I’m sure you all have heard about COVID-19 by now, The President of the United States declared a national emergency, the Prime minister of Canada’s wife has it, many schools are moving to online or shutting down, it is all over. Today I’ll be answering how does it affecting the Speedcubing community?
Both the Cubicle and SpeedCubeShop which are two major cube shops (at least in the United States) have emailed out statements regarding the coronavirus. The Cubicle’s email contained a link to a video on their YouTube of a person washing their hands on one side of the screen and a person solving a cube on the other, urging people to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds. The email says that, “On surfaces like products and packaging, coronavirus survivability is poor” (according to sources the coronavirus can survive, “up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel”). They also mention that all their staff members are healthy and aim to continue operating at full capacity. SpeedCubeShop’s email says most of the same thing, additionally, they have been,“routing new shipments of inventory to an alternate storage unit to be quarantined for a minimum of 7 days before it is transferred to our main facility to be stocked and shipped.”. Amazon also has a statement, in that they said they, “are making the decision to temporarily prioritize household staples, medical supplies and other high demand customers”. They also added an option to choose no rush shipping which allows them to, “serve customers with the most critical needs first”. Since getting a cube is not a critical need and considered important, it is safe to say it will most likely take longer to get any cubes from Amazon. But you should be able to get cubes just as quick as normal from The Cubicle and SpeedCubeShop.
As of March 14 the WCA announced they requested their delegates cancel all WCA Competitions held between March 17 and April 19th. They also mention some things to be done at competitions that will be held. One noticeable thing mentioned is that, “During inspection, competitors are also remitted to wipe their puzzles with a sanitized wipe”. This confused me, during inspection? Why would you do this during inspection? I can see this being encouraged before or after a solve but not during inspection. If you know why they mentioned this or if I’m missing something please comment! In addition to the WCA asking delegates to cancel competition, schools in many countries are restricted to online or have extended break so any Cubing communities centered at schools would be disbanded (I.e. school based clubs, competitions held at schools etc.).
With many things cancelled YouCubers (That is YouTubers that are specialized in speedcubing) and other people online (like myself) might be more active and create more content for people quarantined to their house. TheCubicle mentioned in their email they were going to, “plan on creating more media content and hosting more live streams so we can keep in touch”.
With school being cancelled and some people’s job hours reduced people might have more time to practice speedcubing at home. In addition new people might pick up the hobby and discover they like it!
I hope you enjoyed reading! Stay safe and wash your hands!
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