As many people have done I’ve returned to Azeroth during this difficult time. I’ve been in lockdown for just under 3 weeks as initially I had a bit of a cough, tight chest and flu symptoms so couldn’t go out, then my husband and daughter didn’t feel right either, so we were all self isolating, and then the UK went officially into lockdown. So I’ve not been outside (apart from the garden) in what feels like a long time (and will of course be a lot longer before this is over). Thankfully my cough and other symptoms are better and same for my husband and daughter – we might just have had a basic cold. We can’t be tested so who knows. But the important thing is we stay in, don’t risk spreading or catching this virus, and help our NHS.
Luckily I’m able to work from home. I realise how fortunate I am. Those on the frontline are out saving lives (and risking their own). Others are having to go into work for jobs classed as essential but perhaps are not (my dad is still driving a coach three times a week, the coach has 25 people on it each time, obviously I don’t know their individual stories and reasons for travel but this isn’t staying at home). Other people are losing their jobs and businesses. It’s a terrible situation. And of course the death toll continues to rise. Terrifying numbers set to increase further. But I can work from home and so I do. It’s the least I can do. I start around 7.30 and work till around 4 and have more video conferences than I ever thought possible. And I’m thankful for this.
But after that what to do? I’m lucky that my daughter is 12 so isn’t climbing the walls too badly – she has been doing some of the school work the teachers have made available online, and also watching a lot of Supergirl and doing some woodwork and gardening with my husband. But when I go out to the garden I like to sit and listen to podcasts and of course I always return to my old favourite “The Instance” and that inevitably makes me want to return to Azeroth.
So yesterday I resubbed and rolled a human warlock Kilva and started for what must be the thousandth time the Elwynn Forest quests. But this time I took care to read the quest texts, wander off the beaten track, mine each node even if guarded by bandits and wolves, collect each herb, enjoy (kill) the wildlife, completing every single quest rather than going off to Westfall as soon as I could. I immersed myself in the forest I’m already so so familiar with and enjoyed every moment. Of course there were some sights to be avoided – I’m on EU Argent Dawn, an RP realm, so there was some stuff going on in the Goldshire inn I could have done without seeing, but I needed to see the cooking trainer to learn how to bake bread so needs must. I’m now in Lakeshire and a bit taken aback at how difficult that initial gnoll area is. The concept of social distancing is clearly alien to those guys – my poor voidwalker didn’t know what hit him (if he’s reading it was 6 angry gnolls and you’re not much of a tank).
Reading quest texts makes you really notice things you might have overlooked before. For example I’m feeling a little ill at ease with Bailiff Conacher’s instructions about the murlocs,
“All you need to do is kill indiscriminately.”
I mean I get the fact they’re eating the fish in Lake Everstill but still – so brutal. I also noticed back in Elwynn that I was sent off to get James Clark’s head because he was guilty of murder, arson etc but the notice also said he was suspected of being involved in the kidnapping and murder of Princess. Never noticed that before. I killed Princess. So what’s going on there? Has he done anything he’s being accused of? And why after noticing this, and with my head full of doubts, did I STILL go off and kill him in front of his little boy? Who am I?
Yes I’m back in Azeroth rediscovering parts of myself I’d forgotten (or buried deep). I mean why does Darcy’s Franks and Beans (made out of giblets, kidneys and tarantula eyes) sound so tasty to me? Why am I ok with letting some man die (at my hands) accused of something I know I did and why am I killing murlocs who are minding their own business at the side of the lake. Yes I’m back to making morally dubious choices and overthinking them in Azeroth and I’d much rather be doing that that than really thinking too much about what’s happening in the real world and about what’s going to happen next.
Hope everyone reading this is ok, staying safe and staying strong.