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Sgathaich: My 2020 Part 1

So it’s December, and it’s been a hell of a year for all of us. Don’t blame people for all the jokes on the internet about what’s coming next month ( I had my money on Unicron, Transformers for the win) so I felt, since I hadn’t  got round to sorting out what I would be reviewing in December I would instead write of my personal journey through this most hellish year in living memory. Mayhaps you will be inspired to tell your story?

Now I would have liked to say I started 2020 well… but given I wrote an article about the horrible retcon they did with Doctor Who and the frankly disturbing connotations of what they think is an improvement, we know that isn’t true. I had however also been going into this new year having seen the finale of the Star Wars sequel movies. Oh the anger from some fans for that. I personally was ok with it, saw some great evolution of the use of the Force resulting in some truly unique scenes most notably Kylo Ren and Ray’s light saber duel with the two of them in different rooms. I did however agree a lot of the film was the result of the backlash from the previous one.

It is however impossible to talk about 2020 without talking about Covid-19. We weren’t at pandemic levels in the start but the warning signs were clearly there. Seeing cities in China most notably Wuhan going into quarantine. Even back then I knew the cruise ships wouldn’t be hitting Orkney this year. It was quite harrowing seeing the tales of people trapped on what had become Plague ships even more when you see the video of someone hoping to get off soon only a few days later for them to have passed away from the virus. It would be foolish for them to try and get those ships running again next year in my opinion.

As we sat and saw the virus spread hoping it wouldn’t reach the levels we now know it did, I felt anger as to who in my eyes were the most likely spreaders, namely well off holiday makers, the kind that brag about all these luxury far off holidays. I can’t say they were to blame, but even on the internet meme pictures were showing just how clearly highly contagious the virus which we had no immunity to was, people refused to do the logical thing and stay put till it died down. I can’t say that’s a good sign for humanity – though I would never take Schadenfreude in it. While I felt their recklessness was spreading the virus, hearing the stories of people trapped on the boats as passengers get more ill is nothing but harrowing.

It’s quite hard though now to remember exactly what I was doing in those early months, seems so long ago now. I suspect that is the same for many of you. Only game I can safely say I was playing was Final Fantasy 14, but that’s cause it’s a MMO and I usually always play it after I gave up on Blizzard for just how bad that company became. I had in the latter half of the 2019 upgraded to a more powerful computer and was able to do so much more, no minimum specs here for several more years. The game would later become one of the few things that kept me going.

I can’t exactly remember too clearly what I was watching back then either. I think it was around this time I got myself to watch the Netflix series “The Dragon Prince” and was absolutely loving the show, especially Rayla. Always nice to see Scotland or the accent recognized in media (we will come back to that). I do recall watching around this time the dub of Welcome to Demon School! Iruma Kun. The series has aired on Crunchyroll in sub form in the October season the previous year but it ran for 23 episodes and the dub was being worked on (love that Clara) and so was being updated weekly in the early months of 2020.

Because of my type of work I had started to take increasingly more precautions earlier than the official lockdown started. I was in a line of work after all that would be directly affected by the virus lockdown. But from my circle of information we began to hear the signs of the oncoming lockdown. I’m not a panic buyer and never have been. Unfortunately it just takes a few people to set it off and exacerbate issues. There’s a supply issue, some people quickly buy up a bunch of products because of that, other customers find out they are being bought up, so they buy up and so on. Thankfully I had plenty of toilet paper, don’t know why that was being rushed, Covid didn’t cause Diarrhea. Sadly wasn’t able to get any eggs for an a while though.

I had originally been expecting to be working through the lockdown. Had a plan too, basically go nowhere other than to work and only pop to the shops on the way home after the work week was over. But as the lockdown hit I got the call that said I wouldn’t be coming in while the lockdown was going on. So I sat in my home, no work for the foreseeable future.

I sat on my chair, I had Netflix, and I had Crunchyroll, bunch of games, DVDs… I wasn’t prepared just how lonely I was going to get, all alone in that flat for 3 months.

Credit: Kenny Armet

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