The Pandemic is over…
Or is this when it starts? The measures no longer apply. The majority of the population will face the virus at some point during 2022, equipped with a double or triple dose vaccine. Thus, the pandemic is over for most of us. Only with the exception of people at risk, the elderly, those with immunodeficiency, and oh, people outside Europe and the United States who are still waiting for their first vaccine dose. Maybe it is not completely over after all.
To help the population through the pandemic, the Influenza Center at University of Bergen offers a board game on the Covid-19 pandemic. Through the game, we spread scientific knowledge about vaccines, SARS-CoV-2 and immunology. But first and foremost, players get to experience and understand multiple stories from the pandemic. We are all affected differently either by being infected by the virus or affected by the measures against the virus. You can experience the pandemic through the eyes of children and young people, people at risk, the elderly, anti-vaxxers, bar staff, teachers and health workers.
The pandemic is not over until it is over for everyone.
Everybody asks me when the pandemic is over. You can find out by starting March 12, 2020, roll the dice and move on the board until you get to the end of the pandemic. Along the way, you must make choices that can bring yourself and everyone else closer or further from the goal. The person who has taken a corona test most recently and therefore has known infection status qualifies to start the game.
If you want to participate in this communal effort, you must handle The New Normal; rules and restrictions which at times appear meaningless and incomprehensible. You can get vaccinated at the Vaccine Station so that your body makes antibodies and immune cells to conquer the virus. Suddenly, a press conference is announced. Then we all sit in front of the TV to hear Erna and Jonas launch new measures. If you are impatient, you can take a chance. It can bring you forward faster, or force you to step back if you are unlucky.
There are nine vaccination stations on the board. There, players can obtain vaccine. You get your corona certificate after 2 doses of vaccine, if you have been infected twice, or the combination of infection and one dose of vaccine. With corona certificate you can go twice the number of eyes on the dice to what you roll or are instructed to proceed by a card. During the same period, you are exempt from going backwards. You can also choose not to get vaccinated, it is not mandatory, but obviously you cannot enjoy the benefits that vaccination offers during the course of the game.
If you enter a square with a picture of virus you have been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Draw a virus card. If another player enters the same square as you while you are contagious, these can be infected by you. They roll the dice and risk ending up in isolation.
If you draw a card with a picture of a conspiracy poster, you become an anti-vaxxer for two rounds, while you hold a conspiracy poster. Anti-vaxxers do not accept vaccine when they visit the vaccine station. Three times an anti-vaxxer makes you anti-vaxxer for the rest of the game. If half or more of the players hold a conspiracy posters vaccination stations are attacked. It is not possible to receive the vaccine until the antivaxxers have again become a minority.
The board game is made using Norwegian language, but can be made into English upon request.
Some of the board games handed out are financed by Familien Brynhildsens legat