Discussing COVID-19 on Paizo.com


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Lantern Lodge Customer Service & Community Manager

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Recently a couple threads came up in which COVID-19 was referred to as "china virus", etc. We determined it was best to remove the threads where this came up, but I wanted to be sure that we were open and clear about why those threads were removed, and why on our forums we will remove posts or threads and/or suspend accounts from folks who willfully continue to use the informal, racist names for COVID-19.

I wrote the following in another thread which has stayed open, but feel it bears repeating in a more visible place (with some updates):

How we refer to things like infectious diseases and pandemics does matter.

Over the last month I've been reading accounts from folks in my neighborhood and local social media groups, as well as my own friends, who've had encounters of racism, in actions or in words, directed at them. It breaks my heart to hear from my neighbors and loved ones how they feel unwelcome or unsafe in my local community, and to see reports from other areas of incidents as well: people.com "Racist Attacks Against Asians Continue to Rise as the Coronavirus Threat Grows"

I do not want folks from our own online community to come to paizo.com and experience something that makes them feel unwelcome or unsafe, or be reminded of the racism they may face in other areas of their lives. Paizo.com is supposed to be a place for our gaming community to come and connect and have fun or relax, we can help everyone get to enjoy a positive atmosphere by being conscientious of our language choices.

In 2015, the World Health Organization updated its guidelines for naming infection diseases: WHO issues best practices for naming new human infectious diseases.

Dr Keiji Fukuda wrote:
This may seem like a trivial issue to some, but disease names really do matter to the people who are directly affected. We’ve seen certain disease names provoke a backlash against members of particular religious or ethnic communities, create unjustified barriers to travel, commerce and trade, and trigger needless slaughtering of food animals. This can have serious consequences for peoples’ lives and livelihoods.

While WHO indicates they are not currently applying this standard to established infectious diseases, we can still do our own personal best to change the tide on how these historical diseases are referred to by being mindful of the negative impact that inappropriate common names can have and making a conscious choice to refer to infectious diseases or pandemics, even historical ones, using their more scientific or technical names. For examples, the Spanish Flu can be referred to as the 1918 Influenza Pandemic, and the Hong Kong Flu can be referred to as the 1968 Flu Pandemic.

If you notice incorrect or misleading information, you can flag it as "breaks other guidelines".

Thank you in advance for your help.


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Thank you for this - especially clearing up the fact that when you wrote your earlier version of this message, it wasn't a direct response to that thread (and the posts still visible in that thread).

Now that we understand you were referring to *removed material*, it all makes sense :)

Referring to this as "corona" or "covid" makes perfect sense.


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Pathfinder Card Game, Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Thank you Sara.


Well said

Sovereign Court

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When we have a well known, clear set of names for the virus (Coronavirus & COVID-19) there is no excuse of informality or casual language either.
Using more charged and imprecise language is a deliberate choice.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Thank you, Sara!


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I think COVID-19 is a better name than Coronavirus, as it is more specific.

We have all survived many coronavirus infections over the course of our lifetimes, as that is a whole family of viruses that includes the common cold.


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Sigh.

COVID-19 is the designation for the disease/illness/symptoms caused by being infected with SARS-CoV-2, which is the specific virus we're concerned with these days, which is of the coronavirus type.

A person can - I believe - have been infected by SARS-CoV-2 without having COVID-19, as - I believe - that's the state of someone who is symptom-free.

"The coronavirus" is reasonable given SARS-CoV-2 is the one we're concerned with at the moment. It's even reasonable for people to just say "coronavirus" in the context of "got it, don't have it, am off work because of it", again because of context.

I know a certain global leader was recently mocking naming efforts, but it's really not bad. COVID-19 is caused by SARS-CoV-2, much like diabetes can be caused by (excess) sugar.

Use it in a sentence... COVID-19 is a disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, which is a coronavirus.

Really, any other names are - at this time - both not required and unwanted. Some day this will probably get a name like "the 2020 plague", but that won't be political or racially motivated.


Sara Marie wrote:

Recently a couple threads came up in which COVID-19 was referred to as "china virus", etc. We determined it was best to remove the threads where this came up, but I wanted to be sure that we were open and clear about why those threads were removed, and why on our forums we will remove posts or threads and/or suspend accounts from folks who willfully continue to use the informal, racist names for COVID-19.

I wrote the following in another thread which has stayed open, but feel it bears repeating in a more visible place (with some updates):

How we refer to things like infectious diseases and pandemics does matter.

Over the last month I've been reading accounts from folks in my neighborhood and local social media groups, as well as my own friends, who've had encounters of racism, in actions or in words, directed at them. It breaks my heart to hear from my neighbors and loved ones how they feel unwelcome or unsafe in my local community, and to see reports from other areas of incidents as well: people.com "Racist Attacks Against Asians Continue to Rise as the Coronavirus Threat Grows"

I do not want folks from our own online community to come to paizo.com and experience something that makes them feel unwelcome or unsafe, or be reminded of the racism they may face in other areas of their lives. Paizo.com is supposed to be a place for our gaming community to come and connect and have fun or relax, we can help everyone get to enjoy a positive atmosphere by being conscientious of our language choices.

In 2015, the World Health Organization updated its guidelines for naming infection diseases: WHO issues best practices for naming new human infectious diseases.

Dr Keiji Fukuda wrote:
This may seem like a trivial issue to some, but disease names really do matter to the people who are directly affected. We’ve seen certain disease
...

Thank you Sara ;)


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This is several months late, but I don't usually check this subforum (to be honest, I clicked it by mistake :)).

I really appreciate how you have a non-weaselly reason for deleting threads and banning phrases.

I feel like, way too often, corporations try to "both sides" the issue, giving hand-waving reasons to avoid calling people out. Given how long it's taken other companies to stop acting like there are two sides to every issue, it's nice to see that Paizo posted this on March 30.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber
Anguish wrote:
Some day this will probably get a name like "the 2020 plague", but that won't be political or racially motivated.

Unfortunately I doubt that will be the case after all the 1918 influenza A/H1N1 pandemic is still primarily understood and expressed with country names. All of which where politically or racially motivated.

Dark Archive

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I'm still perplexed that, after Swine Flu and Avian Flu, the flu that seems to have come from bats isn't called the Bat Flu.

Preferably with the song in the background. "Batflu! Nananana, Batflu!"


A friend of mine did a test for covid-19 and it turned out to be positive, judging by the statistics of the infected, it is growing especially scary. The statistics on deaths on Wikipedia, which is growing every day.


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

It has a mortality rate in the US of about 2.5% according to the New York Times (source). That's down from just over 3% earlier this year, but still far from good. And cases are going back up. Sadly many of my neighbors are participating in Trick or Treating tomorrow night, an incredibly bad idea during a pandemic.

I know someone who has recovered from it, someone who currently has it, and someone who died from it.


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Our kids were very understanding when we told them trick or treating wasn't safe this year.

We'll stay home, have some candy that my wife has been squirrelling away and have a Treehouse of Horrors marathon instead.


I'm leaving candy in a bucket on a table outside my door with a sign stating the candy, though not the bucket or table, are free for all.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Pawns, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I refuse to allow COVID to win. Therefore I'm doing the same thing I do every year for halloween. Turn the lights off and ignore anyone who knocks on my door.

Sovereign Court

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captain yesterday wrote:

Our kids were very understanding when we told them trick or treating wasn't safe this year.

We'll stay home, have some candy that my wife has been squirrelling away and have a Treehouse of Horrors marathon instead.

We are going pumpkin spotting. When they spot a pumpkin, they get a sweet from a bag that I am carrying around.


Phaedre wrote:
I refuse to allow COVID to win. Therefore I'm doing the same thing I do every year for halloween. Turn the lights off and ignore anyone who knocks on my door.

you can leave sweets outside and that's it.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
captain yesterday wrote:

Our kids were very understanding when we told them trick or treating wasn't safe this year.

We'll stay home, have some candy that my wife has been squirrelling away and have a Treehouse of Horrors marathon instead.

This is a very correct decision, my loved ones and I celebrated this holiday in the family circle, since the situation with Kovdi-19 is not the best, so we decided to sew the costumes ourselves and set up different quests with delicious food. My children really liked it. One has only to look at the statistics of deaths in the United States from covid-19 https://wikimeters.com/deaths and it is immediately clear that self-isolation is what will be the best option for each of the families.

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