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Bullseye Practice while avoiding the Coronavirus

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Post by mikemyers on Wed May 06, 2020 11:41 pm

I've read most of what I can find about the Corona virus, and how we catch Covid-19.  The most "dangerous" scenario is to be around other people.  If you stay six to ten feet away from others, that minimizes the chance of getting sick that way.  Next on the list, is to touch something that an infected person has touched.  Even then, to get the virus you need to then touch your mouth, nose, ears, or mouth.  And thoroughly washing your hands will kill or remove any virus on them.  Wearing a mask is mostly so people who do have the virus can't infect others.  I guess it's a good idea to wear one anyway.  Bottom line, stay away from others.

So, it seems to me that if I go to my local range, and stay away from other people, and am careful as to what I touch, and clean up carefully before I drive home, going to the range should be no more dangerous than going to a park, or walking on a path.  I guess it also means using an anti-virus wipe on my guns and gear when I get home.

I'm in South Florida, and the virus graphs I was following seemed to suggest that by June 1st, it might be OK to start going back to the range for practice.
Then they revised the graph, to show "estimated cases" instead of "confirmed cases", which raised the line on the graph a lot, meaning I maybe ought to wait until October.


I suspect a lot of others here are considering their own options.  Maybe some of you have thought this through better than I have.  Is my reasoning correct, that if I go to the range for an hour or two several days a week, and if I go mid-day, when Florida weather means the temperature will be up around 90 or so, so other (wiser) people go earlier or later, when it's more comfortable, and if I'm careful - is it safe to do so?   .....or, how much longer do I need to wait?



............or, have most of you already thought this through, and decided going to the range for practice can be safely done, so you're already doing so?
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Post by James Hensler on Thu May 07, 2020 5:02 am

My range opens up May 8 at 50%
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Post by jimsteele on Thu May 07, 2020 7:26 am

If my range was open, I would go shoot. I always had at least 10 feet of separation between shooters if I went during normal work hours. Many times, I had the whole range to myself. Seems safe to me, and I'm an old codger.

I'm just glad I have an air pistol to play with at home...Jim

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Post by CR10X on Thu May 07, 2020 7:48 am

You should follow all the common sense guidelines for going out.  Stay away from people (especially those that do not follow the guidelines), wear a good mask when in needed areas, wash hands, careful touching surfaces others have touched, etc.  

Our range has remained open for members and I do some training and (and testing loads for a rebuilt gun) couple of times each week.  There is rarely anyone around and we have cleaning supplies and hand washing facilities.  (Having a match -  well that's a whole other can of worms and I really don't know when I may restart even with additional guidelines or relaxed conditions.)

So sure, go shoot if you want to.  Just follow good common sense and realize that you're just doing something that does put you in the environment, but with less probability of contact than going to the grocery store. And remember the effects, if infected,  can vary greatly depending on each individual and underlying conditions, so you need to make your own decision depending where you fall in the overall population. 

Yes, the guidelines are changing, BUT projected curves don't mean crap (good or bad because we are part of the process).  Look at it this way, nothing has changed in general but our actions, which have only served to reduced the speed at which the virus spreads.  Just because you can go out now does not mean its any safer overall.  There are still asymptotic people out there with the potential to spread.   (I know of a situation that proves this.)

Without vaccine or other approved medication for when you actually contract the virus, we are exactly in the same place as when we started.  The actions taken have only mitigated the spread and bring up the awareness of our surroundings.  They have done nothing to removed the virus from the environment or reduced the potential effects if you do contract it.

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Post by Aprilian on Thu May 07, 2020 10:07 am

I've been back to our members only range a couple times.   It is a classic risk/reward scenario, similar to the one I face when riding my motorcycle at speeds up to 140 on a race track.

The infection risk is higher if you are obese, a smoker (or x-smoker), have heart issues including Hypertension, have compromised breathing, live with someone with underlying medical issues, etc.

Mike, You have taken higher risk in one area than I would accept (travelling regularly to India - where my father had a bad health experience in the 70's)  so you are not adverse to risk.  Perhaps the reward of live firing is not sufficient for you to accept the risk your range poses to your health?

It is always going to be "based on what I know today..."
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Post by dronning on Thu May 07, 2020 10:56 am

Aprilian wrote:Mike, As you chose to ask the internet, perhaps that is an indicator of the time not yet being right for you to accept the risk your range poses to your health?
+1  You need to make your own decision based on the risk you are willing to take.  Life is not risk free.  16 people a day are killed crossing the street, how many of those weren't taking precautions, and just because you have a "Walk" light doesn't mean you won't get run over in a cross walk.

I guess the point is until there is a vaccine for covid life just got a little riskier.  Remember <50% of adult Americans get a flu shot and there are 30K-70K deaths in the USA every year from the flu. 

-Dave
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Post by mikemyers on Thu May 07, 2020 1:24 pm

I'll give you my thoughts, but they're not finalized.

All of my doctors have told me that it is very important that I go outside and get exercise, maybe once or twice a day, walking for two miles or so.  So, I go out when it's very hot, and most people are indoors enjoying their air conditioned lives.  So, I don't see very many people, and those that I do see, I stay away from as much as possible.  Since every one of my doctors thinks that doing this is better for my health than staying in my apartment 24/7, I've accepted it as "safe".

On the other side of the coin, while I think shopping at Publix is safe enough, one of my doctors asked why I would take the chance, if for a little more money I could have the food delivered.  I do consider it reasonably safe, but using Instacart is easier and safer, so that's what I'm doing.

As to shooting, if I can fully accept being out in the fresh air, in a "park-like" environment, and if I'm doing that anyway for exercise, I've accepted that I will soon start going to the range.  I've been telling myself that as soon as the "graph" of who has the virus in Florida drops down near zero, I would be back to shooting.  By looking over all the data, I selected June 1st as when I would start.

A few days ago, some people correlating the data added a new line to their graph.  The line I had been following was "Confirmed Infections", and it's shown on the graph below as a solid brown line.  They have now added a new graphic with a dashed-brown-line for "Estimated Infections".  When I look at that new data, it makes me think I should consider waiting until around August.  The link below shows my data, for Florida.  Change it to the state where you live if you want data that's most applicable to you.

https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america/florida
(This is for Florida - add your own state name and you'll get a graph more useful for you.)

My current thinking is that I should follow my plan of waiting until June 1st, and if there are no major changes, to start my live firing practice then.  I just need to learn how to be an obnoxious dork, and tell people not to come near me should they want to.  

You're right that we need to decide for ourselves when it is safe enough to do something.  By staying away from people at the range, wearing a mask, keeping my hands clean, and using a disinfectant wipe on my guns after shooting, I think I'll be able to do this and feel comfortable about it.  

(P.S. - Whatever risk I have been taking in going to India, racing motorcycles was far riskier.  I could have been hurt or killed far too many times.  Driving a 6-cylinder Honda CBX at 140mph, to verify it would actually do that, was one of the dumbest things I ever did, in retrospect.  I guess I'm lucky I ever made it to 76.  I would feel quite safe going to the range tomorrow, but I'll feel more safe when the virus seems to be going away for a while.......)

(Oh, and I stunk at road racing, because instead of going the fastest I could, I was always thinking of holding back a little, reducing the chances of my getting hurt.)
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Post by james r chapman on Thu May 07, 2020 1:44 pm

Danger! How fast can you go?
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Post by mikemyers on Thu May 07, 2020 2:09 pm

Jim, plenty fast.
I had the first 6-cylinder CBS that came into Michigan.
I went to the Honda Technicians School to learn how to work on it.

Bullseye Practice while avoiding the Coronavirus D8e762239da4fe09432bf63da67d6a4b
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Post by mikemyers on Thu May 07, 2020 2:14 pm

That was then, this is now.  Older people don't do very well with Covid-19, so there is part of me thinking I should wait a while longer before I get back into shooting at the range.  Another part of me is telling me that if there are no people there, it's just as safe as walking outside along Biscayne Bay with a mask, and avoiding other people.   I'm 99% sure it's safe enough to go shoot, as long as I follow the Covid-19 rules and avoid other people.
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Post by messenger on Thu May 07, 2020 4:50 pm

I'm not sure if this is the right spot for this. Since we are all preoccupied with the virus there is some good information but also some chilling aspects of what the powerful can do to the innocent. If the administration deems it inappropriate please remove. I didn't see it as political.

Bill

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XF9wtBcWepM
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Post by Wobbley on Thu May 07, 2020 5:01 pm

I’m in the vulnerable age bracket and if the rep angels hadn’t closed I’d have still been shooting.  I’m grumpy enough to let people know if they’re infringing in my space so I think I could have been safe enough.  But each has to measure their own risks.  This virus is a nasty thing, but it seems to be not as deadly as was predicted.
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Post by orpheoet on Thu May 07, 2020 6:19 pm

The effectiveness of masks is a hot topic everywhere. If you want to be safe wearing a PROPERLY fitted N95 is probably the way but the key is properly fitted. Unfortunately for those of us that wear glasses masks introduce the irritating side effect of fogging lenses. Side note as a CT tech I'm the first person to actually see the effects of Covid 19 on a suspected patient's lungs and I can say it's nothing anybody wants.
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Post by impalanut on Thu May 07, 2020 7:00 pm

A piece of tape over the bridge of the nose will take care of the fogging. Doing it for many years.
Alternative may be an over wrap with a piece of stocking/pantyhose to keep the fit snug. Haven't done it, but saw a good article. The tape glue can be a little irritating over time.

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Post by blindshooter on Thu May 07, 2020 8:04 pm

I'm no doctor but I do know living in fear shut up in the house will do you no good. I haven't stopped going to the range, still work at a job that takes me into lots of different environments. The way I see it life is a risk 24-7. May as well try to enjoy it best you can.
I would be miffed if I were still competing and suddenly there were no matches.

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Post by Schaumannk on Fri May 08, 2020 12:33 am

orpheoet wrote:The effectiveness of masks is a hot topic everywhere. If you want to be safe wearing a PROPERLY fitted N95 is probably the way but the key is properly fitted. Unfortunately for those of us that wear glasses masks introduce the irritating side effect of fogging lenses. Side note as a CT tech I'm the first person to actually see the effects of Covid 19 on a suspected patient's lungs and I can say it's nothing anybody wants.
Just want to mention that there is a metal nosepiece on the N95 mask that can bend down to  keep it from fogging your glasses.  I was fortunate to find a box of ten in my closet.  Never thought of tape,  I guess that would work as well.   We have been shooting here, but only outdoors at our range, (Wyoming)  and by appointment only.   This has been difficult because spring is the windy time of year.  You can’t tell in advance if you will actually be able to shoot or not.  

My understanding is that the virus is difficult to catch outdoors, and Sunshine heat and humidity kills it pretty effectively.   We have plenty of sunshine in Wyoming but not humidity unless you are in the middle of a rain storm, and usually no heat to speak of until late July and August.  
   I feel quite safe going to the range, mostly because I believe I am one of the fortunate ones that have had the virus already with no lasting damage, although at the time, I really didn’t feel like I was ever going to be ok again.   Being 64, but with no other serious health problems likely helped.  
    I don’t know how fearful I would be if I hadn’t  already experienced it, but I guess it would be more than I am now.  It seems that there are a lot of people who get it but display no symptoms.   Whether these people are infectious or not, is the question. Be that what it may, I would not be relying on anyone one else, or a lockdown to protect yourself.   If you are older, and have health problems, do what you feel comfortable doing, and no more.

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Post by Lefty on Fri May 08, 2020 12:41 am

messenger wrote:I'm not sure if this is the right spot for this. Since we are all preoccupied with the virus there is some good information but also some chilling aspects of what the powerful can do to the innocent. If the administration deems it inappropriate please remove. I didn't see it as political.

Bill

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XF9wtBcWepM
Just a word to the wise: As soon as the scientist's name comes up on the screen, type her name in your search bar. Might save you some time.

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Post by Mike38 on Fri May 08, 2020 3:44 am

I've never stopped live fire training. The indoor range I'm a member of is unattended. Members have a key to the door, 24/7 access. Being that I'm unemployed right now, I go late at night, like 10:00pm and no one has ever been there. I wipe the door knobs and light switches off with disinfectant wipes, and use hand sanitizer liberally. I can tell people are using the range, because I intentionally make note of items like target backers etc., and things are getting moved / rearranged, one time someone left some lights on, but I've never seen another person while I've been there. 

All club league matches got cancelled until further notice back in April. The city police department uses the range one day a month for training, and as far as I know they are still doing that. But no one said the range is closed, so I'm still doing my weekly training.
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Post by mikemyers on Fri May 08, 2020 8:27 am

Lots of things to consider.  I don't see any danger in shooting at the range, but I do see danger from catching the virus from others at the range, and elsewhere.  In many parts of the country, Covid-19 is increasing.  I would feel much better if we were past "the peak", and the virus seemed to be going away.  Not sure how soon I'll feel it is safe for me to start shooting at the range again.

If I didn't want to get wet, on a rainy day I should stay home, and wait for a better day.
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Post by Lefty on Fri May 08, 2020 2:58 pm

I think we need to remember that different parts of the country will be peaking at different times; the national data right now is just up, up, up, but a couple of areas have managed to slow the rate of infection. It's best to look at the curve in your area.

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Post by mikemyers on Fri May 08, 2020 5:39 pm

Lefty, I agree, and have been finding all the relevant information for South Florida.  This is one of my sources:
https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america/florida
At the top of the screen, select the area that you're interested in.

My other main source of information is:
https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/96dd742462124fa0b38ddedb9b25e429
They have data for all over the country, but I forgot how to get to it.

My gut feeling is that the range itself is safe to go to right now, providing the standard precautions are taken.  If nobody else is there, it's just like a huge outdoor park, with lots of fresh air, and running water for washing.  Sometime in the next few weeks, no later than the first week of June, I hope to be there.


Oh, and while I was mostly thinking of bringing my High Standard, the more I shoot 45, the more time I will need to spend reloading.  I haven't done reloading since last year.     

(I'm spending most of my free time nowadays on photography, along with watching a movie most nights.  They're playing lots of ancient Western Movies on DTV, from back in the days before sound effects and visual effects - and all show on movie film.  It's fun to notice when a bird or an insect unintentionally gets into the scene, with nobody noticing.  Many of the actors are names I remember from when I was a kid......)
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Post by mikemyers on Fri May 08, 2020 7:12 pm

messenger wrote:I'm not sure if this is the right spot for this. Since we are all preoccupied with the virus there is some good information but also some chilling aspects of what the powerful can do to the innocent. If the administration deems it inappropriate please remove. I didn't see it as political.

Bill

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XF9wtBcWepM
Nobody here banned the post, but when I clicked on the link again just now, apparently YouTube has banned it.
I think this is the same person who was written about here:  https://news.google.com/articles/CAIiEGgepAPja6rBhBtq4VUQVjwqGAgEKg8IACoHCAowjtSUCjC30XQwzqe5AQ?hl=en-US&gl=US&ceid=US%3Aen

I've got no comment on any of it, political or otherwise.
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Post by Lefty on Fri May 08, 2020 8:39 pm

OK, let me confess: I spent 20 years in lab research, so I know a bit about "aseptic technique" and I've been keeping up fairly well on the virus and bla bla. The key to safety (and I've worked with radioactive materials, too) is to change your gloves. In the world of labs and doctor's offices we run through gloves like you can't imagine. I belong to a private club and I go when I suspect there will be very few people. When there, I stay well away from anyone else (no six feet stuff; more like sixty) and put a towel on the bench. I haven't picked up target frames (just shooting steel) but if I had to touch anything I'd wear gloves. I keep a box of nitrile gloves in the car and I chuck them every time I touch something if the next thing I'm going to touch is me or mine. It seems wasteful and I do feel kind of weird, but if I imagine I'm in the lab, well that's just how it's done.

Keep your distance and run through gloves like you run through ammo. And change clothes and shower when you get home. Should be fine.

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Post by Aprilian on Fri May 08, 2020 9:31 pm

Lefty wrote: I keep a box of nitrile gloves in the car and I chuck them every time I touch something if the next thing I'm going to touch is me or mine. It seems wasteful 
If I know I'm only touching something (like a gas pump) and then not using gloves again for a couple days - I throw them on the floor of my truck.   after a few days I turn them right side out and put them back in the pile to use.   I can see how working with radio active material, that would feel "wrong" but with a virus that at best is findable up to 3 days (likely non-infectious after 1-2), no need to waste gloves for me.
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Post by Gustavo1957 on Sat May 09, 2020 7:27 am

My daughter who works for NIH early in Jan had been watching the spread world wide. She keeps harping on her older retired parents that this virus "lasts" a lot longer on surfaces and in people than normally stated. What she said has all been coming true. I bought gloves,  masks and disinfectants  early on as she recommended. And she said have "street" clothes & shoes that  you take off in mudroom and don't track into house. Spray and wipe shoes down with gloves on. 
I see these foreign countries using industrial/commercial sprayers doing entire streets and wonder how are they going to do that in the cities of USA?
Very fortunate to live in country and can go out to shoot behind barn with no one around. Hopefully today will be the last snow of season.

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