how live streams are keeping me sane during #quarantine

Hello everyone, how is your quarantine, stay-at-home (unless you’re an essential worker than many blessings upon you and I’m sorry people are assholes) going?

I am one of the lucky ones, at home but still getting paid. The biggest stress for me is just being motivated to do anything. You don’t realize how much structure the work week brings to you until it doesn’t exist.

gif from Hitchhiker’s Guide with text
“Time is an illusion, Lunchtime doubly so.”

At first I was like “I’ll just get up like any other day.” which slid into “well, maybe I’ll just sleep in a bit” and that quickly became “whatever, I’m up when I’m up.” – which wouldn’t really have mattered so much if my body didn’t feel like absolute rubbish after two days of this behavior. I found that the mornings I had to wake up for Teams meetings for work were the days I usually felt the most like myself. But that was just twice a week, what was worth getting out of bed for otherwise?

Two words – Live Stream.

I watch three YouTube channels pretty faithfully – OutsideXbox, OutsideXtra and Dicebreaker. They are located in the UK so their live shows would happen when I was at work and I couldn’t join in the fun. A couple months ago, Dicebreaker started their D&D sessions and premiered the videos on Saturday mornings, and I was finally able to watch live while the YouTube chat scrolled by. It felt amazing to watch along with other fans, chatting with them and the Dicebreaker team about the game. Extra laughs, inside jokes and just a great community experience.

Then the virus hit and we were told to stay home. And bless them, OutsideXbox, OutsideXtra and Dicebreaker not only took their gear home with them, they upped their livestream game, creating content for most days of the week. And since they were on UK time, their afternoon streams became my reason to set my alarm for the morning.

Dicebreaker group stream on my TV

In addition to all of that, Luke Westaway, part of the OutsideXtra team, who has been dabbling in music making for the past couple years, started doing personal live streams of him making music. A small but mighty group joined in his chat, some with actual music theory advice and some just enjoying seeing the process live, but all of us happy to escape reality. A few of us even started a side Discord channel, giving us a place to keep talking and keep interacting when the streams weren’t happening.

I’m not home alone either, but the other two people in my family are more introverted than me and are just doing their own thing. I miss having people around. I usually work in a public library, where people are always chatting, laughing, and I really miss it. Its been nice to hear other voices, random giggles and smiling faces. Sometimes, I’ll just put the videos on in the background to feel like I’m just somewhere else. And I know I can count on this group to keep it fun.

It is a weird time, and as I settle in for another stream of D&D played live, I start to think about when I used to watch live TV and the fandom community and while I love my on-demand life now, it makes me realize how much I miss that part of being into a show, needing to watch it at a certain date and time and then talking about it with everyone. But that’s a post for another time.

So yes, thank you to these channels and thank you to the awesome fans who have such a fun time in chat, throwing around puns and banter.

What little things are you doing to give your day structure? Or are you just taking it one day at a time? What comforting things are you watching, reading, or listening to?

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