CHENNAI, INDIA – The Coronavirus, aka COVID-19, is not a game. Especially in India. Just this past week, India supplanted UK as the country with the fourth most COVID cases worldwide. As of this date (June 15, 2020), the number of cases in India (342,841) has it only lagging the USA, Brazil and Russia.
Although the U.S. leads the entire world in confirmed COVID cases (2.1 million) and deaths (118,000+), Americans crowded parks and beaches over the Memorial Day weekend as though nothing extraordinary was happening. That’s evidence that ‘we just don’t get it’ when it comes to the existential threat faced by people in developing countries where food is scarce, and poverty exists in extremes.
COVID is not a game.
While many would agree that COVID is not a game, the reality for others in America is that it and the lockdown are inconveniences. By contrast, millions of day laborers/ slum dwellers who face a marginal existence on a regular basis have had to decide how to survive during the pandemic.
These people are faced with extremely difficult decisions on a daily basis. Those decisions can mean the difference between deeper poverty, hunger, health, and survival. All too often, they face choosing the apparent lesser of two evils only to discover that they ultimately end up in the same place.
Survive COVID is a game.
Often, mere words are inadequate to describe how difficult life is for these people and their families. Recognizing that some of us ‘just don’t get it,’ Yein Udaan, a Chennai-based non-profit, partnered with XR Labs, a technology firm, to create a free, online Survive COVID game. The game puts participants in the position of having to make the same decisions a housemaid in India might have to make to survive over a period of 21 days.
Survive COVID is a decision-tree puzzle. It takes less than 15 minutes to play. The player assumes the role of a slum-dwelling woman who is housemaid with an alcoholic husband, two sons, and an in-law living together. She begins with 1,000 rupees and a zero percent risk of contracting the Coronavirus. But the decisions are difficult to make, and each outcome has an impact on her meager finances, her health, and the overall well-being of her household.
The object of the game is to survive the virtual 21 days by making the right decisions. There are only two ways to lose: If you run out of money or if your risk of having COVID-19 reaches 100 percent.
This link is your opportunity to Survive COVID for 21 days as an Indian day laborer.
Learn more about the impacts on COVID-19 on Missions Box News.
- Sight Magazine, A maid dodging coronavirus in a virtual world spotlights inequality in India
- The Hindu, A game that helps you see the lockdown through the eyes of a daily wage worker
- The Print, This game is trying to make people understand plight of daily laborers during lockdown
- Worldometer, Coronavirus