www.whyville.net Nov 26, 2020 Weekly Issue

Guest Writer

Getting Smarter by the Day

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Covid-19 has really put a spin on our lives. At the start of the pandemic everything started so quickly, and everyone thought this was only going to be a two-week problem. Man, little did we know. The quarantine started from one day to another because on Thursday we were told not to worry, and on that same day we were told we would not be returning to school for about 2 weeks. When we all got the news, we were ecstatic and felt so happy because our spring break would be longer. Little did we know that the spring break would extend all the way to August. After about a month of being at home, everyone little by little started to become a bit manic, and everyone was tired of their family. From the start, everyone and everything was unknown because we did not know if COVID was actually a real thing or not. Now, future me knows that this is extremely real and affecting many people. We also didn't know what wearing a mask really even did, and for the first month or two of quarantine, many people including us did not wear our masks on a regular basis. Also, the price of it woah, too much for our liking.

Throughout the whole process, we all started to learn about this virus together with the scientists and epidemiologists, and everyone had to learn, but every once in a while there were the Karens who would refuse to follow the protocols. When we started to learn about it at my household, we tried to follow all of the rules because it's nice to keep other people safe too. In my house, most of us did keep working thankfully, and we never struggled financially which we are all so grateful for, but we also know that many families did struggle. Around May, that was the most interesting month for all of us because that was the month that COVID reached our home. My parents and siblings work at a meat plant in our home town, and they reached a large outbreak and had hundreds of cases, and my sisters contracted the virus. About a week before they had tested positive, I had had a surgery and couldn't move for about two weeks so as I was on bedrest my sisters had COVID. That was a fun week. They had symptoms like the flu, and they didn't experience it terribly. We spent about two weeks all locked up inside playing Mario Kart. Our skills of Mario Karts that week were off the roof. After the two weeks, we all were feeling much better, and we learned that the virus was real and that we needed to be better about taking all the safety precautions. We are constantly still learning about the virus, and we need to be patient.

Whyville is a virtual game in which you play games and earn clams, but it comes with a twist, Spikey-20. Spikey-20 is a virtual resemblance to COVID-19, and it's a way for the younger kids to learn the effects of socializing and not using the proper protective equipment. Throughout the simulation you play mini games, and you start off by living life normally and talking to people around you. Then one day someone gets sick, and they start to cough and get all weezy and boom, outbreak. We all started to get tested one day, and about 3 of us got Spikey-20, and then all the panic commenced. Suddenly, something we did not expect happened, and we found ourselves buying masks and starting to get tested constantly just to make sure. I mean, the first time, I got tested 5 times before I knew I was safe. Soon we started to see more people with masks. I personally did not buy one because they were too expensive for my liking. So I roomed around playing games with my fellow students until one day I tested positive! That's what I get for not wearing a mask. Soon the outbreak started to spread and more people started to test positive and panic grew.

Although this is simply a simulation we learned and discovered new things. The stimulation was very much resembled the situation we have encountered with COVID-19, and the ways we went about them. Like for example I didn't want to buy a mask because A) I didn't want to pay for it and B) I didn't really think it would do anything to help. As a result of my ignorance, I have the unfortunate result of contracting Spikey-20 and ended up paying for a mask anyway and had to live with Spikey-20. The way that Spikey-20 spread out so quickly was very much the way that COVID-19 spread. If we all went about wearing a mask and staying home, we could've saved a lot of trouble, but we are only humans who need social interaction, and in the life of quarantine that is slightly difficult. Also, when getting tested for Spikey-20, the tests said that it only had a 20% accuracy, and there have been many situations with COVID in which the tests gave inaccurate results.

We are all learning with the experiences we get from COVID or a virtual stimulation on Whyville. Either way, we get smarter by the day.


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