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 pandemic pals,
I was thinking about Superman today. He was designed to be the ultimate hero. He’s strong, fast, smart, and full of empathy. He’s everything a kid could want in the super-est of superheroes.
And that’s why it’s damn near impossible to tell a compelling story about him without invoking one of his two great weaknesses: kryptonite and loving humans.
My favorite superhero stories are the ones where the heroes fight their alternate-dimension doppelgangers.
Ultraman possesses the standard powers of a Kryptonian, only he is empowered by green Kryptonite (being able to crush it into powder and even snort it like cocaine) and is weakened by yellow sunlight.
Right about now I wouldn’t mind snorting some sunshine. It’s been a tough year. COVID-19 waded in like Ultraman and upended everything.
But our yellow sun still rises everyday. The vaccines are on the way.
It occurred to me that we’re Superman. We’re what’s going to stop COVID-19 because it’s the exact opposite of everything we stand for.
It keeps us apart. It forces us into lonely isolation where our mental health issues turn into mental health crises. It changes who we are as a society.
That’s why we have to be Superman. He always manages to beat all his evil doppelgangers because in the end, he’s willing to sacrifice. Superman’s humanity (despite the fact he’s an alien) is his greatest strength.
We have to be willing to sacrifice. The pandemic’s getting worse. Cases are going up. Deaths are going up. It’s time for the third act, the part of the movie where the heroes dust themselves off and dive back into the fight.
I know you’re tired.
But it’s time to win.
By the numbers
|Totals as of 12/15
Tweet of the week:
I, too, gained weight.
I, too, feel sad and lonely often.
I, too, am worried about my parents’ health.
I, too, feel that Covid has taken so much from me.
I, too, feel nothing is normal.
You are not alone. We’ll get through this together.
— Bryan Leyva, MD⚕️ (@DrBryanLeyva) December 14, 2020
What to read
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|In this little section, we usually discuss the tech that’s getting us through the pandemic.
Let’s talk about Cyberpunk 2077. I actually like it?
It’s not a good game. As my colleague Nino pointed out, no amount of patching can save it.
But, it is an important game. I’ve put a total of about 10 hours into it (over two different characters) and I would describe the experience as being similar to trying to watch scrambled pornography. If you’re too young to get that, just imagine a super intense glitch filter applied to fleshy blobs.
My point: Cyberpunk 2077 is a sequel or two away from shutting everyone up about GTA5, Skyrim, and the Witcher 3. It’s a buggy, ugly mess right now. A lot can be fixed with patches but the core issue is that it’s incomplete.
The game has more systems than a NASA command center but the world they exist in sucks. Not only is the world bland (I call it “Neon Fallout”), it’s dead and empty. I recently went back and played Saint’s Row 2 and it was a breath of fresh air after seeing the same exact character model repeated no less than 6 times in one alley while playing Cyberpunk 2077.
But I like Cyberpunk 2077. The writing is stellar and the systems the game uses (gaining experience, modding weapons, etc) are a lot of fun.
The tiny pieces of Cyberpunk 2077 that are good are friggin’ great. If you squint really hard and really try to peer through the scrambled picture, you can see there’s something new and amazing hidden there.
If they patch the graphics and fix the bugs it’ll be a good game. But it could have been something more than great. Maybe next time.
The pandemic isn’t over and we’re all in this together.
The good news is that doing your part is easy peasy lemon squeezy:
1. Wear a mask.
2. Stay 2-3 meters away from others in public spaces.
3. Support government officials who take the pandemic seriously.