dave young - pandemic and covid - 19
Below is a blog my mentor Dave Young wrote about the Pandemic we are in. Dave is a cofounder of Vistelar and Founder of ARMA training. I am blessed to be affiliated with him and teach his teachings to our students!
The world we live in has abruptly changed. Our casual routines were wake up, pray, stretch, shower, and then leave home to take on the day. Grabbing coffee at the coffee shop, going to the gym, and heading off to work or school were things we took for granted. Suddenly, it’s all been disrupted. Now we are dealing with mandatory school closings for the rest of the school year. Hundreds of thousands of people have been unemployed overnight. Public venues we once took for granted like movie theaters, restaurants, museums, libraries, and malls are closed. Even the grocery stores we depend upon for necessities are uninviting and empty of many common items we consume daily. The new norm for restaurants is drive-thru, curbside pick-up, or local delivery, and many have been forced to close. Many will never reopen.
Last night, when I went to sleep, seven people had tested positive with COVID-19, in Wake County, North Carolina, where I live with my family. I woke up this morning to over 82 people testing positive, with 90 more waiting to be tested. In that same time period, the state of New York saw its cases double to over 3,000, and California is considering mandatory home quarantine for its citizens. Not quite the same world we lived in just a few short weeks ago.
Now that we are staying close to home, except for quick trips out for medical care and supplies, we may be at even more at risk than we think and not just from a contagious virus. As the pandemic develops, so do many peoples’ state of mind changes as they become more fearful and desperate.
More watchful at your home?
This means that we need to be more watchful in our homes, watching our kids playing in the yard, or going out for walks or bike rides. When leaving home and driving somewhere remember to be watchful. When walking in or out of a public space, take extra care and be watchful when walking to or from your car. Remember, predators will not be taking this time off. In times of unrest, they are even more likely to be seeking opportunities and victims. This doesn’t mean that you need to be constantly fearful, but you must remain constantly vigilant.
Fear is the biggest killer of reality. While we all need to be alert, mindful and prepared to act when necessary, fear can hinder your alertness, cloud your mind, and effect your ability to physically respond. Being alert or vigilant involves the ability to quickly notice unusual, hazardous, or even dangerous conditions and circumstances. Therefore, vigilance requires being watchful by using all your senses.
The basic senses of the human body are sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste. The organs associated with each sense send information to the brain to help us perceive and understand the world around us. Sight and sound are usually what we rely on help us keep safe. That said, how we use them to their greatest effect is important.
Typically, sensing with our eyes starts at 10 feet. It would be great if we all had x-ray vision, or the ability to see things 100 feet or great in detail; however, this isn’t possible under normal circumstances. At 10 feet is when we conduct a risk assessment. A risk assessment is a visual survey of the immediate area and whatever may be approaching.
First, choose your escape route or routes carefully.
- It should be different than the way you entered, when possible.
- It should fit your physical limitations.
- Have a plan B—another route in mind, when possible.
Secondly, choose the best destination.
- You should be able to see dangers approaching from the route you’ve chosen.
- The destination should protect you from danger and provide cover from gunfire.
- Once you arrive at the destination you’ve chosen, you need to:
- Make an account of others who may be in danger.
- Render aid to yourself and others.
- Notify police and first responders.
If you find yourself trapped and unable to escape from where you are, you should stay under cover as much as possible. Ask yourself if your cover solid enough to protect you from a bullet traveling over 1280 fps. Will it keep you out of site as well as physically provide protection? Will you be able to escape from your position of cover or will you be locked in, until the threat is stopped?
Your weapons of opportunity or availability?
Next, think about your weapons of opportunity or availability. Unconventional weapons are objects that were originally unintended to create seriously bodily injury that may result in death. However, if used or applied in a specific manner outside of their original design, may cause serious bodily injury that may result in death. Below are a few examples:
- A ruler split in half or broken can be used as an edged weapon to stab or cut someone.
- A draw string from curtains or blinds or lamp cord can be used as a strangulation option.
- A bookshelf, lamp, or other long heavy or narrow object may be used as a club or spear.
Applying these options can be easy, once you establish a routine. When I get up in the morning, I walk to the kitchen, and visually scan my home for things out of place, like an open door, window, or curtain that should be closed. Or maybe a light on that should be off.
daily routine keeps all safe!
When I go for my run in the morning, I take a “brain picture” of cars and people outside. I run with one earplug in and the other listening to the things around me. I run with my head up, while looking 10 feet or more in front of me to manage my safety.
After my morning coffee, I exit my front door with nothing in my hands and my head up, while continuing to scan 10 feet or more in front of me, as I walk to my car. Finally, I walk around my car for any damage—especially my tires. The enter my car and lock the door.
As I drive to work, I am watchful as I pull into the parking lot. I select a parking spot where I can see the entrance of the building. As I get out of the car, again with nothing in my hands and my head up scanning the area, I walk to the front door, step to the side of the door or walk inside and step to the side, and take a quick look into the parking lot to notice anything out of the ordinary.
When I leave work, I repeat my safety steps. I walk outside with nothing in my hands and my head up and scanning 10 feet or more in front of me. I give a quick survey of where my car is and ask myself, “Is anyone standing around my car? Are there any unfamiliar or suspicious behaving people in the parking lot? Does anything look out of place?”
When I get to my parking spot, I typically approach the car parked next to mine, and walk towards its passenger side, so I can see if there is anyone or anything obstructing my path of exit. Finally, I enter my car and lock the door.
When arrive back at home I am still watchful, when I pull into my driveway. Often, I will even walk the perimeter of my home. But always, after I walk in the front door, I lock it behind me. Then I greet my family and begin to enjoy the evening.
This daily routine keeps my family, the people I work with, and myself safer. This routine keeps from having to say what people have always said after being a victim of a crime:
- “I never saw it coming!”
- It happened all so fast!”
- I didn’t know what to do!”
Once you establish this type of routine, there is no need to constantly be on edge, waiting for something bad to happen. You will be ready for whatever the day will bring. Being safe is taking the time to develop a routine to stay safe and knowing what action to take when necessary.
By Dave Young