Yesterday, I sat down with the desire to write a post for today, but no real idea of what to write about. I had things planned from forever ago, but with everything that’s happened both in my life and in the world in the last few weeks, it didn’t seem very important anymore.
Instead, all I could think about was the new Stay Home trend that took over last week.
In case you missed it, last week Instagram introduced a Stay Home sticker for stories. It grew quickly, almost instantly becoming a highlight of its own just from the sheer number of uses it got, with people sharing what they were doing while staying home.
The whole idea of it was to promote self-isolation, our biggest collective weapon right now against COVID-19.
Almost immediately, I had two thoughts about it:
- It’s an amazing awareness idea, and
- It’s something that we, the gaming community, can do a lot to help with.
Lacking awareness: Why I loved Stay Home
I’ve seen way too many stories lately of people who don’t seem to care in the slightest about COVID-19. They went on vacations in the middle of it because they didn’t want to cancel their tickets. They held parties and Spring Break celebrations because they figured they were invincible. They went out in public and told people they had the virus, then filmed their reactions for a prank.
Yes, that last one really happened.
But worst of all, at least in my mind, they nicknamed it the Boomer Remover.
They turned it into a joke about the deaths of at-risk populations. And well, most of the people involved were millennials and Gen-Zers, most likely as part of the ridiculous ongoing finger-pointing that usually involves accusations about who killed the planet.
But here’s something to consider.
Those at-risk boomers are my late-50s father with diabetes, who’s spent his entire life finding ways to reduce his family’s carbon footprint and invest his own money in clean energy initiatives in our hometown.
They’re my mother, who’s spent her entire life doing all those things with my dad—while running one of Ontario’s only official programs to teach kids about nature and how to respect the great outdoors.
They are our parents, our loved ones, our friends.
That’s why I immediately loved the Stay Home trend. The whole point is to help raise exactly this kind of awareness—to bring to mind exactly who we’re protecting by following what our governments and health organizations say, and to make people realize that this is no joke at all. It’s life-threatening for our loved ones, and that’s something to take seriously.
And here’s why I think we’ve got a unique chance here.
We gamers already have a reputation for being indoorsy. I’m sure many of you, rightfully or otherwise, have at some point had someone crack a joke at you for never coming out of your room, or for reflecting the sun (because you never go out), or something similar.
But while some make fun, here’s something to think about: I believe the gaming community is one of the only demographics out there that knows how to lead a perfectly healthy, happy, autonomous life from behind a screen.
We know how to avoid boredom when we can’t go outside.
We know how to stay in touch and fill our social needs virtually, from anywhere in the world.
We know that life doesn’t have to change drastically just because we’re not going out.
And I hope I speak for all of us when I say that we know we aren’t alone in this. Both in our gaming community, and in our larger communities, no one is alone—and I think we have a unique chance to help others see that too.
We know how to Stay Home—and now’s our chance to share what we know.
Starting tomorrow, I’m going to be sharing tips and tricks of my own for people staying at home—and I invite each and every one of you to do the same. I know many of you have your own channels for publishing this kind of stuff, and if you do, please send it to me so I can share it too.
If you don’t have your own channel, I want to make sure you can still share what you know. I’m still figuring out all the details, but if you have your own advice to share and need somewhere to share it, please let me know—I’ll help you get it published here.