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    Donna Sachet, “We hope that you continue to deal with the many ramifications of this pandemic with perseverance, patience, and optimism.”

    By Donna Sachet–

    We hope that you continue to deal with the many ramifications of this pandemic with perseverance, patience, and optimism. For the many who are staying at home, we applaud your efforts to fill time productively, whether catching up on reading, tackling long-delayed clean-up projects, pursuing home organizing tasks, launching physical workouts, or reaching for other self-improvement goals. But don’t beat yourself up for enjoying some simple down time. At the risk of revealing too much personal information, it may surprise many of you to discover that we have a penchant for video games, a pastime in which we frequently find ourselves engaged during this continued shelter-in-place advisory. They range from the brainteasing of daily games on Lumosity, played for a few minutes on our phone while in transit or during waiting periods, to the more extensive Play Station 4 variety, requiring much more commitment and offering adventure, challenges, and fantasy. While confined to our apartment. overwhelmed by the barrage of daily news updates on television about the pandemic, having binge-watched missed television series, and watched every Netflix movie imaginable, we find ourselves turning to the Play Station 4 console for escape. We’ve explored a number of recommended titles, but most recently have been literally absorbed by Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey.

    Fear not! We have not nor do we intend to become a video nerd or addicted toxic gamer! We merely find relaxation and pleasure in hours spent virtually in another place and time. For our taste, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey has it all. As a student of ancient history and world cultures, we can leave San Francisco without luggage or airport hassles and arrive in ancient Greece, immersed in historic sites, legendary figures, and amazing discoveries. This game is considered “open world,” meaning the player can proceed at one’s own pace and roam about an extensive territory. Having studied Herodotus, Greek City States, and classical architecture and read Socrates, Plato, and Euripides in the original Greek in college, we welcome this wondrous and strangely familiar journey. The frequent need for violent interaction in order to progress is regrettable, but sailing in the Aegean, wandering the agora, and marveling at temples to the gods bring a smile to our face. Extraordinarily detailed visuals and interesting character developments add to the enjoyment.

    The contrast between reality and video games, however, is dramatic. In our life in San Francisco, if we regret missing a popular event, so be it; in a video game, there is always a way to start over. In real life, after careful consideration of all the options, one must make decisions, sometimes with irreparably consequences; in a video game, one can try several choices without fear of repercussions. As a well-known personality, preparing to go out involves many decisions regarding attire, company, scheduling, transportation, etc.; in a video game, there is no dress code, homework, or social propriety required. Maybe that is part of its appeal! In the absence of our usually packed event schedule, it can be refreshing to plop down, as-is, in front of a console without fear of judgement.

    Then there is the competitive element built into nearly every video game, designed to keep you engaged for hours and returning day after day. Warning: this can be dangerous! As appealing as it may sound to spend an afternoon on the Greek Islands, hobnobbing with Hippocrates and unraveling ancient mysteries, none of it is real. Thousands of points won and levels reached are ultimately meaningless accomplishments. While one is idly passing time at home in a fantasy world, this very real pandemic rages, gripping the world in fear, challenging the daily routines of everyone, and jeopardizing the health and well-being of those around us. Even in less turbulent times, the pressing needs of our City, struggles of the LGBTQ Community, and pressures of everyday living call for our active participation. Just as merely going to work each day and coming home to the boob tube can become a ritual for many, so video game obsessions can rob you of the satisfaction of community involvement, civic engagement, and a vibrant arts and social scene. Don’t let the call of the mythical sirens lure you to the rocky shores of isolation when a challenging, but fabulous, San Francisco awaits outside your door.

    On that topic, we are happy to provide a listing on this page of some well-done virtual experiences provided by those who are trying to keep you involved even during these days of social distancing and other healthy precautions.  Of particular note is the online contest for the most creative and fabulous face mask! At the invitation of State Senator Scott Wiener, an illustrious panel of drag queen judges will consider the contestant entries and announce a winner on Tuesday, April 28. We join judges Sister Roma, BeBe Sweetbriar, and Peaches Christ and encourage you to enter! After all, face masks are now mandatory, so let’s make sure they are as fabulous as we are!

    And this Saturday, April 25, at noon, San Francisco Chief of Protocol Charlotte Shultz and legendary singer Tony Bennett invite you to show your civic pride by singing “I Left My Heart in San Francisco”! We hope people here and all over the world will join “the City that knows how,” the City that has tackled this pandemic early and aggressively, successfully bending the curve and slowing transmission by selfless sacrifice, and sing from their window sills, balconies, and patios lifting your neighborhood in person or the entire internet via live stream or recorded performances of this iconic song of hope. Nearly every Sunday for 14 years, we closed the weekly show Sunday’s a Drag at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel with this anthem and we have sorely missed doing so. Amateur or professional, homespun or polished, with full orchestral accompaniment or simply a cappella, let’s sing out at noon this Saturday!

    Donna Sachet is a celebrated performer, fundraiser, activist and philanthropist who has dedicated over two decades to the LGBTQ Community in San Francisco. Contact her at empsachet@gmail.com

    Published on April 23, 2020

     


    Calendar a/la Sachet

    Saturday, April 25
    Sing-Along I Left My Heart in San Francisco
    World-wide participation invited
    Noon
    Free!
    https://bit.ly/3atOe9c

    Tuesday, April 28
    Masks Are Fierce
    Judges Sister Roma, BeBe Sweetbriar, Peaches Christ, & Donna Sachet
    Hosted by State Senator Scott Wiener
    Free!
    https://bit.ly/2Kkk11Y

    NOW!
    SF Gay Men’s Chorus Virtual Performance
    An amazing tribute to COVID-19 First Responders
    www.sfgmc.org/sfgmctv

    NOW!
    SF Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band Virtual Performance
    The Official Ballad by the Official Band of San Francisco
    www.sflgfb.org

    NOW!
    Reigning Empresses of International Court’s Message
    See fabulous transformations from across the continent
    Includes our Reigning Empress Mimi Osa
    https://bit.ly/3eCylkp