointless conflicts.
Quick tips: exercise is great, and nobody said anything about not going outside at all. Take a walk or two every day if you can.
To avoid food insecurity, look at items that are being neglected and buy that. In this age of the internet, you can learn to cook darn near anything. In my area, the ground beef was near depleted in short order but spiral cut hams are plentiful, and a roast ham provides a lot more leftovers than 1.2 lbs of crappy ground chuck.
Stock up on ammunition, but don’t go overboard. In a few months, this will all be over with, so let’s stop with the panic-buying. Keep 500 to 1000 rounds of practice ammo, and get a few boxes of carry ammo. It’s also a good idea to order a few magazines while you’re at it, to have a few extra loaded magazines around.
Another top tip? You have plenty of time on your hands to clean and lubricate those neglected guns. Get your cleaning kit out, and get ’em scrubbed and oiled.
Yet another top tip for these times? Dry fire practice. It’s free, and you can do a lot of it over the next few weeks or months. It’s a great way to work on the first shot drill, drawing and firing from concealment, as well as stay on top of those fundamentals like sight acquisition, trigger control and all the rest.
Planning on changing your sights or any other DIY upgrades to a pistol, shotgun or rifle? Might as well do it now, if you’re going to be staying in a bit more.
If you handload, it’s also a good time to start rolling your own.
So far, there doesn’t seem to be any reports of looting or an increase in robberies or home invasions outside of some isolated locations. Hopefully the criminals will be staying home! However, it’s possible that this might change.
If your area is higher-risk for this kind of activity, take some steps to fortify your home.
Install a security strike plate on your door, using 3-inch wood screws to secure it to the door jamb. This won’t entirely stop a determined burglar if they have the right tools (such as a sledge hammer) but will stop someone who is merely trying to kick in the door, and will slow anyone trying to force the door with tools. That gives you enough time to arm yourself and get anyone else in the house behind you.
If you’re in an apartment or urban environment, and your landlord won’t spring for something like that, install a couple of chain latches. They don’t stop anyone who is determined enough, but it will slow them down.
Install security film on windows on both sides if you can. It doesn’t keep glass from breaking, but keeps it together if it does.
If someone is trying to break in, dial 911 and put the dispatcher on speaker. You need your hands free, not fumbling with your phone.
With that all said, remember that social distancing works. While the novel coronavirus is not the most serious disease compared to, say, Ebola, neither is it anything to sneer at. People are literally dying of it, and it’s estimated that up to 200,000 or more Americans alone could die from it before it’s over.
The measures that are being employed are the exact same ones that were used to combat the 1918 influenza pandemic and ultimately were very successful in doing so. Keep that in mind, and remember that this, too will pass.
Keep yourself healthy, safe, and as happy as possible. Try not to be awful to the people you’re shut in with and the people you’re shut in next to.
Sam Hoober is a Contributing Editor to AlienGearHolsters.com, a subsidiary of Hayden, ID, based Tedder Industries, where he writes about gun accessories, gun safety, open and concealed carry tips. Click here to visit aliengearholsters.com.