Because of government lockdowns, activities that were once routine and normal, like visiting restaurants and bars, commuting to a job or going shopping in stores, now have become unusual or even impossible.
For some, even going outside or on a trip to a grocery store or drugstore can seem like a perilous adventure. But the fact is that being outdoors is necessary for our emotional, mental and physical health as well as for everyday purposes like restocking the fridge and cupboard with food to eat or picking up prescription pills.
For most, it is still OK to go outside, but is essential to take precautions. SABRE is here to help with these seven essential outdoor safety tips.
1. Is It OK to Be Outside at All?
As noted above, it’s generally healthy to be outdoors, especially when the weather is good. Besides promoting humans’ mental health, sunshine and fresh air benefit us physically.
During the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918-1920, in fact, many patients were put outside during good weather, where the sunshine and fresh air was thought to benefit them. In addition, a bit of sun every day helps your body make vitamin D, which will strengthen your immune system to help your body fight off coronavirus, flu and other bugs.
2. Can I Go Outside During Government Lockdowns or Shelter-in-Place Orders?
Although many states, counties and municipalities have called for lockdowns, none has banned being outside completely. Even government officials recognize the benefits of being outdoors.
When you are outside, remember to maintain social distancing. That typically means staying at least 6 feet away from the nearest person. Also, if you are feeling ill, be sure to stay at home.
3. Is It Safe to Run, Jog, Bike or Walk Outside?
Again, it’s generally okay to exercise outside. In fact, just like sun and fresh air, regular exercise can boost your immune system.
Because you don’t want to contract or spread the virus, however, it’s wise to walk, jog, bike or run solo or with someone you live with, like a child, parent, spouse or significant other. Avoid strangers as well as crowded sidewalks and other areas.
Participating in marathons, races and other competitions are out for the moment. But if you need competition or analytics to push you toward your personal best, running apps can help get you there without physical contact with others.
4. Should I Avoid Touching Traffic-Control Buttons and Door Handles?
Studies have shown coronavirus can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days on surfaces made of metal, plastic and other materials. Although the primary way coronavirus spreads is through droplets circulated by coughing, sneezing and exhaling, touching a surface with live virus could potentially infect you — especially if you touch your mouth, nose or eyes soon after.
It’s wise to use gloves when handling anything likely to have been touched frequently by others. No gloves? A plastic bag offers protection. If you’re trying to activate a “Walk” signal at an intersection, you can also use an elbow or sleeve.
5. Where Can I Exercise and Work Out?
Most gyms have been closed during lockdowns. That leaves working out at home as the best and safest way for you and everyone else to stay in shape. Plenty of high-tech apps are available to help you track your fitness at home.
6. Are Hiking, Fishing, Hunting and Camping All Right?
In general, you can continue to enjoy outdoors pursuits like these. Be aware, however, that many states and municipalities have temporarily closed parks and trails. Even federal agencies like the National Forest Service have temporarily shut down trailheads and campgrounds in some regions. Before you go, check with the appropriate agency.
7. Are There Any Other Safety Tips I Should Consider?
So far the coronavirus has brought on panic buying and selling, emergency hoarding, deserted stores and streets, and a record increase in unemployment. Given the uncertainty about this novel virus and how it will play out not only in human bodies but in the economy and society at large, it’s smart to be prepared. With a little preparation, you can protect your family as well as yourself.
Especially now that fewer folks are on the streets and some people may become desperate or may be trying to escape their troubles with drugs or alcohol, it’s wise to carry some personal protection. A personal alarm can scare off someone who tries to attack you. In addition, the noise can summon help from others in the area.
A variety of compact, lightweight personal alarms are available. Some attach to keychains so you always have it ready, whether you are in your vehicle or going in or out of your home. Runners’ and athletes’ alarms have wrist straps that keep them handy but unobtrusive.
To ward off an attacker, consider adding a stun gun or a canister of pepper gel or pepper spray to your self-defense lineup. Just the sight of a stun gun can let an assailant know he’s in for a truly shocking experience if he messes with you. Some stun guns are available with LED flashlights you can use to disorient an attacker before you even have to use the gun to stop an attack.
Pepper gels and pepper sprays are available in compact canisters you can easily carry with you on a keychain or in your pocket. Using one of these self-defense products can temporarily disable an assailant by causing intense burning in the eyes as well as bouts of sneezing and coughing. That will give you time to get away to safety and seek help.
Not sure about which self-defense product is right for you or have questions? Instant-chat with us, email or call our customer-service staff toll-free during normal business hours. We are here to help and are dedicated to your total satisfaction.