Personal Safety

Recently I have noticed an uptick of “suspicious person/vehicle” posts in my neighborhood from people out walking/hiking/cycling through the neighborhood or one of the many trails and parks in our area.

In this age of home schooling, social distancing, and quarantine, the need to get out of our homes for some fresh air and relaxation has never been greater.  It may not be feasible to always use the buddy system, but there are a few simple things you can do to help keep yourself and your neighborhood safer.  

  1. First and foremost, trust your instincts. If the little hairs on the back of your neck stand up and your gut is telling you to do something, do it. Don’t worry about going out of your way, being silly, or politically incorrect. Your safety is paramount.

  2. If you’re going for run/walk/ride, be sure someone knows where you went and how long you think you’ll be gone. Leave a note for your family.

  3. Snap a picture and text it to someone to let them know where you are. Text messages do not need as much signal strength as voice calls to go through. Texts will also keep trying to send until they get enough signal strength. This will also create a “ping” to the cell towers.

  4. Take pictures along the way of landmarks. They will be available in the cloud if needed for someone to backtrack your route.

  5. Even in worst case scenarios, take pictures. Picture files contain EXIF data that pinpoint the location using GPS, the date, and time it was taken.

  6. If you see anything you even think might be suspicious, snap a few pictures. You can delete them later, but you have the security of having them just in case.

  7. Share your experience or suspicions on your neighborhood Facebook or Nextdoor groups. Check if your neighborhood has a specific “Crimewatch” group.

  8. Walk facing traffic, but cycle in the direction of traffic. Be alert and follow all traffic laws.

  9. Carry a protective device. Pepper spray can deter an aggressive dog, wildlife, and humans if needed. Even a simple police whistle is a deterrent if you are not comfortable with using sprays. Give whistles to your kids and teach them to only use them in emergencies.

  10. We all love our headphones. Unfortunately, the may keep us from observing danger until it is too late. Try keeping your volume down to around 25% or lower so you can hear your surroundings. Personally, I use a single earbud and keep my open ear facing the higher traffic side of me. This works in the office as well so I don’t scream when someone sneaks up on me!

  11. If you are coming up on someone, remember to announce yourself “passing on the right”. This can avoid an accidental collision or the heightened pulse rate of thinking someone is sneaking up behind you.

  12. Download a GPS map to your phone in case you get lost and can’t get a signal. Google maps is one that will allow you to download maps for use offline.

  13. Don’t wear dark colors. Purchase a roll of reflective tape. Use a strip of tape on your clothes, bike, stroller, leash, or anywhere else that can be seen by oncoming traffic in both directions.

Don’t Be A Karen – Marley K. – Medium

Karen hates authority… and men, people of color, Blacks, kindness, sanity, solitude, and ultimately herself. She’s the ultimate peace stealer and a joy killer, the ruiner of pleasurable days, and the…
— Read on medium.com/@marleyk/dont-be-a-karen-a2ca3390c1e3

Wearing Masks Works

Astonished by the number of ignorant people stating they refuse to wear masks because they ”don’t do anything”, I compiled a few resources here so I can share one link, instead of four.

Please forgive my referencing such ”fake news” organizations like Johns Hopkins and the Mayo Clinic.

Mayo Clinic
So why weren’t face masks recommended at the start of the pandemic? At that time, experts didn’t yet know the extent to which people with COVID-19 could spread the virus before symptoms appeared. Nor was it known that some people have COVID-19 but don’t have any symptoms. Both groups can unknowingly spread the virus to others.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/coronavirus-mask/art-20485449

CDC
COVID-19 can be spread by people who do not have symptoms and do not know that they are infected.   That’s why it’s important for everyone to practice social distancing (staying at least 6 feet away from other people) and wear cloth face coverings in public settings. Cloth face coverings provide an extra layer to help prevent the respiratory droplets from traveling in the air and onto other people.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/about-face-coverings.html

Science Daily (study by A&M)
A study by a team of researchers led by a Texas A&M University professor has found that not wearing a face mask dramatically increases a person’s chances of being infected by the COVID-19 virus.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/06/200612172200.htmJohns Hopkins
Face masks help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Because it’s possible to have coronavirus without showing symptoms, it is best to wear a face covering even if you think you are healthy. A mask helps contain small droplets that come out of your mouth and/or nose when you talk, sneeze or cough. If you have COVID-19 and are not showing symptoms, a face mask reduces your chance of spreading the infection to others. If you are healthy, a mask may protect you from larger droplets from people around you.

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/coronavirus-face-masks-what-you-need-to-know

Why I Wear a Mask

I want you to know that I am educated enough to know that I could be asymptomatic and still give you the virus.

No, I don’t “live in fear” of the virus; I just want to be part of the solution, not the problem.

I don’t feel like the “government is controlling me;” I feel like I’m being a contributing adult to society and I want to teach others the same.

The world doesn’t revolve around me. It’s not all about me and my comfort.

If we all could live with other people’s consideration in mind, this whole world would be a much better place.

Wearing a mask doesn’t make me weak, scared, stupid, or even “controlled.” It makes me considerate.

When you think about how you look, how uncomfortable it is, or what others think of you, just imagine someone close to you – a child, a father, a mother, grandparent, aunt, or uncle – choking on a respirator , alone without you or any family member allowed at bedside. Ask yourself if you could have sucked it up a little for them.

Why you need to wear the damn mask – By Catherine Pearlman

A face mask requirement does not violate your constitutional rights

Great Plague (Black Death Documentary) on YouTube

I have been watching a lot of YouTube during quarantine. I watch one thing and follow the you may also like” suggestions down the rabbit hole until I get bored and start again.

Today I stumbled upon “Great Plague (Black Death Documentary by Timeline. It’s a very well done documentary that focuses on families in a single alley and uses their writings and ledgers to portray the escalation from their point of view.

If you have any interest in epidemiology, history of disease, pan/epidemics or just to see how similar it was to our current situation, I highly recommend checking this out.

  • Self-quarantine could be a lot worse. They flattened the curve by boarding up and padlocking the home of any sick person, along with all residents, for over a month. If you survived, great!

  • They also had social distancing. They closed the pubs and other gathering places (of the poor of course).

  • One nobleman built a glass room with a small slit through which to conduct business. Looks very much like the checkout lanes now do.

  • They stopped directly handling cash and steamed mail to “disinfect” before handling.