Select Page

I know what you are thinking at this moment, another piece about the COVID-19 virus, Healthcare, death, and sickness. And now here I come with yet more! I think it worthwhile to look at the relationship with some of the processes we do when being aware of the virus problem and our interest in Situational Awareness. A previous post of mine spoke directly, but generally on the relationship. But in this post, I want to drill in a little on a couple of specific points.

Social Distancing…

and Profiling.

Social Distancing, a now tiring and distressing subject. But it talks about protecting your health, and ultimately others, to include your family and those you come into closer than the recommended proximity.

How does Social Distancing work? After the jump we look at that.

Profiling, is an aspect of this Virus issue that has not been talked about as a factor when considering the method of avoidance from becoming sick. How, you ask?

Well, quite obviously when you are moving about in the world of possibly sick or infected people, what are you doing? You are watching out for more than just the distance between you and another person. You certainly are also looking at who that other person is. What do they look like in terms of their physical condition and health? Do they have a mask on? Do they have protective gloves on? Do they appear sick or ill? Are they showing outward signs that you might consider threatening…like sneezing, like sweating, like not appearing what you perceive to be healthy?

In order to accomplish the analysis of the other person’s visible health profile, you are looking at them in an analytical manner…you are “profiling” them. This issue here is that the subject of profiling, in the social and in the law enforcement world, is a bad word and a bad practice. Obviously the issue is how the profiling is used, for good, or for evil. But sometimes it is out of a professional function, as in law enforcement. But that is contentious and controversial. It can and honestly, sometimes is, misused as a professional methodology. Or for that matter in support of bias.

Profiling socially is often considered to be racial, religious, ethnic, and nationalistic…and negative. Some find it hurtful and violent.

Profiling in the law enforcement area is considered harmful, racist, disrespectful, and in some cases, and illegal process impacting the rights of certain people.

The two photos better display a social setting. But the process of socializing sometimes involves a person, looking at another person, and rendering an opinion about that persons suitability for perhaps a relationship. It could also be determining the persons social standing.

The point here is that people look at other, observe, other people. In doing so they often make judgements.

In Social Distancing we are tasked with looking out for our physical spacing when in public. We are asked to keep an amount of space between us and that other person. We are told to wear a mask to prevent breathing in potentially sickening virus molecules when expelling…air, breath, a sneeze, a cough. In in that process, what do we do?

We observe other people. We pay attention to how they look. And we respond based on what we see. This is a soft version of profiling, a social version, if you will.

Situational Awareness uses those same considerations when applied to protecting yourself, your family, and your work or home. Situational Awareness only works if you are using due diligence in taking in all that you see, all that you hear, and what your environment presents to you. In the best scenario you make those observations and determinations in advance, and ongoing, during your movement in the social world.

You watch for threats…just as you today watch out for possibly infected people, or people moving about unprotected.

You take care not to touch things when avoiding virus threats, just as you take care in walking into dangerous environments, or going to your car in a dark parking structure (yes, in the right scenario you didn’t choose to park in a dark or secluded location in the first place).

You are mindful of your ability to mitigate threats with preparations, before going out into the threat environment.

You mitigate threats with planning and preparations. You mitigate threats by being self-aware of how vulnerable you present yourself to the environment. Are you a victim in waiting?

You mitigate threats by being prepared to respond to the unknown, or the suspicious observations to have when in the environment.

It is easy to see a similar process in this time of Social Distancing awareness and the Situational Awareness that I and many others preach. Using your eyes, ears, and analytical skills to determine the threats around you. Understanding that these methods in many respects are as innocent as when under pre-COVID times you might interact with the social world looking for friends, associates, and potential closer relationships.

Just as when in this Social Distancing time you are protecting yourself from compromise and injury, in Situational Awareness you are doing the same, just with an eye for the more typical and everyday dangers in this world.

Be smart, be careful, be healthy…be Situationally Aware