Coughs and sneezes spread diseases.
Welcome to a special article today. As you can guess from the title it’s all about Warhammer and Coronavirus (COVID-19 if you want to be technical). Now why am I talking about this subject? Well it’s simply, this virus now has become a worldwide threat and due to Warhammer Underworlds’ strong social foundations I believe it’s a worthy subject to discuss with everyone. I’ll be going through the basics about Coronavirus as well as what you can do to stay safe.
As some of you may know I’m a nurse, which I don’t really talk about on here. I work in intensive care and look after the sickest patients in the UK and arguably the world. I’ve seen a lot of discussion about Coronavirus online including people using google-fu to try and downplay or mock everyone worried about the virus. Normally I wouldn’t care but there seems to be so much ignorance/disinformation over the subject matter that I feel it’s worth discussing.
Coronavirus is an issue because of its high infection rate and mortality rate. The problem is Coronavirus can live on surfaces for over 24 hours which heavily contributes to its high infectious rate as it doesn’t need a human host to actively infect someone. Coronavirus also has a much higher mortality rate (about 3.4%) than the common cold and is very susceptible to people over the age of 60 as well as those with existing underlying health conditions. It has a very high hospitalisation rate too at about 40% (largely based from the statistics in Italy). Even if you don’t contract the Coronavirus you can still be a carrier with no symptoms, going on to infect others.
So why all the fuss about hand washing? As I said earlier Coronavirus can live on surfaces for over 24 hours. If you touch a contaminated surface you could infect yourself by touching your eyes/face and via ingesting food and drink. You can also go onto spread it to other people by contaminating more surfaces as well as other people via physical contact.
Once again, why wash hands? Prevention! Prevention is a key principle of medicine. The easiest way to treat someone is to stop someone catching it in the first place. Washing your hands thoroughly for about 20 seconds will help decontaminate your hands so that they’re free of infectant. It means you’re less likely to infect yourself and others. Also please shower/wash regularly, just because.
You’re probably worried now or think it’s not a big deal. Honestly you should be scared but in a good way, controlled panic is what I call it (and partly how I play Warhammer Underworlds). Be worried but aware of the facts to better protect yourself and others. Even if you’re fine, young and healthy, you could go onto infect others from relatives to the general public. This is why events have been cancelled such as Adepticon and partly contributed to me writing this article.
Adepticon, I fear, sadly won’t be the last gaming convention cancelled. Major institutions and events all over the world are being cancelled to stop the spread of the Coronavirus. It’s part of a key preventative measure as even 1 person on average goes on to infect 3 which would be made much worse by large events in general.
This is only the beginning I’m afraid. The summer months won’t drive the Coronavirus away as it’s already doing well to infect thousands of people in South East Asia (as well as Africa now), which is one of the hottest climates in the world. Even then it seems Coronavirus can be killed via heat but at temperatures that are generally not very good for the human body. Once again this is why prevention is key.
Protective facemasks are great in principle but if you’re using them they have to be the correct ones. Not any mask will do, you’ll need specific medical masks that are designed to filter out microbes, your airbrushing mask won’t offer any effect sadly. Each proper mask costs £50 on average and are single-use. Even then they’re one-way filters. They’ll prevent you breathing in microbes but not from breathing them out. If you’re infected, they’re of little use. Only wear them if you absolutely need them and are regularly in contact with high-risk areas.
If you are wearing them, they need to have a tight seal around your face by pinching the top of the mask around your nose and ensuring the straps are on tightly. A loose-fitting mask is pointless and will offer you little to no protection.
It’s Not All Doom and Gloom
So now I’ve hopefully updated you on Coronavirus lets say you want to enjoy events and going out, what to do? Well I’m glad you asked! It’s quite simple. As long as you’re safe and sensible, everything should be fine. I’ve written out some helpful tips for people to follow so they can still go out and enjoy Warhammer:
• Wash Your Hands
• Stay Clean
• Stay At Home If You Feel Sick
• Avoid Physical Contact
• Bring Tissues
• Play Stormsire’s Cursebreakers
Wash Your Hands
Basic hygiene people. Wash your hands for 20 seconds to kill/decontaminate any microbes on your hands. Follow the image above, it takes practice but it is easy after a few times. A key step in prevention and something I’ve been doing for over 8 years including everyone else in the healthcare profession.
In regards to hand sanitisers, anti-bacterial hand santisers are not effective. Coronavirus is a VIRUS not bacteria. Use anti-viral hand sanitisers. Any hand sanitiser is alright if you can’t wash your hands but always prioritise having anti-viral sanitisers.
Always wash your hands after going to the toilet and before you eat as well as after each game. Beware not to over-wash your hands however as it can lead to skin breaking. Use moisturiser to keep your hands soft after hand washing.
Look, we know some people have really bad hygiene. Before going to a gaming night or tournament, ensure you have a shower and are wearing clean clothes. You’ll smell nice, feel great and reduce your risk of carrying anything infections. This especially important for 2 day weekend events.
Stay At Home If You Feel Sick
Feel sick? Just play it safe and stay at home. The image in the facts section of this article shows the general symptoms of Coronavirus. Even then having a common cold could infect people and make them more vulnerable to Coronavirus. Play it safe and stay at home, do some modelling and/or painting instead. It sucks to miss a gaming night or tournament but safety must always come first over a game.
Avoid Physical Contact
This is a tough one. We like to be physical, especially Warhammer Underworlds players. There’s nothing like a warm, tense, embrace. Yet we have to fight those urges now. Even a simple handshake is too much. Go with other alternatives like: thumbs up, contactless high five, a wave, elbow tap or foot tap.
Also really don’t touch other peoples’ miniatures and gaming stuff (such as dice, counters, gaming aids, etc). Use only your own stuff. When cutting decks, ask if your opponent wants your deck cut then do it yourself. We’ve just got to minimise contact unfortunately. Even with the post-game handshake/hug.
Just bring a pack of tissues with you if needed or to even offer to other people. Remember to bin them immediately after use too. Just another simple but relatively cheap way to contain those coughs and sneezes. We don’t want no diseases.
Play Stormsire’s Cursebreakers
Coronavirus is serious even if it may not seem that way. It’s also not the end of the world as long as we all take the proper precautions. Even if you’re not symptomatic you can infect those who are. We need to keep safe so that everyone stays safe. Prevention is key.
I’m honest with pretty much everything. It’s how I conduct myself on the blog, in person and at work. Everything I’ve said may be scary and in-truth it is but with knowledge is power so hopefully you’ll be more aware about the whole situation. The Warhammer Community is a strong one and if we all band together (figuratively of course) then I’m sure we can all get through this.
As someone who is going to be looking after Coronavirus patients I really do want everyone to stay safe but I am sorry if I have freaked you out. Honesty is the best policy. I’ll have friends, family and fellow medical colleagues all over the world who will be risking it all to save people as well as being at risk themselves. All I ask in return (and I’m sure they’d agree) is for everyone to take the right precautions and be sensible. Don’t feel the need to volunteer or anything, please just spread the tips and advice to stay safe.
I’m lucky that I live in the UK where healthcare is free, I know a lot of other people around the world don’t have the same luxury I do. If you feel sick/symptomatic, call into your work and local medical service for advice. I may be a medical professional but none of what I’ve said is licensed, just from my own knowledge and collated official data. For some official guidance here is what the NHS says:
To everyone who reads this, stay safe. To those trapped in lockdown or self-isolation, I hope this all passes soon and stay strong. My aim is that this article helps advise and educate to the best of my ability. In the meantime I’ll try pumping out some more articles than normal so that’s there’s extra content to pass the time for everyone. Stay in contact with everyone you care about, even a simple hello can be a great deal of aid. Rolling crits may not really help but there’s no harm in trying (: