D&D and the rising pandemic

GreyLord

Adventurer
This is a little off topic, but I think considering recent events, very pertinent to D&D and the current situation in the world.

I was looking for something dealing with COVID 19 and couldn't find a forum to put it in, but considering the subject, this may be the best forum to think about this.

Currently in many cities there are fears of a rising virus. Viruses normally spread exponentially, meaning that one sick individual infects several others and so forth. With the rising numbers of ill, at what point do you consider cancelling your weekly (or bi-weekly) group?

Would you cancel it over illness fears? If so, at what point do you decide to cancel? Do you wait for the government to cancel schools and non-essentials? Do you wait for longer...do you cancel before that?

If you are in one of the hotspots, what are you doing now? If you are under quarantine, how do you get your gaming fix on?

Is it ethical to continue gaming if they say avoid non-essential contact with other people, for example if you are in Northern Italy in one of the hotspots currently?

Microsoft has instituted that many should work from home at this point. There are many gamers there. Should we be gaming more online rather than in person? I'm not a big fan of gaming online and rather face to face over a table.

When should we start avoiding the game stores...and won't that hurt the FLGS if they lose business for a week?

The bigger question we had recently is that there has been the flu bug going around in the community. We are lucky we have no COVID reported currently in our area (though with how it's been handled I'm pretty sure it's in the wild in my country and there are probably dozens of unconfirmed cases if not more). I had a person panic out today because another person was coughing right beside them. Most likely it is the flu (and we are all rather healthy...I think...so even if we get it I think we are okay) rather than the COVID 19 because, as I said, no confirmed cases in the area, but it sparked an interesting discussion on the Corona virus and what should be done.

With one of my groups I am a co-DM and basically the Co-Leader if we go by that. I'm not quite as hardcore as the other co-leader of the group. I'm leaning that if schools cancel, we should cancel...maybe before. I'm not sure at what point to call the game and say...hey people...we aren't meeting anymore until this entire thing blows over. I'm somewhat concerned. For some reason (remember, no confirmed cases in our area) the stores are now out of toilet paper and sanitizer (Luckily I bought some recently). People are panicking already and I'm thinking perhaps we should stop meeting for a while until this blows over. The other co-leader is pretty hardcore though. I'm not sure if they would cancel regardless of any situation (I'm thinking they had the flu and gave it to at least one other player).

Does anyone have thoughts or plans on this. What happens if they put your area under quarantine or restricted mobility (don't go out unless one has to, distance between people, etc). Anyone already enacting a plan regarding this situation in their home city?

How do you balance between running your game and the fears currently out there of a rising pandemic? I suppose that's the core question. Statistically, currently, the risk still seems low to me, but with how viruses spread that could change very quickly. I don't want to shut down gaming prematurely, but at the same time I don't want our group to become the plague bearers of the area (I think our area is currently very low risk, but I'm not sure of the future).
 
Everyone in my group lives in my house, so if we are quarantined, we will all be quarantined together.

In all seriousness, though, I do live near the epicenter (for the US) and most of the schools are starting to discuss plans on how to handle the school shutting down or teachers/students not being able to come in due to quarantines. If people are told to shut down for a while, do so. Otherwise, go about your daily lives with just a little more precaution than before. No need to panic.
 

Monayuris

Explorer
We're playing it by ear. Trying to stay safe and keep our weekly game going.

Anyone in my group who feels unsafe traveling to the game is free to stay at home. We'll put them up on a laptop. I think just being cognizant of your own personal health and keeping some boundaries and distance is enough right now. If it really comes to it, Roll20 will do just fine.

I have a regular local pub game as well. I'm not quite at the point of canceling it yet. If it comes to it that will be the first to go.
 
Considering the reputation of convention crud and people getting sick after getting home from cons, I will start to worry once sci-fi and gaming conventions start cancelling. And specifically Spring conventions. Ones later in the year, like Origins or Gencon, will probably not have to worry about this.

And as a side note, this virus will probably not be dangerous to most gamers, rather it will be dangerous to those they may pass it on to: the elderly or those already with compromised health, as can be seen by the number of deaths in that one nursing home in Washington state.
 

Olrox17

Explorer
I live in Italy (not in the north, but still).
Yeah, our game night is currently suspended, because it’s just the most responsible thing to do. If schools, gyms, cinemas etc are all closed to limit contagion, the same must go for dnd games.

It’s not the end of the world though, it’s a good chance to play that videogame that’s gathering dust on the shelf, or read a book, or watch the latest castlevania season on Netflix.
People of ages 70+ should be very careful, they are really at risk.
 

dnd4vr

Tactical Studies Rules - The Original Game Wizards
So... no, we would not cancel our sessions.

This pandemic is a lot of media hype. I am not saying it isn't there or real, and I feel horrible for the regions affected, but media feeds into the fears of the people. I do a lot in the stock markets, and this is the kind of stuff that drives me crazy! People are stockpiling supplies like it is the end of the world.

If the news was broadcast in grayscale and not color, people wouldn't be nearly as freaked out. Consider this revised map:

color.jpg

No reaction, right? Could mean anything.

Now, look at site like Wikipedia even, notice how the map is just shades of red?

red.jpg

Our reaction is something scary is going on. According to this map, it looks like all 1 billion plus people in China are already gone!

And that causes fear and panic instead of rational reactions.

Certainly in areas where the virus is present, people need to be cautious, but media pushes it overboard in my estimation.

So, we will continue to meet to play D&D. :)
 

J-H

Villager
Better map:

We play bi-weekly and have cancelled/skipped due to people being sick/busy before. We'll cancel/delay if needed.

I am going to a homeschool convention this weekend, and we'll be taking hand sanitizer, washing our hands a lot, trying to not touch our faces, and we may go ahead and wear surgical masks (doesn't stop virus, does stop droplets & helps everyone keep some distance). Just had our first confirmed case in the metro area yesterday...which means it's been spread for up to 5 days.

It's really hard to tell what to do/not do, but with a bad respiratory system sitting in my chest, I'm going to be cautious.
 

dnd4vr

Tactical Studies Rules - The Original Game Wizards
Nice map, but still proves the point about red. All those Total Confirmed could be in a nice light blue with blue circles on the map, and many people would not be as worried for that factor alone.

Again, I am not downplaying the significance and impact of the virus, just how important they way we interact with the information and how it affects us.
 

Enrico Poli1

Adventurer
I live in northern Italy near Milan. Currently under quarantine.
Please do NOT underestimate the Coronavirus, it is NOT THE FLU, but much more dangerous. It is DEADLY for old people but also FOR ANY AGE WITHOUT HOSPITALIZATION, and it saturates the healthcare system quickly.
Please take care!
Inasmuch D&D is concerned, as soon as you can, please start to play via internet. It is easier then you think.
 

lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
1. Be safe.

2. Do not listen to random people on the internet.

3. Pay attention to what the health authorities in your area are telling you.

4. Do not pay attention to random conspiracy theories on the internet.

5. Pay attention to trusted news sources that cover your area.

6. Do not forward or disseminate information that you do not know to be true.

7. Be safe.
 

Dausuul

Legend
My group is in the "play it by ear" category. We are an established group with very little turnover, and we only play every two weeks. One of our players is a doctor, so we'll let him call the shots on this.

My other "social hobby" is ballroom dance, and I expect that will get hit a lot harder; we've already seen a sharp drop-off in attendance at social events and they will probably have to be canceled entirely when COVID-19 starts popping up in this area. Events where you get a bunch of random people together, many of them elderly, and have them spend 2-3 hours in close physical contact are... not ideal... during this outbreak.
 
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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Considering the reputation of convention crud and people getting sick after getting home from cons, I will start to worry once sci-fi and gaming conventions start cancelling.
Emerald City ComicCon did postpone several months.

And as a side note, this virus will probably not be dangerous to most gamers, rather it will be dangerous to those they may pass it on to: the elderly or those already with compromised health...
There are a lot of gamers out there with compromised immune systems, or with people in their homes who are - it might do well to ask.

I mean, in my group, we recognize that if someone has the cold or flu in their house, they ought to stay home. It isn't like the flu would kill anyone at the table, but it wouldn't be good to spread it around. This is a worse idea to spread around.

Our reaction is something scary is going on.
With respect, the fact that you shouldn't panic does not mean that what is going on is not scary.

Certainly in areas where the virus is present, people need to be cautious, but media pushes it overboard in my estimation.
There is an issue with this disease - the long transmissible incubation period before symptoms are apparent. This means the known number of cases is always going to be about two weeks behind the actual number of cases. Which means, to get ahead of the thing, you need to behave in ways that will seem excessive for the number of cases known at the moment.
 

aco175

Adventurer
My group is not changing anything as of yet. I tend to just play with my son, brother, and father do most likely by the time any of us realize we are sick- the others will have been exposed. I'm really only worried about my father who is over 70.

If I played in larger groups and/or had a convention planned I would still most likely go. I would monitor to see if there is an explosion of the infected in my area and most likely bring some wipes for people to use as well.
 

Celebrim

Legend
And that causes fear and panic instead of rational reactions.
What exactly do you think is a rational reaction to a disease with apparently an R0 of higher than 2.5 and a mortality rate of higher than 3.4%?

I'm not denying that there is a certain amount of hype, but those two numbers I think pretty much tell the whole story. You either believe those numbers are real, or you don't - in which case your distrust extends to far more than just 'the media'.

So, as for myself, I don't think we'll meet for two reasons.

First, and most importantly, for the sake of people outside our group who would be at high risk in the event of a general epidemic. For the sake of the elderly, it just doesn't make any sense to put our enjoyment ahead of their lives.

And secondly, several members of my group have the single most important co-morbidity factor - high blood pressure. So, even though mortality in our age group is quite low, with the high blood pressure present in it's in the 1% range. And that's to not even get into the relatively high risk that they'd need to be on oxygen for 2 to 4 weeks.
 
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jayoungr

Hero
We've played online in the past when one of our group had to be out of town for an extended period, so I'm sure we'd just go back to that.
 

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