Otaku Corner: Pandemic blues or a geek’s battle cry against Covid 19

Or how we will learn to emerge awesome from Downersville

As I write this, like many of our fellow geeks around the country and the world, GI staff are dealing with a new and unknown “normal.” Ever since January 20, the U.S. has been under siege by the Covid-19 virus causing untold sickness and death. As an essential worker for the state of South Carolina, I have not had the comfort of working from home and have experienced city-imposed lockdowns, bi-weekly quests to obtain basic supplies for home and work, and the daily reports of areas I had to avoid on the job. I also had to firmly but fairly inform visitors who come to visit their loved ones receiving medical treatment at my place of employment that visitation was suspended.

Myself and Lyndsey were hoping to cover many new games to play, movies to see at theaters and the latest anime series to binge watch on Netflix and Hulu. However, Covid-19 has dealt a devastating blow to release events of video games, canceled comic book/anime conventions or forcing them to provide virtual adaptations, slowed down production of anime series causing delays for dubbing and releasing in various global markets, and of course, rescheduling or direct to on-demand services for upcoming movies. As Lyndsey and I prepare this edition to upload I learned ways to soften Covid’s blow on #hotgeeksummer and continuing #geek life:

  1. Support official works of franchises: I know many of you have heard this phrase many times, but it’s important to do it since every time a new project for Dragon Ball Super or DC or Marvel releases, these companies make deals with the creators/original studios to handle voice cast recording, translation, marketing and other elements to ensure the success of the stated project. By buying official merchandise, everyone involved can be compensated for their awesome work, ensuring that a loved series stays with its fans longer.
  2. Heed trusted wisdom: By now, you’ve heard about the importance of social distancing, wearing cloth masks, practicing good hand hygiene and avoiding unnecessary trips outside home, right? There’s a reason for that; To stop Covid’s spread, these few yet effective methods drastically reduce the chances of Covid spreading to innocent people, especially those with serious health issues. Also, please follow the advice of CREDIBLE scientists, doctors, nurses and other first responding professionals fighting the good fight against this disease. By heeding this wisdom, the chances of beating Covid greatly increase.
  3. Patience, patience!: I know it’s easier said than done, but even our favorite providers of nice things are affected. Cartoon Network’s “Toonami” block had to replay previous episodes of shows and do special events on the fly because content licensors have had to figure out logistics in developing new episodes of currently airing shows. Funimation Entertainment was waiting on creative partners in Japan to obtain episodes of recently acquired shows such as “My Hero Academia” in addition to figuring out how its voice actors can record their roles safely. If these companies had these problems, Netflix, Hulu and Crunchyroll are having them, too. Give them a break. This applies to your favorite convention, too.
  4. Support your local geek merchants: Doing business in a pandemic is CRAZY. For a certain few, they have developed specific skills that has prepared them for this moment and are ready to help keep your sprits up. I bought said items from a local geek and friend of GI and they are awesome, helping GI in its mission to cover gaming and geek news as well as keeping us safe from Covid when doing vital outside business. Also, support those local businesses providing safety options such as online ordering, curbside service and delivery when you are hungry or chilling with comics. These choices keep them and their rockstar workers rolling in these mean Covid streets.
  5. All for geek, geek for all: As geeks of color, we know about feeling rejected and unliked by other fellow geeks, which is not cool. However, with recent news involving geeks of Asian descent being accused of intentionally spreading Covid and assaulted, I have to say this: IT’S. NOT. COOL. While professional health and scientific organizations have determined that Covid started in China, geeks of Asian descent here in the U.S. and other places across the globe HAVE NOT contributed to its spread. In fact, they’re doing their part to help defeat it through various actions. Let’s do our part in having each other’s backs and theirs, too.
  6. Level up self-care: You know your favorite heroes can be dealt some brutal punishment giving the bad guys a temporarily win, causing our heroes to need to recover. Eating properly, a good exercise regimen and proper mental health care are proven methods to help in the comeback. It’s OK not to feel OK during this time; just remember to do self-care to get back in the fight and win!
  7. Level up skills: With many anime/comic book conventions being shut down, this is the perfect time to develop a new skill that could help you become stronger after this. Whether it’s setting up a game stream on twitch, creating the next big podcast or polishing moves for the next fighting game tourney, this is the perfect time to skill up for many victories that lie ahead. Don’t just apply this to things geek; you can also do this for adding on to a resume or other real-world situations. I’m taking some courses on emergency preparedness and other hobbies, and it’s helpful in improving mind and body. Try it, you’ll like it.

I know that 2020 has been a complete Dumpster fire for everyone thanks to Covid, but I want to leave you with this nugget: THINGS WILL GET BETTER. If we geeks get into formation and combine like Voltron, we’ll win. Even if our favorite geek activities are shut down, we will overcome and be ready for even more awesome things. Why? Cause Stone juggernaut said so. By the way, I’m giving thanks to UAL — Urban Anime League, Neo Monster Island, Arcade Impact, Nekitou’s Artcadia and, of course, our awesome readers, for providing champion support to us each time we go to print. We wouldn’t be able to do this without you.

Brandon Beatty is editor at large of Gaming Insurrection. He can be reached by email at brandonb[at]gaminginsurrection.com

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