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This pandemic has been so disruptive, it’s expected to divide our lives into pre-pandemic and post-pandemic. Here are 4 escape game themes for the post-pandemic era.
It’s been around 3 months since the ‘novel’ coronavirus pandemic swept across the face of the Earth, leaving havoc and destruction in its wake.
It’s been such a major event, triggering lockdown and quarantine regimes across entire nations, and pushing healthcare systems to the brink of collapse, that our lives can be described as divided into pre-pandemic and post-pandemic eras.
The post-pandemic era
Our entire way of life has been affected by the pandemic, and by measures undertaken by governments to save lives.
Some things we may have taken for granted before may vanish from our lives altogether.
Some of our habits may change.
For example, working dads and moms - if they’ve been shifted to working from home - are spending more time with their children.
Relatives are staying in touch, after years of texting once in a blue, blue moon.
Those in school may face a year or more learning via online conferencing. They’ll have to miss out on the joys - or sorrows - of attending school, and classroom learning.
Health disciplines, like wearing masks, washing hands, and sharing your activities with contact tracers, are becoming commonplace.
Such shifts in our lifestyle can be the basis of more than one escape room theme.
Here are 4 escape challenge themes for the post-pandemic era.
Find patient zero
Since the covid-19 virus is so contagious, one of the challenges in a localized covid-19 containment exercise is to identify patient zero, the individual who brought the virus into the area from elsewhere.
So, an escape challenge could be designed based on identifying patient zero in an area.
Red River, pop 1072.
A remote rural town in the heartlands, it was free of the coronavirus...till 2 days ago.
Current reports reveal over 200 individuals infected with the virus. And, research suggests that the virus is mutating inside patient zero, becoming more lethal.
You’re a CDC team, dispatched to the town to control the outbreak.
You have one hour before the virus becomes capable of killing people within seconds of being infected.
Can you locate patient zero, and quarantine them before the virus’ mutation is complete?
Concoct a cure
I think the title’s self-explanatory.
Find a cure to the virus.
But, since issues like regulatory approval and mass production have become very prominent during the pandemic, the scope of the escape room can be expanded to:
Creating the cure - discovering the concoction of materials that constitute a cure to the virus.
Regulatory approval - dealing with the challenges of getting the proposed cure approved by the various regulatory agencies, like the FDA.
Mass production - putting together and handling a manufacturing process that can manufacture the newly discovered cure in vast enough quantities to be made available to anyone who needs it.
Working From Home!
As we know, working from home has become the norm, wherever possible, and things are expected to stay that way.
But, working from home comes with its own set of challenges. It’s spawned a stream of meme and video content these past few months.
Pets come in the way.
The internet connection slows down.
Family members trip one another up.
A game could be designed based on organizing a seamless work from home experience for somebody, let’s say a TV reporter, who’s gotta go live within one hour.
During the early days, when we suddenly transitioned from our normal lives into a full-fledged lockdown, people got into a panic.
Unfortunately, one of the results of that was shops being emptied within minutes, as people rushed to stockpile necessities.
While we do caution against panicking and unnecessary stockpiling under any circumstances, this does make for an interesting escape game challenge.
The escape team could be handed a shopping list that they need to fulfil from a particular market - the escape room.
Various items on that list are getting depleted at different rates.
The challenge for the team would be to find their way past puzzles and obstacles, and get as many items from the list as they can.
To sum up, a lot of escape game designs are possible based on the situation we faced during the covid-19 pandemic.
While Chicago’s premier escape room is currently closed, we hope to welcome you to our premises as soon as things get better!