The Otakusphere: Coronavirus, coronavirus, coronavirus everywhere

I usually try to make these Otakusphere openings snappy and quick, but this week it’s all about the novel coronavirus. I worry about being too flip about a disease that is costing people their loved ones.

It seems inevitable that talk about COVID-19 would come to The Otakusphere. Here in the states, it’s sending people to the grocery store in droves, where it feels like they’re preparing for the apocalypse. Social distancing is one thing, but I don’t think you’re going to use all 12 of those 50-pound bags of rice in the next two months?

Well, maybe you are. I don’t know.

Instead of our normal tunes, I’m going to share this video from Kyle Hill that DT Nova shared that gives some good facts about the virus, and what you can do to help.

Along the same lines, Fred from This is my Place shared his experiences with social distancing, flattening the curve and people buying all of everything.


I really liked the Washington Post graphic that he shared at the top of his blog. It helped put a lot more context to the idea of flattening the curve. One of the things that amazes me every time there is a crisis that I learn some sort of concept that has been around for years.

For this crisis, it’s been flattening the curve. It evidently dates back to 1918, but now I’m learning about it. I’m always amazed by the sheer amount of knowledge that is out there, and that I will only ever know a small part of it at any one time.

Blogging gives me a chance to get perspectives from other cultures. The U.S. is a really big place, and we tend to be fairly parochial for better or worse. While the disease is scary, it’s nice to see how others are dealing with it.

DarkdaemonPK2 provided an interesting perspective from the Philippines, just by the way it’s written. I might be wrong about that. It’s nice to know that the buying sprees that are going on over here in the U.S. are happening across the world.

In a post that does reflect a non-U.S. point of view, but about something completely not related to COVID-19. Lynn, the Otaku Author, shared a list of anime that got him into anime. For me, I always describe my journey in three stages. When I was young I watched a collection of Go Nagai cartoons that were rebranded as Force Five.

Then when I was a teen, I discovered an art book about Robotech that talked about Japanimation. I had seen a few episodes of Robotech and played a lot of the Robotech tabletop roleplaying game.

Then I had some friends in college introduce me to Oh My Goddess!, Ranma ½, El Hazard and Slayers, etc. That is when I really discovered anime. It’s interesting to see a list that has a bunch of shows I’ve only heard of after I started getting into anime.

Back to COVID-19 and people hoarding supplies, Don over at Zoopraxiscope shared a funny insight about the people hoarding toilet paper, rice and bottled water.

I won’t ruin the fun of it.

Anime Maru also pointed out how social distancing has been a staple of anime culture for years in this funny Onion-style article. The hikikomori have been right all along.

Finally, D&A anime blog shared a stellar idea about making a virtual convention, since all of the real conventions are being canceled. It looks like they’re doing it on Discord, but I don’t see a link to it. Hopefully, it’s open to everyone and I’m not just sharing a basket of disappointment.

Well, that’s all I have for this week. I hope you’re all staying safe, washing your hands and have enough toilet paper to get through the shortage.

And, as always, thanks for reading.

7 thoughts on “The Otakusphere: Coronavirus, coronavirus, coronavirus everywhere

  1. That was a good post and recap. It’s getting ridiculous where I’m from. I was at a store yesterday to pick up some things and I saw several empty or scare shelves when I glanced at the grocery section. The bread aisle was wiped out and I have never seen anything this rare or empty in my life. Don’t worry, I’m well-stocked on toilet paper and cleaning stuff though.

    1. I go to a nearby grocery store to grab lunch. It’s generally for people picking up supplies for businesses, but they have some normal groceries there as welll.

      The parking lot is pretty small and there were people fighting to get a spot. It was crazy. People are buying stuff like they’re never going produce anything anymore.

      1. Sure thing. There are a few places near me like that, too.

        Yeah, it’s getting crazy. Just yesterday, I briefly walked through the cleaning section and besides the laundry detergent, things were cleared out.

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