Using our social distancing time wisely

Many of us now find ourselves stuck at home for days or weeks on end, getting bored as we wait out the coronavirus pandemic.  I prefer to look on these days as a great opportunity.

  • All those “honey-do” lists your significant other has made?  Now’s the time to take care of them, so you can go back to normal living in due course with a clear conscience and a happy partner.
  • All the food, tools, guns, ammunition, spare parts, supplies, etc. that you’ve accumulated over the years?  Now’s the time to sort them all out, catalog what you’ve got, identify things you need that you haven’t got (and make shopping lists for use after the quarantine period, when you can buy them again), clean your guns and your tools (something many of us neglect), and set up everything in an organized and ship-shape fashion.  I’ve so far cleared about a quarter of our garage, arranging some boxes and totes in one corner for future unpacking and sorting out, throwing out a great deal of trash, and asking myself far too often, “When did I buy that – and why did I waste my money on it?”  On the other hand, I found 1,000 rounds of 7.62x39mm. ammunition that I’d forgotten I bought a couple of years back.  That was a very happy discovery.
  • While you’re doing that, if you expect money to be tight in the not very distant future, now’s a good time to identify things of value that you can sell, if you have to, to raise funds.  Guns, tools, garden equipment, spare parts, whatever others need and will pay for (or swap for things you want) – figure out what you have, and make a note of it against future need.
  • This is a great time to expand your horizons.  On YouTube and similar channels there are literally tens of thousands of instructional videos, from university courses, to “how-to” demonstrations, to cooking, to painting, to . . . well, you get the idea.  Make a list of areas that interest you, and set out to find video materials that will teach them to you.  What’s more, this is a good time to learn things that will save you money.  How about fixing simple plumbing problems yourself, or maintaining small engines like those on lawnmowers?  You can even expand those skills into unofficial repair work for your friends and neighbors in due course.  It’s good for barter, too.  You fix their pipes or their mower, they give you a couple of bags of vegetables from their garden in payment.  Everyone’s happy except the IRS.
  • Wash the car(s), cut the grass, get the flower beds cleaned out and organized in preparation for spring and summer, clean out the gutters, and generally organize the outside of your home to match all the “honey-do’s” you’ve just taken care of inside it.

Being locked down sucks.  We may as well look on the bright side, and use the time to our advantage.



  1. Still plowing and shoveling snow here – 14F and six inches of fresh stuff. But I like reading about all the spring activities that you all are enjoying. Putting together a box of parts that might end up firing some kind of projectile. They'd all been sitting on a shelf waiting for some of my free time. Good stuff from Larue.

  2. What is your source for saying that AR pistols must be under 26 inches long? I've dealt a lot with gun laws and have never heard that one.
    If it is over 26 inches AND not designed to be fired from the shoulder, then it is a "Firearm", aka Any Other Weapon (AOW) (non-class III) where barrel length does not apply (in most states) and a foregrip can be legally used. An AOW under 26 inches is a Class III item since supposedly 26 inches is the magic length for whether a weapon can be concealed.

    You may be interested to know that if you use the online eForms from the ATF, Form 1 (making a Class III item) paperwork takes about a month.

  3. Too right Peter,
    I've been spelunking in my gun room, and have turned up stuff I probably got in various 3 to 4 person trades at re-enacting events. Earlier today discovered a M1842 musket lock in great shape, and a couple of 1911 mags with lanyard loops. I have absolutely no idea where they came from. Also discovered a 1903 $5 bill from the Second Bank of Pittsgurgh, with Benjamin Harrison on the front, and the Pilgrims landing on reverse. Another $5 bill (1862!) from the Farmers and Merchants Bank of Cecil County, MD, with Jackson on the front, and a blank reverse. A 10 Shilling Australian bill, and a 1941 Australian dollar bill. How and why or when, I have no clue.
    Stay Safe,

  4. I cleaned some of the safe queens out of the gun safe for a nice profit. I have processed and loaded all of my rifle brass and my 357mag brass. I will skip the 38spl and go on to 45 next. This time next month I should have enough ammo to be on par with my cousin in TX.

  5. Bored?

    Like the gentleman in the transportation business, we, (spouse and myself), are working more hours than normal due to our job roles, even though we are at home. I'll be busy helping cleanup the fallout out from this mess for years if it gets bad enough. This is the best/worst case event for my role.

    (I'd rather be retired or doing spring cleaning, but I'm fortunate at this time to be in my current position.)

  6. It's a funny world, isn't it?
    As an "Expendable" employee, I feel odd that I wish I had more time at home. It's a guilty pleasure. Wife has lost her job (temporarily), I won't. I have a higher-risk job than most, yes. But I have a stable paycheck.
    I wish I could be home loading all those cartridges sitting in my garage. But then I realize some of y'all aren't sure where the next paycheck is coming from. Then I feel guilty.

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