It’s hard to deny that we’re living in dangerous times. Between an active pandemic, regular mass shootings and intense levels of polarization, simply protecting oneself from personal harm can seem like a never-ending battle. While it’s easy to see why so many of us feel unsafe, keeping yourself out of harm’s way is much easier than you may think. So, if long-term safety in the era of COVID-19 is what you seek, the following precautions are likely to serve you well.
Get Vaccinated Against COVID-19
It isn’t hard to see why COVID-19 was the third leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2020. Given the novel coronavirus’s highly infectious nature and millions of Americans’ aversion to altering their behavior in any way, it was only natural that the United States would become the COVID-19 capital of the planet. Fortunately, we’re also the vaccination capital of the planet – at least as far as availability goes. Because so many Americans are refusing to get a free, readily available vaccine, the country currently has more vaccine supplies than it knows what to do with.
Rather than be part of the problem, make a point of being part of the solution. If you haven’t already gotten your COVID-19 vaccine – and don’t suffer from a medical condition that precludes you from vaccination – take care to get vaccinated at your earliest possible convenience. Vaccines are being administered free of charge at an expansive assortment of medical facilities and pharmacies, ensuring that you needn’t worry about cost or accessibility. Full vaccination will provide you with a tremendous amount of protection against serious and fatal COVID-19 infection, which can help increase your personal safety, as well as the safety of those around you.
Don’t Interact with Unsafe Individuals
While highly effective at preventing serious and fatal infections, the COVID-19 vaccines aren’t magical shields against the novel coronavirus. As is the case with all vaccines, breakthrough infections are entirely possible. This – coupled with the fact that vaccinated individuals can still spread virus particles – is why even those of us who are fully vaccinated should continue masking up in public and taking other common-sense precautions.
For maximum safety, you should avoid interactions with people who refuse to get vaccinated or take any other precautions against the novel coronavirus. They may try to frame their lack of concern as a matter of personal choice, but if their “personal choice” involves actively placing others in harm’s way, there’s no reason you should go along with it. You shouldn’t place your own safety – and the safety of everyone you interact with – at risk because certain people are too misinformed and/or outright selfish to take basic precautions amidst an active pandemic.
Avoid Assault Weapons
COVID-19 isn’t the only public health crisis sweeping the U.S. As assorted firearms remain more accessible than ever, gun violence continues to be a huge problem throughout much of the country. Regardless of your personal views on gun rights, the Second Amendment’s prefatory clause does not guarantee the right of private citizens to possess assault weapons – weapons which should only be used on the battlefield and in military operations. Unfortunately, many of the worst mass shootings from recent years have involved the use of assault weapons, which never should have been accessible to the shooters in the first place.
Since gun violence has become such a prevalent threat, it’s imperative that you take measures to avoid becoming a casualty of it. This entails staying away from assault weapons, not associating with dangerous individuals who are known to possess such weapons and avoiding areas in which shootings have been known to occur.
It isn’t hard to see why so many of us consistently feel unsafe. With the COVID-19 pandemic raging on, mass shootings occurring with alarming regularity and various other dangers running rampant, caution has truly become the name of the game. As such, it behooves those of us who value personal safety to take precautionary measures and actively work to keep ourselves out of harm’s way. Given the current state of things, this is liable to seem like an uphill battle, but safety needn’t prove costly, difficult or cumbersome. Anyone looking to stay safe amidst increasingly dangerous times can benefit from the measures discussed above.