Tristan GreeneEditor, Neural by TNW
Tristan is a futurist covering human-centric artificial intelligence advances, quantum computing, STEM, physics, and space stuff. Pronouns: Tristan is a futurist covering human-centric artificial intelligence advances, quantum computing, STEM, physics, and space stuff. Pronouns: He/him
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.
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)
Twitter fight of the week
What have you done for the country lately? ??
— Steven Mnuchin (@stevenmnuchin1) May 7, 2020
My bad I didn’t get we’re hoping 2 emulate Liberia’s economic model but on the real unlike this admin I’m not responsible for 70k+ deaths n’ unlike u I don’t hold a fed gov position of responsibility 2 the American people n’ go on TV tellin them 2 travel the US during a pandemic.
— Axl Rose (@axlrose) May 7, 2020
What to read
|Llama llama, Wuhan has more COVID-19 drama, and David Lynch is doing the weather…|
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.
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,
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