The only thing that stops the dust is the rain. It’s a sweet reprieve, but there is no middle ground. The land is either as dry as the Betty Ford clinic, or as wet as the ocean floor. Everything can be seen from the ridge overlooking Armadillo as John Marston gently bounces along atop...
If you dodge directly backwards when you're being shot at you'll probably still get hit.
Time your blocks well to negate all of the damage.
If an enemy has a sword, stay back and shoot. If it has a gun, get up close and cut.