The Coronavirus has sickened millions and killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people across the world. To this date, over 26 million people have been sickened and over 869,000 people have died from COVID-19.
View the current updated statistics here: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Statistics
Countries across the globe have banded together and provided equipment, resources, and aid to one another to fight this common enemy. However there is another enemy that is trying to exploit this global crisis; predators and criminals.
Evil predators and depraved criminals don’t care that this virus can sicken their family members, friends, or even themselves. They callously view the pandemic as an opportunity to carry out their attacks and crimes.
We will forever live in a new normal with the rules and structure of society changing.
Does this mean the rules of self defense have also changed?
As society changes, the rules of self defense change with it.
There are new social norms including social distancing, wearing face coverings, and working from home. There are unarmed killings of black people, and social protests for police defunding. There are racially motivated attacks on vulnerable Asian populations due to misguided information. And lastly, what’s affecting everyone is a scary uncertainty surrounding how our society will look and function moving forward.
Society has changed and will continue to change throughout this very turbulent time in our history.
Now more than ever you have to watch your own back.
Social Distancing and Self Defense Benefits
We see social distancing everywhere now. Restaurant tables positioned 6 feet apart and shoppers in line standing 6 feet apart. New York City restaurants cramming 5 adjacent tables within 15 feet will no longer be a thing.
These new social distancing norms can be advantageous for self defence. Everyone must be 6 feet apart and distance is your friend in self defence. This means that you can cross the street if you see someone suspicious approaching you, and it won’t be considered rude. If a strange gentleman is standing too close to you in public, you can move away to create distance and it won’t be offensive.
Social Distancing Self Defense Tips
Distance makes it harder for a predator to harm you physically. Distance gives you time to arm yourself and prepare to fight off an attacker. Distance allows you to observe and evaluate a potential threat. Creating distance can remove you from a potential threat’s vicinity.
Here's one of our guides to defending yourself using distance: Maintaining Distance from a Threat.
Use this new social distancing norm to your advantage. Cross the street, step further away, be blunt and assertive about claiming your 6 feet of personal space, and create distance whenever you feel uncomfortable.
Face Coverings and Personal Protection Concerns
Face coverings are now required in many public spaces and private establishments to reduce the spread of the disease.
While it’s an important safety measure, it also poses additional hazards for personal protection.
Just last year, if someone was wearing a bandana across his face in the middle of the summer, it would raise red flags. Why is this person covering their nose and mouth in such hot weather? It must be to conceal their facial identity so they can commit a crime.
Nowadays, anyone can and should cover their mouth and nose, and it won’t look suspicious. A predator could even wear a full-out mask and we’d give him the benefit of the doubt.
You can be sure that predators and criminals are trying to take advantage of this mandatory concealment so that they can commit crimes without revealing their facial identity.
Face Covering Self Defense Tips
The only way to combat this additional concealment for predators is to be extra vigilant for other cues and body language. Be on the lookout for odd behavior that seems off and if something doesn’t feel right, always go with your gut.
Working from Home and Social Desolateness on Safety
Companies like Twitter, Square, Facebook, and Shopify are allowing their employees to work from home… for as long as they wish. According to a Stanford study, almost 50% of employees are now working from home and that means less people in the streets, in cities, and in public spaces.
Check out an updated list of companies allowing their employees to work from home: Companies Working From Home Until 2021 Or Forever.
This also means fewer bystanders to help you if you’re being assaulted, more desolate public spaces, and more ideal environments for predators to find victims.
Public Desolateness Self Defense Tips
Arm yourself. You probably won’t be leaving your house and out in public as much as you did pre-COVID, so carrying a self defense weapon on your body won’t inconvenience you as much, and you’ll be armed wherever you go.
The best self defense weapons to carry are the ones most appropriate for your situation. If you’re going to the supermarket in the afternoon, bringing a small can of pepper spray or wearing a self defense ring knife will be sufficient. If you’re going for an early morning run, or are walking your dog at night, you should arm yourself with something more lethal such as a knife.
Systemic Racism, Social Protests, and Self Protection
Anyone can agree that the killing of an unarmed human being by a police officer is wrong. This systemic racism has led to global protests. While most have been peaceful, there are a handful of individuals violently protesting, rioting, and looting stores and property.
While everyone should understand and be open to the message being conveyed, we also need to protect ourselves and our property.
Social Protesting Self Protection Tips
At this time you should be hyper aware of large groups of people. There’s something called “mob mentality” where it’s easy for a large group of people to adopt a certain behavior based on others in the group. This can be dangerous if you or your property is targeted. It can quickly turn from one person attacking or robbing you to all of a sudden 30 people doing it. If you’re not actively and peacefully protesting, then you should stay away from protest events.
Reduced Police Presence on Individual Safety and Home Security
At least 13 cities in the US have cut funding from their police department budget or reduced the number of police officers. Many more cities will cut budgets in the near future. Protests around the country and world have called for an end to systemic racism and many people believe defunding the police is the start to rectifying this issue with funds being reallocated to social programs.
So far, New York City has cut $1 billion dollars from its 2021 police budget and Los Angeles has cut $150 million from its police funding. San Francisco, Austin, Seattle, Oakland, Baltimore Philadelphia, Portland, Salt Lake City, and even the nation’s capital Washington D.C. have made budget cuts to their police force.
What does this mean for self-defense?
The ideal scenario is the funds that would have gone to police departments will go to social programs like homelessness, mental health services, educational programs, food access, violence prevention, and abortion access.
Investing into these social programs will decrease crime, and hence a robust police force will not be needed.
We support the idea of investing more money into social programs and believe this will have positive, lasting long-term effects.
However, in the short-term, the result will be less armed police officers to serve and protect you. Violence and crime across many major cities is up significantly during the pandemic.
Many people around the United States have reported that their 911 calls are going unanswered and it’s taking police officers a long time to respond to calls.
If it takes a police cruiser 10 minutes to arrive at your house after a 911 call, that is way too long to wait for help to arrive. You have to be able to defend yourself or hold off an attacker until law enforcement arrives.
Home Security Self Defense Tips
Your home security should be reinforced which may include things like home firearms or advanced surveillance systems. If we’re going into full prepper mode, you can set up traps, install new locks, wire alarms to windows and entryways, and put up warning signage.
Investing in handcuffs or restraints might be an excellent addition in case you need to restrain an attacker until law enforcement arrives.
Racially-Motivated Attacks on Vulnerable Populations
We’ve seen Asian individuals being attacked due to their indirect association with COVID-19 and the false belief that they are responsible for the pandemic.
Or we’ve seen cowardly criminals use the pandemic as an excuse to carry out random attacks on Asian individuals.
An 89-year old Asian woman was set on fire in New York City in July, determined to be a hate crime. Here's the article: https://abc7ny.com/woman-set-on-fire-elderly-attack-89-year-old-attacked-bensonhurst-crime/6333749/
What we do know is that for the most part, predators are preying on vulnerable populations like the elderly.
These anti-Asian crimes are an ignorant and disturbing trend that is happening all across the nation and are already into the hundreds of cases.
Self Defense Tips for Racially-Motivated Attacks
If you’re part of the vulnerable targeted population - Asian elderly individuals - then you need to take extra precautions whenever you leave the house. Asian people in general should be extra cautious when around suspicious individuals.
We suggest being out during the daylight hours and when possible, going out with other people so you are not a single target. If you’re not part of the vulnerable population, it’s your moral duty to help if a dangerous situation were to arise. You don’t have to physically intervene, but you can still call the cops or try to verbally deter the predator.
Self Defense and the New Normal
Life will start to get back to a sense of normalcy, but there’s no time table. It will depend on many factors including the COVID-19 infection rate, a proven vaccine, and each person’s willingness to follow social guidelines to slow the spread.
Your personal protection and safety will be even more important moving forward.
Self defense weapons including everything from firearms to pepper spray to keychains have seen increased sales during the pandemic.
People feel more vulnerable than ever before and are taking their safety into their own hands.
And while we preach helping others in need by calling the cops or physically intervening if you’re capable, no one should rely on others for their own personal safety.
So fortify your home security, add some new weapons to your self defense arsenal, and continue to adjust to this new normal. Be prepared to defend yourself against any predator or criminal that is crazy enough to take advantage of this pandemic by using it to carry out their crimes.