Military tactics come in handy for lockdown | Jabbering Journo column

I once travelled out as a journalist to Latvia on a United Nations peacetime exercise involving armies from the UK, US, Estonia and Latvia.

Nicola in Latvia
Nicola in Latvia

It was a huge infantry-focused operation which at the time -was a massive two fingered show of strength to the troublesome Putin and a re-encroaching Russia.

It was a, sort of, 'look at how many tanks we have mate and our guns are bigger than yours’ type-standoff.

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I was there with our local troops as they rehearsed war with every bit of exciting kit, plane and vehicle small boys dream of.

At the time my main concern was being female in sea of largely teenage male soldiers, the distinct lack of showers, sleeping in a tent in a former and wall-free concrete Cold War tank barracks with a sheet to denote ‘female quarters’ plus living on dehydrated rations.

Oh, and bears.

Now, I see, it was all excellent training for surviving the wartime-style experience of Covid-19 lockdown.

I know how to make a stir-fry with tinned and dried food that has been at the back of my cupboard since 2008 for a start.

I am a positive expert at decontaminating things and I know not to venture out of the safety of my digs (house) without stopping at each street corner or hedge and casing the road ahead and staring down any suspicious looking enemy (neighbours) that might make contact until they scatter at least two metres away in fear.

When going out on critical operations to the shop), I use all the tactical skills I learned while yomping across the Latvian wilderness in total darkness with the enemy on every front.

I put on a show with the donning of an immense amount of activewear and faux bravado, give everyone the Latvia stare (see pic) and the aura of unfriendliness to encourage extreme social-distancing.

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Next I apply a highly organised strategic mapping system (shopping list) and use intelligence gained from Google (supermarket website) to get the whole thing out the way as quickly as possible.

I focusing on dehydrated scran and essentials including liquids (wine) and chocolate.

An army marches on its stomach, after all.