Throughout 2020, COVID-19 has made an impact upon most, if not all, people inhabiting Earth. Myself being one of them, not only did I experience COVID-19, but I also was involved in the first outbreak of SPIKEY-20 in Whyville. My experience in both pandemics, real life and virtual, has given me an amazing opportunity to compare and contrast. During the COVID-19 and SPIKEY-20 outbreaks, I saw similarities in the way the population reacted; however, the differences were much more prevalent as I caught the SPIKEY-20 virus.
Firstly, I'd like to expand on what my life was like during the COVID-19 pandemic starting with my education. Something I look back on often is how, in my junior sociology class, we watched a daily news video from CNN10 at the start of every class. This way we were always caught up on what was going on in the world outside of our own personal lives. Starting late 2019 the news began its first ever report on COVID-19, but since it was in China the virus seemed distant. This was true until spring break 2020, where we at first got an extra two weeks off, to our delight. However, two weeks became six weeks which eventually became six months of quarantine. I thrived for the first two weeks or so of this "vacation", sleeping in everyday, getting to stay home with my dog, and never having to get out of my PJ's. It seemed like the dream! The dream swiftly came to an end when I realized I still had online school, and by the time I actually got motivated to do my work, my grades had already plummetted. If it weren't for my teachers making exceptions, I would have failed two of my classes. Not only did my education suffer, but being away from my friends for so long completely crushed my mood. More recently I was able to attend my senior year of high school as long as we all wore our masks, a blessing for me and my grades. Masks have become a part of life, and they come in handy when my face is breaking out, because I can just cover it up. Overall, the beginning of our quarantine was difficult as I had online school, no friend interaction, and I lost my job. However, now life is pretty much back to normal except all we have to do is be considerate and wear a piece of cloth over our faces, which I think is a tiny price to pay.
Onto my life in the SPIKEY-20 outbreak in Whyville. Unlike real life, I actually did catch the virus. This didn't come as much of a surprise, as I had been in multiple rooms that were full of other players that weren't wearing masks, including myself. After the outbreak really started going, I saw more and more players purchasing masks which is very similar to how people reacted in the non-virtual world. My family, in real life, wore masks in public before the mandate, and we always got weird stares from all the other maskless patrons. Once COVID-19 made its way closer to our community, people began to wear masks and almost everyone wears them now, due to the mandate. Just like Whyville, citizens waited until the virus directly affected them to start taking precautions. Although I never bought a mask or got treatment for my case of SPIKEY-20, the virus was no more in my character after a few days. Compared to the real world, the virus in Whyville was much more rampant in my surrounding environment, nearly everyone in my class who were in Whyville caught the virus. SPIKEY-20 being so common and actually infecting me caused my Whyville pandemic escapade to contrast my real life experience with COVID-19.