Part of Next Gen
In my corner of the Bronx, March 2020 felt like the end of the world. A statewide emergency was declared on March 7th, and the city went into lockdown 13 days later, as case numbers climbed higher each day. Before lockdown, I’d been going to an esports venue nearly twice a week to play in Super Smash Bros. tournaments, but that quickly dropped out of my routine. I had just gotten a library card, too, to make more time for reading. Now the card was useless, and trips outdoors became rare. As soon as I had laid out a plan for getting productive, the world pushed me back inside.
Being stuck inside wasn’t as bad for my social life as you might think. I spent more time on Discord, seeking out new channels and new people. Some of them were streamers, others voice actors — all of them people I would have been unlikely to meet offline. Some of them became my closest friends, which made me even more anxious to find new ways to connect and spend time with them.