Convention Plague is a nickname given to nasty illnesses that float around big events in Winter. Lack of airflow, recycled air, humidity and large numbers of nerds bunched together can combine to make it very easy to get sick, as I have just demonstrated by contracting a case at Shadowloo Showdown. So what can we do to prevent it? Here's a bunch of handy tips that everyone should really start doing more often:
- Wear a face mask. If you're sick, you're helping prevent the spread. If you're not, you're less vulnerable. These are the two main reasons you see japanese people wear 'em at events. The other is because game centers have ludicrous amounts of tobacco smoke inside them.
- Drink more water. Lots more. Get that stuff passing through and out to the toilet, not your fellow attendees.
- Get some tissues. Cough into tissues. Sneeze into tissues. Stop spreading those germs.
- Bathe, damn it. Seriously guys. You're adults. You've got less germs and viruses on you if you're clean. Get some soap and bathe. Use a good deodorant while you're there. I swear by Mitchum.
- Clean your controllers etc. Antiseptic wipes are cheap. If you're at an event where you're bringing a stick or pad or what have you, clean the thing periodically. No matter how much organisers say you should only use your own gear, the odds that someone will borrow your gear at some point in the event are mighty high. Cleaning that stick after you've touched it, and after others, will mean there's less stuff on your hands.
- Maybe you shouldn't high-five, hug and make out with everyone all the time. People have all sorts of ways of showing affection. If you're not feeling well, please warn them.
- Eat well. Nutritious food not only keeps you less sick, it keeps you fitter of mind and playing better.
- Go to bed. I get that for some people, travelling to an event is all about the partying. Still, consider saving the crazy all-nighters for the Sunday. Getting the people still in tournament sick before their finals is the worst.
That's about it. Of course, feel free to ignore this since getting sick can often be a luck of the draw thing, like it was for me. I still didn't do enough to prevent it this time around.