Pokemon Go and COVID-19

With so many people in isolation, or quarantine, or social distancing due to COVID-19, Niantic has had to change up some of how Pokemon Go plays.

To begin with, they postponed March’s Abra Community Day. This was frustrating for me, personally, because one of my coworkers had asked me to work for her the day that Community Day was originally scheduled. I finally worked out a way I could do both (by eating Granola Bars for my lunch hour while getting at least some Abra caught) and agreed to do it. However, the activity that my coworker wanted to do was cancelled because of the virus, and so she didn’t need to trade after all.

I got to enjoy the idea that I would be able to do Community Day for, like, 12 hours before they announced that they were postponing Community Day indefinitely.

As areas started being locked down, Niantic made changes to gameplay. They sold boxes of 30 incense for 1 coin (I bought one immediately, but haven’t used any — more on that later), increased the number of gifts one can carry to 20, changed it so that every Pokestop or gym you spin gives you a gift, and halved the amount of time it takes to hatch an egg. There’s something else, but I can’t think of it right now.

Oh, along with the postponement of Community Day, they’ve canceled Raid Hour until further notice. Wednesday (the day of Raid Hour) is the only day I can pretty much guarantee that I’ll be out early enough to socialize with my Pokemon Go friends, so that’s a bit of a bummer.

Now, as a pharmacy technician, I’m an essential worker. This is good news for me financially, and potentially bad news for me as a living, breathing, human being. You see, my job puts me at elevated risk (not nearly as high as for hospital personnel working with COVID-19 patients, of course, but higher than average). I have mild to moderate asthma, so I’m at ever-so-slightly elevated risk for serious effects from COVID-19 if I do catch it. So maybe someone here is looking for information on me after my unfortunate demise from COVID-19, in which case, “Hi! I washed my hands really excessively and tried really hard not to touch my face and worked really hard to keep at least 6 feet from anyone else and got moderate exercise to stimulate my immune system and apparently that wasn’t enough. Sorry!”

And that’s why I haven’t used any of my incense and why I spend one of every two coins I earn from holding gyms on Poffins. Because I may get this thing and I may have a very bad time with it. If I feel well enough to even mess with my phone, the Poffins will give me six hearts per day (double hearts for feeding my buddy) for five days so that’s 30 hearts right there, and if I can keep from getting it until after . . . Tuesday? that’ll be a sixth Poffin. If I feel well enough to actually play, then that’s 50 hearts with Poffins (six per day for feeding my buddy plus two per day each for playing with and photographing my buddy) plus another 24 for 12 days of play with your buddy and take a picture of your buddy for a total of 74 hearts? and I can burn two incense per day during my confinement. And if I can hold off on getting it until they have a vaccine or a treatment, well, then I have extra supplies.

However, since I don’t know whether I’m going to get it at all, and don’t know how I’ll fare if I do get it, I’m taking full advantage of the fact that I go out into the world and I go to the park to collect my full 20 gifts almost every day (I only got 18 today, however), so that I can make sure that any one of my friends who is not an essential worker or who lives in an area that’s really locked down gets supplies regardless of whether they can get to a Pokestop or gym.

By now, I also can, ironically, work Community Day (whenever it ends up happening) because I’ve kept my Abra as my buddy since March 4 or 5 (I see announcements of Abra Day both days) and I now have over 300 Abra candies. That’ll be enough to evolve my buddy and a shiny (25 candies to evolve an Abra to a Kadabra and another 100 for Kadabra to Alakazam) and I’m getting close to being able to evolve a third Abra, so I don’t need to catch Abra the whole three hours. I mean, it’d be nice to be able to do so, but I don’t have to be able to.

So, in short, three cheers to Niantic for making Pokemon Go easier to play for those in locked down areas. I don’t have COVID-19 yet, but I can’t guarantee that I won’t get it. I may make a kind of political post next complaining about the rates of testing (maybe with a side order of body horror about the testing process?) because that’s the freakiest part of this whole thing. We don’t know who has it. A week ago today, one of my coworkers took a script from someone who told her that he’d had a positive test *after* handing her the script. We had a guy with a bad cough today, too, and ended up disinfecting everything in the area after he left.

But, for now, it’s bedtime. See y’all tomorrow, probably.

ETA: Wow, I really screwed up the math last night. I think it’s correct now, though.

Now to Write Something Else

I’ve been to the zoo a couple of times recently. On March 23, Alex and I had made tentative plans to go together then his allergies acted up badly and he went back to bed. I’d had my heart set on going to the zoo, so I went by myself and did the Pokemon Go Community Day while I was there.

I got a couple of pictures of the elephant enclosure. I’ve posted about the controversy about the elephant enclosure before (links to follow later, maybe), but they didn’t turn out very well. I guess that’s an excuse to go back to the zoo. I can always use an excuse to to back to the zoo.

Elephant enclosure, San Antonio Zoo, 2019
Actually this picture turned out halfway decent. I may have to bring a tall friend to get the view from above that fence in the foreground next time, but this will give you some kind of idea of the scale. And Lucky has two roommates now. I don’t know if they like each other, but they tolerate each other, which may be all one can hope for.

In August, I think it was, I joined the zoo for the first time in years and since Alex is now an adult, he got his own membership. This past Saturday was Bring a Friend Free day at the zoo, so Alex and I each brought a friend. Alex’s friend had to leave early, but Alex, my friend, and I ended up spending four hours at the zoo. Our zoo isn’t that big. I didn’t know it was possible to spend four hours there.

Speaking of Pokemon Go, one of my friends has me playing the game that I refer to as Jurassic Park Go. The name is actually Jurassic World Alive, but that’s a real mouthful. I have thoughts about JWA and it may require a whole post just for that. I know that any game that involves chance (like a random number generator) the odds favor the “house,” but JWA seems like such a blatant cash grab that I’m far less likely to spend actual money on the game than I am with Pokemon Go (I limit myself to an average of $1 a month for Pokemon Go).

December 2018 Pokémon Go Community Day

So they’ve announced that this coming weekend (November 30 through December 2) is going to be the December 2018 Community Day and the focus Pokémon is going to be all of the Pokémon featured all year. That’s (in no particular order) Pikachu, Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, Eevee, Dratini, Cyndaquil, Mareep, Beldum, Larvitar, (Oh, dear God, I’m missing someone. But who? I’m actually looking at a picture. Oh! Duh!) and Chikorita (Chikorita is the only one I’ve got enough candies to make another Meganium with Frenzy Plant as soon as the weekend starts).

Community Day is traditionally a three-hour period when, one Pokémon is the focus. If you evolve a the focus Pokémon to its final form (sort of — maybe I’ll talk about Pikachu and Eevee here, maybe not) you get a specific moveset. Like February’s Community Day was Dratini and if you evolved a Dratini or Dragonair into a Dragonite during that time, the resulting Dragonite would have the move Draco Meteor.

Community day is going to be all weekend, day and night, so I’m starting to strategize. I basically missed January through May (I missed January through March entirely and didn’t bother doing the research into what, exactly, we were trying to do for, like, April and May, so I might as well not have bothered). And then in June, Community Day came on the day that Thomas and his apparently-soon-to-be-second-ex-wife (I guess I’m saved from having to give her a pseudonym, though I guess I’m now free to give her an unflattering one if I want to) were having a graduation party for Alex. Thomas invited me, so I showed up but was kind of uncomfortable (that’s putting it mildly!) so I took off after a couple of hours. I stopped at the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment in San Marcos (writeup to follow someday) to catch some Larvitar. I was at Thomas’s house for so long that I just missed the deadline to get the target move and ended up with a different one. The stars aligned for July through November, though, so those are a low priority.

My first priority is fixing my June mistake and getting a Tyranitar with the correct moveset. So, since I only have 19 Larvitar candy (I need 125) I’m walking a Larvitar right now (Well, not *right* now, since I’m writing this post *right* now). I’m off tomorrow (November 28) so I’m going to try to earn some more Larvitar candy and maybe I’ll tackle one of my missing parks. Maybe I’ll hit Macarthur Park, because it’s pretty conveniently located (along Loop 410) and looks pretty small and easy to tackle on my way to or from one of my more regular haunts, like the River Walk near the Pearl.

Not a whole lot of Community Day Pokémon are spawning right now, so stocking up on candies is a bit more of a challenge. I did catch a Mareep in a raid the other day, though. And I caught another Chikorita on my doorstep tonight, Maybe I’ll luck out and I can get some of the candies I need. Like right now I’m only 7 Mareep candies short and only 25 Dratini candy short. Those would be pretty easy to make up if I’m lucky.

And if I tackle a new park, I have something new to blog about as well.

And, finally, I am going to have to really apply myself to monetizing this thing. I’m having a hard time coming up with travel money anymore. I have Amazon open right now looking for just the perfect thing. Maybe I’ll have to blog about Pokémon stuff later and make a list of things that seem pretty likely to put in as ads in those posts. Anyhow, it’s after midnight now and I’ve got my final Shedinja (Yay! I dug up a pretty relevant (I think?) Amazon link for this post) for November waiting for me.