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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