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"COVID-19 Fears and Wargaming" Topic

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16 Apr 2020 3:44 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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pzivh43 Supporting Member of TMP27 Feb 2020 10:14 a.m. PST

So, what are your plans to deal with COVID-19 and wargames. Any thoughts about curtailing attending Cold Wars or other upcoming spring cons. Stop attending club meetings til this passes?

As for me, not much will change. I intend to go to Cold Wars and keep playing with my buds. I do have some hand sanitizer, and will be making a point of using it. Also will watch out for anyone who looks like they are sick (as I was during Fall In 18).

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP27 Feb 2020 10:40 a.m. PST

Good grief. There are only 60 cases in the US, all known, all contained, and all resulting either from travel or immediate connection to someone who traveled from Asia (even the supposed "unconnected" case in Northern California is actually an individual connected with an Air Force base where some of the other known cases were flown in, and the CDC actually says that's where the connection probably is, they just haven't fully established it yet).
Without saying this outbreak is of no concern, but the risk in the US is very low. And while I have no current plans to go to a convention, this wouldn't deter me.
If I were in Asia or Italy, I'd be more concerned, obviously, but where I am in the US, not so much. You're far more likely to get the flu than this.

rmaker27 Feb 2020 11:09 a.m. PST

"We have nothing to fear but Fear itself" – FDR

Seriously, panic spread by the sensation-seeking news media is, at least currently more of a threat in the USA than the virus.

pzivh43 Supporting Member of TMP27 Feb 2020 11:16 a.m. PST

parzival & rmaker---completely agree. Don't see this as much of a threat. Did note that the local Walmart had no N95 masks (not even back in the hardware section) and was almost out of hand sanitizer (just had the small travel size bottles).

Personal logo Mserafin Supporting Member of TMP27 Feb 2020 11:40 a.m. PST

If it gets to be A Big Thing, I won't have time for gaming, as the public health department for which I work will be fully mobilized.

Eclectic Wave27 Feb 2020 12:06 p.m. PST

I'm watching Omega Man and taking notes.

Dynaman878927 Feb 2020 12:07 p.m. PST

The biggest threat is not taking the threat seriously. That said, unless you are travelling a LONG way to get to the con (most of us are not) the chances of getting it there are no worse then getting it at work.

Personal logo mrwigglesworth Supporting Member of TMP27 Feb 2020 12:25 p.m. PST

I'm watching Omega Man and taking notes.
Hahaha hahaha!

TSD10127 Feb 2020 12:29 p.m. PST

I plan to come dressed as a plague doctor. As a bonus, it means I will not be able to smell any of the traditional gamer funk.

ChrisBrantley27 Feb 2020 12:43 p.m. PST

I agree…no reason to panic. But important to be prepared because it moves quick. California just announced 8400 potential (non-confirmed) cases under observation. For many, effects are mild. For old, critically ill, and for smokers, it can be deadly. Mortality rate due to virus-related pulmonary pneumonia is running as high as 50% in some at-risk populations with the virus and appears to be 6-8 times higher than ordinary flu, and flu kills 65K+ a year in the U.S. People in the pandemic business like CDC understand containment strategies don't necessarily prevent the eventual spread…travel bans and quarantines are designed to slow it down enough that the available medical facilities are not overwhelmed. Stay informed without media hype at: link

Stoppage27 Feb 2020 2:35 p.m. PST

Best thing to do is to get a flu jab – wargamers are OLD and people over 64 years of age are the most likely to cork-it from influenza and concomitant afflictions (such as meningitus).

Next best thing to do is attend to hygiene – if someone leaves a stall without washing their hands then don't let them near your table, your miniatures, or your dice.

Tell them they only get to roll the un-lucky, filthy, dice UNLESS they use the hand-sanitiser (US:sanitizer).

Civvie masks are only really effective in stopping people putting their faeces-encrusted fingers in their own mouths (US:feces).

I've stock-piled a months worth of zombie apocalypse movies to watch and plastic-bags to crap into. I believe the same government people negotiating our Brexit plans are also doing our coronavirus planning. Glup.

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP27 Feb 2020 3:51 p.m. PST

As for hand sanitizer, it needs to contain at least 60% alcohol in order to kill the virus and bacteria that cause illnesses. When washing hands, wash for at least 20 seconds with soap (duh!).


Stoppage27 Feb 2020 3:59 p.m. PST

We got these – 35g ethanol per 50g (70%):

Carex hand gel

Good coverage, non-greasy, nice scent, retails for GBP1.00 (USD1.30).

Put one on each corner of your table and next to each dice tower.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP27 Feb 2020 4:03 p.m. PST

Well, I have a number of wargaming scenarios that take into account either natural or man-made disease epidemics (one of my faves is an ambush of contaminated food that "caused" the Justinian Plague).

Beyond that, I wouldn't be past bringing a copy of Pandemic to a wargame convention. The ones ODMS puts on have a board gaming room.

That's what the title meant … right?

Stoppage27 Feb 2020 4:30 p.m. PST

Liking the plague idea caused by contaminated food:

Sudan 1 Toxic Food Dye

I recall about 50 tons entered UK in 2005 and WITHIN TWO WEEKS was out on the supermarket shelves EVERYWHERE.

Now, if you could set your game in a fish market crowded with old wargamers…

47Ronin27 Feb 2020 5:59 p.m. PST

I'll be happy if we all aren't rolling dice in our basements come July.

We'll see.

von Schwartz27 Feb 2020 7:33 p.m. PST

SWMBO is already over reacting, went out tonight and it looks like she's getting ready for the apocalypse.

Don't forget to sanitize your interior too, 90 to 100 proof whiskey should do the trick that stuff is 45% to 50% alcohol.

Yeah, I know, she didn't buy it either.

Russ Lockwood27 Feb 2020 8:34 p.m. PST

>bringing a copy of Pandemic

Good cooperative game!

Syrinx027 Feb 2020 8:45 p.m. PST

Back when the kids were home I shopped at a wholesale club (huge packages) so we generally always had 2-4 weeks of some food on hand. Now we have 3-4 days and most of it is fresh.

Now that I have realized I don't have anything for any natural disaster or even just a personal illness, I will add some canned and dried food to our pantry. More bourbon is always a good idea.

No plans yet about war gaming though I am watching the spread in Europe as I have plans to be there this summer.

Memento Mori28 Feb 2020 12:39 a.m. PST

A good tip for washing your hands is to sing the "Aa Bee Cee " Song we all learned in primary schools Sung at a regular speed it times out to the 20 second guide for hand washing

witteridderludo Supporting Member of TMP28 Feb 2020 2:20 a.m. PST

I have been prepping for this for yeeeeaaaars…

As I've always said, I'm not hoarding (solo) games and minis, this is for when we get quarantined at home :-)

Volleyfire28 Feb 2020 4:05 a.m. PST

If you're worried better not watch this then. BBC Survivors drama series from 1975.

HMS Exeter28 Feb 2020 5:02 a.m. PST

I'm pretty sure we can squeak thru Cold Wars safely. What comes next is anybody's guess. It'd be nice if this all played out by summer, but the 1918 pandemic ran 2 years.

It doesn't sound like the experts have much real hope in containment actually stopping C-19. There is no real understanding yet how dangerous this critter really is. It's almost too bad they decided to break quarantine on the Diamond Princess. Talk about a control group.

By summer we MAY be looking at containment giving way to mitigation. This could mean the discouragement or cancellations of high congregation events. Historicon should not be considered a given. We could end up watching the 2020 MLB season from our homes.

At worst, it looks like 98%(+?+?+?+?) of us will see the back end of this. A lot of us are going to have a miserable bout of flu'y'ness.

All we can do is keep our ears and options as open as possible. Employers are scrambling to explore work from home options. Instead of snow days, this year our kids may be home enjoying Covid days. We've got Amazon. We've got uber eats. Weve got Netflix. As long as the plastic holds out we can shelter in place if needed or practical.

Start laying in supplies of the stuff you always run out of when you have a cold. For me that's Diet Coke and tissues.

We will endeavor to persevere.


Bowman28 Feb 2020 6:08 a.m. PST

Hand sanitizer and washing one's hands with soap?

This is directed to people who can't properly work a toilet and urinal.

skipper John Supporting Member of TMP28 Feb 2020 7:25 a.m. PST


Stoppage28 Feb 2020 7:34 a.m. PST

Now wash your hands with soap! or use Hand sanitizer!

This is directed at everyone – toilet trained or not.

Although it is nice to share, it's nicer not to share somethings.

Jozis Tin Man28 Feb 2020 9:40 a.m. PST

I just happened to buy my couple times a year 25 pound bag of rice and 12 pound bag of Pinto beans, so should be good (I eat the same thing for lunch every day…)

I think there is a nice middle ground that takes it seriously, takes reasonable precautions (which are the same ones that you should take anyway for the flu) and does not panic, throw society in to a panic, etc.

To answer the original question, most of my gaming is solo…

Legion 428 Feb 2020 10:15 a.m. PST

For wargaming there are plenty of others Bugs and Gas to use !

I do remember the media "buzz" about Ebola and SARs happening in the US.

With 24 hours news it is "if bleeds it leads"…

The Sky is falling !!! Detail now on any 24 hrs. news outlet !!!

Heavens forbid what happens when an alien space craft lands on the WH lawns !!!!

"We're doomed I tell ya !!!!"

"Doomed !!!!" huh?

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP28 Feb 2020 10:16 a.m. PST

California just announced 8400 potential (non-confirmed) cases under observation.

Given the source of this announcement— which notably isn't the CDC— I seriously doubt that ANY of the "potential cases" are COVID-19. An irresponsible announcement if there ever was one.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP28 Feb 2020 1:49 p.m. PST

Why do we wash our hands after going to the bathroom? I mean, I know where my hands have been and where my other parts have been during the day. We should wash our hands before going to the bathroom.

OK. And after, too.

Tumbleweed Supporting Member of TMP28 Feb 2020 3:06 p.m. PST

I heard about a guy who had Corona virus and was looking for a girl with lyme disease.

HMS Exeter28 Feb 2020 3:09 p.m. PST

There is an ancient joke that goes…

In the gents at a bus station, a sailor and a marine enter about the same time. Both avail themselves of the urinals.
The sailor, finishing first, buttons up and proceeds to walk out.

The marine calls after him. "Didnt they teach you to wash your hands after using the head in the navy?"

The sailor calls back without breaking stride. "No. The navy taught me how to use the head without pissing on my hands."

Please feel free to rework this with whateever services you choose.

HMS Exeter28 Feb 2020 3:11 p.m. PST

You put the lyme in the Corona and mix em both up…

Double G Supporting Member of TMP28 Feb 2020 7:11 p.m. PST

This email was sent to me today by a friend of mine;

HI George,
I just can't take it anymore. The hysteria (and that's what it is re COVID-19) is getting a bit out of hand. I'm an ER doc on the front lines and I haven't altered my practice one bit. You all should not either unless there are drastic changes or an unexpected epidemiological shift (always possible – so let's be vigilant but sensible, too).

4,800 US flu deaths this season
0 US COVID-19 deaths this season

All accounts indicate that this is a relatively minor upper respiratory virus that CAN be dangerous for immunocompromised people, the very old and those with underlying respiratory dz.
What you can do: Wash your hands with warm soap and water, use an alcohol-based sanitizer, don't touch your face/nose/eyes, avoid sick people (avoid the ER/hospital for MILD sx), don't travel in endemic areas if possible. Rest, drink plenty of fluids, exercise, GET A FLU SHOT, STOP SMOKING. If you get sick – STAY HOME! Take tylenol/motrin for aches/pains/fever. IF your fever is not responding OR you get >105F OR you develop intractable nausea/vomiting and can't keep fluids down OR you develop difficulty breathing then go to your doctor/ER. The ER is ALWAYS available to anyone who asks for help but be mindful of the risks/wait times/lack of definitive testing (at least for COVID-19 currently) and the judgment if you show up w/ a man-cold.

Masks: An N-95 mask is helpful IF you've been properly fit tested, otherwise a standard surgical mask is as effective. I don't wear one at work unless I have a strong clinical suspicion that I need droplet precautions…TB, Flu, measles, disseminated HSV, meningitis, etc.

Good luck, stay healthy and sane. Make good decisions.

The wild speculation and hysteria over this is maddening and it's just starting here in the US, everything from "nothing to see here" to "OMG!!……..if you haven't started stocking up on canned goods, water, medicine, toilet paper and boxes of rice, you're already DOOMED!!"…………..

I'm not sure what to believe to be honest……….

Milhouse28 Feb 2020 9:30 p.m. PST

Maybe as wargamers , we can roll a 20 sided die to determine Corona

Volleyfire29 Feb 2020 2:09 a.m. PST

In this country we are told specifically not to just roll up at ER, or A&E as we call it, if you have the symptoms, but ring the Helpline number and they will come to you. That way you don't risk infecting the entire ER unit and the valuable staff in it. It sounds like your ER doc friend needs to have a rethink on best practice.

mildbill29 Feb 2020 7:09 a.m. PST

Overall, 2 % morality rate. lower than flu. Perhaps the Chinese would like to share the data from their weapons program? The greatest danger is the disruption of trade and travel. Travel should be disrupted, but our overlords will probably wait too long.

Dynaman878929 Feb 2020 7:40 a.m. PST

Of course the 2% is in addition to the flu which is also currently ongoing like every other year. That 2% also doesn't take into account how many of the population will be infected. As always disease should be taken seriously and neither called a hysterical over reaction or a hoax.

14Bore29 Feb 2020 9:49 a.m. PST

Equil number of people today will be killed by sharks or will die of Corona virus in the US.

Double G Supporting Member of TMP29 Feb 2020 9:51 a.m. PST

"It sounds like your ER doc friend needs to have a rethink on best practice."

Ok, I'll let him know some random poster on a wargaming forum thinks he should rethink best practice, I mean what does this ER doctor know anyway?

Double G Supporting Member of TMP29 Feb 2020 9:57 a.m. PST

"As always disease should be taken seriously and neither called a hysterical over reaction or a hoax."

Right, it should be taken seriously, like the lady I saw yesterday at the store buying 20 Bleeped texting bottles of hand sanitizer, basically clearing the shelf.

I mean hey, don't leave a bottle for anyone else lady; unless she bathes in it, that will last her 30 years.

Or the doomsday morons on YouTube talking about how if you haven't been stockpiling toilet paper, canned goods, frozen food and water for the past three months, you're already too late, or people talking about how MLB ,the NBA and the NHL ad the NFL should suspend operations/cancel their seasons effective immediately, or my friend who when I asked him if he's coming to the club with us tonight to see my girlfriends brothers band, his reply was "I'm not going ANYWHERE where there are large crowds until this thing blows over"………..

Nothing like overreacting and spreading fear and panic.

Be careful, be smart, be aware, but don't soil yourself either, how about a middle ground.

Dynaman878929 Feb 2020 10:17 a.m. PST

> Equil number of people today will be killed by sharks or will die of Corona virus in the US.

Tomorrow may be different. Four possible cases not travel related with a virus that is infectious in the incubation period (last I heard) is no laughing matter.

TSD10129 Feb 2020 11:20 a.m. PST

China is clearly lying about the number of cases (and victims) of the virus. They wouldn't be welding people's doors shut, digging up roads, and threatening to shoot people trying to sneak out of the province under quarantine if it wasn't serious. Nor would they willingly sustain the kind of damage to the economy they are looking at.

I wouldn't go out and stockpile 6 months worth of food and necessities, but I wouldn't shrug it off either.

14Bore29 Feb 2020 11:24 a.m. PST

Blew it, guy dies in Washington state, so thats it we are all going. Better hurry and finish my painting.

Wolfhag29 Feb 2020 11:56 a.m. PST

They wouldn't be welding people's doors shut, digging up roads, and threatening to shoot people trying to sneak out of the province under quarantine if it wasn't serious. Nor would they willingly sustain the kind of damage to the economy they are looking at.

That sounds like every day business as usual in China.


Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP29 Feb 2020 12:42 p.m. PST

Comparing what is happening in China with the US or Europe for that matter is a case of apples and oranges. China's health care "system," if one chooses to call it that, isn't capable of handling anything like this. Oh, if you're among the elite in the Communist Party and the military, you'll get good care. If not, sucks to be you. Unfortunately, several billion people fall into that "sucks to be you" category.

Here in the free world, we have the medical knowhow, tech, and systems in place to treat this, and even to make vaccines (currently 2-3 months from human trials already, according to a news report yesterday). So while this is serious, and we in the First World need to be careful, there's no cause for panic or even that much concern. My worry is, however, that the gullible and ill-informed will create an economic panic which could be far more devastating and even deadly than this virus could ever be; sadly, it appears that some in the media are complicit with this, if not actively seeking to produce it. To me, that borders on criminal.

By the way, there's an excellent chance that this virus, like so many others (including the flu) is seasonal— as the weather warms for spring in the Northern Hemisphere, it may well die out, at least temporarily. Hopefully that happens before the damage of the hype truly sets in.

Tumbleweed Supporting Member of TMP29 Feb 2020 12:55 p.m. PST

Today a website called "Pharmaceutical Technology" reported 85,000 cases world-wide resulting in 2900 deaths:


Simple math would suggest a fatality rate of 3.4% of all reported cases so far. This figure has actually gone up since I pegged it at 2.4% last week.

All efforts to contain the virus have failed to date. It is extremely contagious and continues to spread to country after country. If it continues to spread as fast as it has, we can ultimately project as many as 11,118,000 deaths out of our population of 327,000,000.

A bit melodramatic? Too over-the-top? Probably.The virus could mutate and turn into something more harmless, or programs to contain it could prove effective after all. But wouldn't it be better to start taking it more seriously?

Dynaman878929 Feb 2020 1:08 p.m. PST

> it appears that some in the media are complicit with this, if not actively seeking to produce it. To me, that borders on criminal.

The criminal, if any, is the one downplaying it for political reasons.

Double G Supporting Member of TMP29 Feb 2020 1:31 p.m. PST

"A bit melodramatic? Too over-the-top?"

More than a bit.
And way over the top.

No one I know is scoffing at this, people are being cautious.

But your "statistics"………………..slow your roll.

Zephyr129 Feb 2020 3:37 p.m. PST

Besides your hands, wash your face as well. It picks up more airborne germs, and you're always subconsciously touching your face…

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