Gamer Juice

Gamer Juice

Coronavirus in Context is a weekly newsletter where we bring you facts that matter about the COVID-19 pandemic and the technology trying to stop its spread. You can subscribe here.

Hola socially-distant pals,

Gamer Juice. That’s it, that’s the whole newsletter. Gamer Juice.

Okay, here’s some context. I’ve been playing video games to deal with my isolation and depression during lock down. And now all of my internet ads are for energy drinks aimed at gamers. Gamer Juice. Gamefuel. Biohazard Coffee. Respawn.

In fairness, as distasteful as the idea of “Gamer Juice” sounds, it’s actually a fictional drink from the Disney show “Dog With A Blog.” The others are real though, so they have no excuse.

My questions is: why are gamer drinks supposed to be wild, hyperactive, cocaine-adjacent concoctions that taste like melted popsicles laced with syrup? I’m already anxious enough, and that’s before I even log in.

I think that’s why I’ve started avoided public chat in video games all-together. I was going to go on a single-player gaming binge (I told myself I’d finally finish Red Dead Redemption 2 and Persona 5 Royal while we were all stuck inside) but I just can’t stop playing Fallout 76. It’s my Animal Crossings.

My social anxiety usually forces me to ignore multiplayer-only games, but Fallout 76 is different from most AAA MMORPGS: It has a private server option called Fallout 1st. I get my own private Appalachia (that’s where the game takes place) for me and up to seven of my friends.

Sure, it costs more than a Netflix subscription, but you can only watch Tiger King so many times before it gets old. I’ll always enjoy shooting endless waves of robots and bandits in the face with my pals.

While the rest of the world is out there building up an island full of cute animals who trade fruit, me and my compadres are forging a new life in post-apocalyptic West Virginia.

Somehow, it seems easier dealing with the radiation and constant Super Mutant raids in Fallout 76 than putting up with the coronavirus reality. And the way things are going… well, who knows what the world will look like in a year.

We’ll probably all be fighting over the few remaining containers of precious Gamer Juice.

Fallout 76? Or the US post-COVID-19?

By the numbers

Last week we looked at the total reported cases and deaths globally again as of 5/6.

This week we’re going to look at the top three nations by testing (percentage) (Worldometers)

  • Faroe Islands: population 48,497 / 8,554 total tests
  • Iceland: population 364,134 / 54,791 total tests
  • Gibraltar: population 33,718 / 4,155 total tests

Twitter fight of the week

What to read

Llama llama, Wuhan has more COVID-19 drama, and David Lynch is doing the weather…
🦙 Scientists found coronavirus antibodies in llamas. And we don’t mean the Lorenzo kind. (CNN)
🙄 No. Getting a flu shot won’t make you test positive for COVID-19. That’s not how any of this works. (AFP)
🔮 This AI predicts whether you’ve got COVID-19 based on your symptoms.
👍 Facebook’s AI is tackling COVID-19 misinformation on the social network. Let’s all hold our breath until it works. (Facebook)
😨 The UK is considering “biometric immunity passports.” That doesn’t sound dystopian at all.
🔐 The US has the most cases of coronavirus by a longshot. That’s why scientists fear things will get worse as the country begins to reopen. (New York Times)
💻 IBM’s Call for Code is already serving up coronavirus solutions.
🧪 China’s getting ready to test everyone in Wuhan for COVID-19 after new cases have been spotted for the first time in weeks. (CNN)
☁ David Lynch is doing the weather again on Youtube, and it’s exactly what we need during the pandemic.

¯_(ツ)_/¯

We know, we know… there are a million articles out there on how to stay sane at home: What yoga moves to do, what sourdough bread to bake, how to pick up a phone and actually call someone… so we’re adding to the noise!

In this section, one of our writers will share one weird internet thing they’ve been obsessing over while in lockdown. This week’s comes from TNW’s own Cara Curtis.

For the past two months, catching up with friends on Zoom hasn’t taken too long because we’ve all been doing… nothing. But finally, last week I had a very important update. I cut my own bangs, for real.

Before lockdown happened in the UK, I was already due a haircut. Going to the salon is just something I hate paying for because you’re technically paying to leave with less of something — your hair. My inspiration behind cutting my bangs was a mix of Normal People’s Marianne, and a bad first attempt a few weeks ago which left me with awkward looking rat tails.

But I finally bit the bullet and looked up some very helpful YouTube tutorials and I’m pretty sure I can add ‘hairdressing’ to my LinkedIn now. The most helpful channel, and one I’ve become obsessed with since, is hairdressers’ Brad Mondo. His videos are a mix of helpful tutorials and reactions to ‘hair cuts gone wrong.’ For science, and to prep me for what could have been my reality, I watched a compilation of him reacting to videos like: ‘cutting your own bangs – gone wrong!’

But thanks to Brad, I’m never going to go to a salon ever again cos his tutorial taught me everything I need. Also, I’m fully aware of how much of a ‘stay home’ coronavirus stereotype I’ve become. I’ve even got plans to tie-dye jeans next week.

Adios

We’ll be back next Tuesday. And every Tuesday after that until the pandemic ends. Because we’re all in this together.

In the meantime, here’s a few links to help you manage the misinformation as the disease hits its peak:

The Center for Disease Control’s myth-busting section on COVID-19

After Recovering from COVID-19, are you immune?

John Hopkins Univeristy COVID-19 myth vs fact

Don’t believe everything you read on social media. Stay healthy and take care of each other,

Tristan

Read next: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 and 2 are getting gorgeous remasters