In ‘Elden Ring’ I Don’t Have to Pretend Everything Is OK

Elden Ring came out just as I began to feel at my most abandoned and powerless as a chronically ill person in a global pandemic. A COVID surge had no sooner crested and begun to recede than mask mandates were being lifted, despite the fact that new variants were already appearing, with the promise of more behind them. Public messaging from politicians and major media sources devolved into gaslighting and propaganda: everyone was told to resume working, shopping, and living as if the pandemic were already over, as if the last two years were a dream it was time to wake up from.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/4aw98g/in-elden-ring-i-dont-have-to-pretend-everything-is-ok
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“cHrOnIcAlLy iLl nEeD tO sTaY hOmE, sOcIeTy nEeDs tO mOvE oN.”

Honestly, fuck all the way off with that sentiment, which previously I only attributed to right wing chuds. But now that’s the mainstream opinion, and it sucks. I have to go to a work conference next week because things are “normal” now, and I am dreading catching COVID from all the boomers not masking in an indoor space (even if I’ll be having a KN95 hot glued to my face). And of course, then returning home to pass it along to my chronically ill wife.

And hey, even though I need to make that decision to continue to feed my family, I’m pretty privileged. I make a good salary and mostly work from home, so my family’s overall risk is comparatively low. But for a lot of folks who are immunocompromised or have comorbidities, it’s genuinely a decision about avoiding COVID or making rent with jobs that leave them incredibly exposed. If we as a society are going to say fuck it to the pandemic, at the very least make it possible so that vulnerable people can stay at home. Y’know, like disability payments that aren’t half the fucking poverty line (and that doesn’t even address the mental anguish caused by such isolation). But no, we’re going to sacrifice them to the pandemic so people can go see latest fucking Batman movie without a mask so they can eat popcorn.

Anyway, had to vent. Good article, it made a connection for me why I was vibing so hard with the dystopia that is The Lands Between. At least they take the scarlet rot seriously there.

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What makes it all the even more maddening are the companies that are talking about how they’ve had record breaking productivity while everyone is at home BUT now we need you all to come back into the office because *reasons*. I’m sorry but you don’t get to sit there and talk about how good everything was despite an on going global pandemic and then turn around and demand people back into an office. Then they wonder why they are losing employees and can’t hire new talent but their competition that is basically writing their physical offices off as a loss are having no trouble hiring people. I just don’t understand how some people would rather tank their companies than trust employees when you have literal proof in your own stupid metrics that proves why you should just let people work from home.

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