column By: Steve Garbe | June, 23
I think that you would have to been living under a pretty big rock to not have a life that was affected by COVID-19, either directly or indirectly. For many people, COVID was the defining event in their life, all things being either “pre-COVID” or “post-COVID. As we look upon the whole COVID epidemic from the position of hindsight, several things become very clear.
I’m not going to expound upon the many theories about the origins of COVID or the various attempts by many sources to assign blame, let alone the vast numbers of those who would like to think that rightly or wrongly, they made a real difference in the impact of the disease. Rather, I would like to move on and talk about our life in general and our “shooting” life in particular, as this is a magazine focused on firearms and shooting.
The unknown can be very frightening and no one knew exactly what we were dealing with when it came to COVID-19. Predictably, there was a certain amount of hysteria, much of it fueled by the media who never miss an opportunity to scream from the mountaintops about the latest perceived catastrophe. In the case of COVID-19, the catastrophe was very real, as was the sheer volume of misinformation surrounding it. Now that we have somewhat “weathered the storm,” it is time to reflect on the future.
Please don’t interpret my comments to in any way trivialize the whole epidemic. COVID was a terrible event for many people, altering lives significantly and permanently. There is no way that we will ever return to the identical life that we had prior to the epidemic, even if we were lucky enough to not be affected. We are all now on the lookout for the next disease to come our way and have made changes to our lifestyle that we believe will help fend off a similar threat. This is a natural survival instinct, at least for those who have their wits about them.
It is those changes to lifestyle that I would like to comment on. I, like many people, cut my social interaction to the bare minimum and stopped attending many events that took me out in public places. To be more specific, gun shows and rifle matches almost became a thing of the past. Considering the best information available, it just didn’t seem like a very good idea to be out amongst folks. Now, however, I think we can look at that behavior and while it still has some merit, we need to also realize that life is to be lived. Wrapping up in cotton/wool and living in a box is not anyway to live, COVID be damned.
That is not to say that we should throw caution to the wind and disregard all the things that we learned about cutting our risks. We need to move forward and enjoy life while remaining very aware of what can go sideways. I think we are all more conscious of personal hygiene, especially when in public places and dealing with numbers of people. We have, I believe, become better educated on assessing risk and playing it off against enjoying life. I know I have.
So, with this year’s shooting season well underway, I’m going to enjoy the company of friends and participate in many of the competitions that I did pre-COVID. Armed with some hard-won experience, I’m determined to strike a good balance between being aware of potential danger and doing those things that bring me pleasure. I recommend that you do the same. Because, if we let the whole COVID episode stop us from resuming a life that at least resembles what we had before, then we are letting “fear” call all the shots; and that is no way to live.
– Gut Ziel