“What’s a pandemic?”
No, the year is not March 2020.
It’s actually March 2018 and one of our guests has introduced the board game Pandemic to my kids. And they are hooked.
All I can see is a game with a gazillion little pieces in all different colors; a game with way more pieces than any game that is allowed into my house, actually.
But they play. All together. So nicely! I try to follow what’s going on, but the rules are way too complicated for my sleep deprived mommy brain.
And it’s deep in middle of one of these intense games that one of them ask me, “What’s a pandemic? And how is it different than an epidemic?”
The 2018 uneducated me isn’t totally sure.
So I google it, and explain the difference.
And then comes another nonchalant question, one that I will never forget.
“Could it happen these days?”
Without thinking, I answer, “Of course not!”
Then I pause and think.
“Well, anything is possible. Anything could happen. But with all the science and medical advancements, it’s probably not very likely.”
And my 2018 naive family continues with the game.
Trying to pretend that I know what’s going on on the board, I ask, “So who is winning?”
My 10 year old looks up at me. “There’s no winner. We either all win or we all lose.”
I like this game! All I hear is – there’s no fights! No sore losers! Because they either all win or all lose.
I often recommend this game to my friends who also have large families, because I love that it’s a teamwork game. It’s not the most competitive, quickest or luckiest that wins, rather it forces them to work together.
I like this Pandemic game, pretty brilliant, even though I don’t think I’ll ever figure out the rules. I’m more of a Rummikub person.
It’s July 2020.
2020 me is sitting at the dining room table watching my kids deeply involved in the Pandemic board game. They ask me to play. I still don’t know the rules and so I just follow their directions.
But one thing I do know.
The 2020 me knows exactly what a Pandemic is. And 2020 me knows that it sure is possible to happen even these days. And I think back to the 2018 conversation with my kids.
I remember those words, explained to me by my 10 year old.
“We either all win or all lose.”
There’s only one team. There’s no competition. Only teamwork. That’s the only way to win. Otherwise, we are all equally losers.
The kids get it! So why can’t the adults figure it out?