D&D and the rising pandemic


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).

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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.

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.


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.


The High Aldwin
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:


No reaction, right? Could mean anything.

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


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. :)


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.

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