Where to start… when we cancelled our plans to attend Beneath the Sea and EarthX a year ago, who knew that we’d still be hunkered down in March 2021? That we’d be doubling up on masks, trying to schedule vaccines, and still wondering when we will be able to safely visit our families out-of-state, play live music, go to a movie, or host a neighborhood BBQ? That we would have lost over 527,000 of our fellow citizens to #COVID19?
527,000. It’s difficult to grasp the magnitude of a number that big. I grew up in Carlisle, Iowa (population 3200), just outside of Des Moines (population 200,000). Using that scale, that’s like everyone in my hometown dying 165 times. Or two and a half cities of Des Moines dying. Or two-thirds of Seattle, my current home. What’s not difficult to understand is a fierce bass player gone. A dedicated diving mentor gone. A wise and witty college professor gone. A brilliant but troubled colleague gone.
One of the unexpected silver linings of this sad and aggravating year has been the “Fauci Effect“, a record increase in medical school applications due to the inspiring example set by medical workers and public health officials like Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases who is now a chief medical advisor for President Biden. Knowing that so many young people are determined to follow in these footsteps dedicated to public health gives reason for hope.
Rebuilding trust in science is a critical part of our nation’s recovery, both from the virus and from the willingness to believe so-called ‘alternative’ facts. As the number of people vaccinated rises, the virus recedes, the country re-opens safely, and we embark on our new normal, hopefully, the ascendance of science and high-integrity news sources will continue and prevail. The Black Death led to the Italian Renaissance. The Spanish Flu led to the Roaring 20s. Where will COVID19 lead us? Will we leverage the rebuilding process to right some of the historic wrongs in the US regarding racial injustice and economic inequality? We must. This is embarrassingly long overdue. The challenge of climate change is staring us down and we need to focus on our common humanity to get all hands on deck, pronto.
Another unexpected silver lining of our COVID19 year has been meeting more people who miss scuba diving in the real world and use our game to tide them over until they can dive and travel again. (Scuba Diving magazine featured us in a story about this.) We also provided our game free to scuba diving businesses doing virtual outreach with their customers and to parents and teachers looking for high-integrity science content for home schooling. One of the awesome groups we met is Black Girls Dive, whose mission is “keeping young girls and women afloat”. They use scuba diving to get girls excited about science! How cool is that? We are thrilled to announce a partnership with them today – we are collaborating to include Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) content in Infinite Scuba.
Stay safe and healthy out there! We’re here when you need a few moments of underwater Zen.
kathie and the Infinite Scuba team at Cascade Game Foundry
Do. Or do not. There is no try.