The Covid-19 coronavirus is a big deal: It's highly infectious, has a long incubation period, and has a relatively high rate of fatality. There's no vaccine, so the only way to halt its spread is to keep carriers isolated, which is why so many governments are requesting (and in some cases mandating) "social distancing" and self-quarantine: Play videogames, watch television, read a book, whatever, but just stay at home.
It's a pretty straightforward message but one that some people don't seem to be grasping. To help drive the message home, a group calling itself gamersvscovid19 has put out a PSA featuring more than two dozen well-known gamers and streamers who lay it out in no uncertain terms.
@SirActionSlacks@ODPixel@Methodsco@Bwipo@jakeow@missharvey@WadidXD@WillChobra@TINARAES@ShiftyKaii...AND YOU. Join #gamersvsCOVID19 by taking the pledge to fight from home!↠ https://t.co/rbkzMNm4L2March 19, 2020
The group has also launched a website at gamersvscovid19.com with a non-technical but very informative FAQ about the coronavirus and why you should take it seriously, information on how you can help prevent its spread (seriously, just stay at home), and what to do if you think you might be sick. To help foster a sense of community and solidarity, gamers can also take a pledge to maintain social distancing, wash their hands often, stay calm and informed, and be kind and supportive to others; there's also a pledge for businesses, committing them to enabling employees to work remotely, allowing time off for mental health, and ensuring that all workplaces are routinely disinfected.
It's easy to roll your eyes at "the #1 guild against the raid boss of Covid-19," as the Twitter account describes the group—and yes, I did—but the message behind it is sincere, important, and welcome. It's also a whole lot less "how do you do, fellow kids?" than yesterday's White House praise of gamer skill in the fight against the disease. It's the kind of outreach we need, and I'm happy to see it: I don't know who's ultimately responsible for the effort (the website describes it as "gamers, medical professionals, and people who care about flattening the curve"), but I'm glad it's being made.
We're maintaining a roundup of esports competitions and other gaming events that have been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. For more information on the Covid-19 coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control for updates in North America, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, or the World Health Organization.