How to help beat COVID-19: Stay home and play adventure games!
So, perhaps you’ve heard there’s a virus going around.
How could you NOT, of course. Even those living in the depths of Zork’s Great Underground Empire know there’s a global pandemic of a novel coronavirus triggering an illness called COVID-19.
Adventure Gamers is a site literally dedicated to fun and games, and we will continue to offer what is hopefully a welcome distraction in the coming weeks and months. That said, with a certain amount of misinformation circulating and even some lingering skepticism about the severity of this issue, we’d be remiss not to use our humble little platform to help spread the word for the benefit of our community – and indeed, everyone around us as well.
With this message, we sincerely hope we’re not telling anyone anything new, so if you’re already fully up to speed on the science and precautionary measures either being implemented or advised, please feel free to skim right ahead. But it can’t hurt to reiterate at least a few basic facts about this deadly disease and what we can do to help prevent further infection.
This is serious
As of April 5, there are over 1.1 million confirmed cases and more than 60,000 deaths, and these numbers are rising exponentially each day. And the virus is everywhere, with over 180 countries/territories reportedly affected.
It is highly contagious
According to health experts, COVID-19 is both sigificantly more lethal and more infectious than influenza, even though the sheer numbers of flu fatalities each year for now are comparable to those of the new coronavirus, which is still in its relative infancy. Preventing the further spread of the disease as best we can is paramount, before more people become affected and health services become overwhelmed.
Complicating matters enormously is that infected people can be asymptomatic for as many as 14 days, so simply “feeling fine” does not ensure you aren’t impacted personally and are therefore not a health risk to everyone around you.
Not just a threat to the sick and elderly
While many of those afflicted with COVID-19 experience only mild flu-like symptoms, and the vast majority of deaths occur in people over 60 and/or suffering from pre-existing respiratory or immune system issues, there are plenty of recorded instances of seemingly able-bodied younger people who have fallen victim to more severe symptoms. Thankfully young children are among those least affected, but no one (that we know of) is immune from even the most critical form of this virus. And while chances of recovery are extremely high, remember that all those you come in contact with – or those THEY might come in contact with, and so on – might not be so fortunate.
How can I help avoid spreading it?
The disease is believed to be transmitted through water droplets primarily from person to person. This is why “social distancing” (or "physical distancing" to be more precise) is being strongly urged, leaving two metres (six feet) of space between you and others to avoid possible ingestion via coughs or sneezes. But hands and surfaces can also become contaminated, so avoidance of unnecessary touching is recommended, and frequent and rigorous hand-washing is vital to maintaining proper hygiene. Alcohol-based sanitizers are also helpful, though supplies can be scarce and hand-washing is more thorough. In between cleaning, avoid touching your face, as the eyes, nose, and mouth are the areas susceptible.
If you need to cough or sneeze, then cover your nose and mouth with a bent elbow (not your hands!) or tissue, and then immediately dispose of the tissue and wash your hands immediately.
Congregating in numbers is strongly discouraged (and in many places no longer allowed), as is any travel, particularly internationally (where such possibilities even still exist). Diseases don’t respect seating positions or favourite hangouts or transit stops or national borders!
It is crucial if you start feeling unwell that you stay home and avoid public contact. Going out only exposes everyone around you. If you experience a fever, coughing, or difficulty breathing, then call your doctor to see if testing and/or treatment is advised. (Not all flu-like symptoms automatically qualify for immediate testing criteria.)
Where do I stay informed?
The World Health Organization (WHO) should be your go-to website for the latest information about the virus as well as recommended practices, myth debunking, and more. Locally, seek out only reputable news sources. Avoid rumours and stories that attempt to politicize the issue or peddle "cures" that do not work. Disinformation campaigns are rampant in the world today, but now more than ever, this is no time for distorting or ignoring the science-based facts.
As bad as all this sounds, with the current trajectory sure to get worse before it gets better, the good news is that world leaders have begun to deal with this responsibly and cooperatively. Despite some panicked early item hoarding, there is no risk to food supply or other needed resources. Your investments might be dropping, but recovery is inevitable, if slow. Your livelihood may be at risk, but governments and employers are working together to minimize the potential fallout of lost income or time missed due to illness.
The bottom line is this: If you’re taking all necessary precautions, there’s nothing to be gained by immersing yourself in coronavirus horror stories 24/7. Stress actually makes us more vulnerable physically to the very things we fear, so let’s not let it get the better of us. COVID-19 doesn’t need the help. This is a truly scary thing, but let’s control the things we CAN control and leave the rest to the experts.
And while you’re at it…
Try to have fun!
If you’re anything like us, your lives are normally so busy there’s barely any time for playing games anymore. But if you’re spending more time at home (as you most certainly should be), with most social gatherings curtailed and sporting and entertainment events canceled, you’ll suddenly have a fair bit of extra free time.
So load up that latest adventure you’ve been looking forward to – or, you know, one of the umpteen games from the last few years that you bought and never got around to playing – and enjoy yourself!
Been away for a while and a bit out of touch with what the genre has to offer? Here’s a handy guide to get you started:
That should give you loads of options to get you started, but there are plenty more where these came from.
Stay safe, everyone. We’re all in this together, so we’ll keep doing our thing, you keep doing yours, and let’s all work together toward better times ahead.