Covid, Coronavirus, 'Rona
|First mirror||January 20, 2020|
COVID-19 (COronaVIrus Disease of 2019) is the 19th iteration of the annual COVID question set (the previous 18 iterations have been lost to the depths of the Internet and packet archive). The set was written in Fall 2019 by an unknown writing team, with mirrors beginning in Spring 2020.
The questions in the set were of such intangible quality that word of it quickly spread throughout the public and world, leading to a global economic shutdown and shift to non-essential workers living and working from home. Governments worldwide sought to protect its citizens from the ideological revolution expounded by the set. The impact of the questions were so potent that it led to the cancellations of all national quizbowl tournaments for 2020, including ACF Nationals, HSNCT, and NASAT, among others. Relatedly, all pyramidal quizbowl tournaments were moved online for the remainder of Spring and Summer 2020, with many circuits at all levels continuing online into almost the entirety of the 2020-2021 season.
Selfishly, the COVID-19 writing team has not stopped adding mirrors despite the 2019-2020 quizbowl season being long over. As such, the powers of the set still linger across the world and quizbowl community, leading to stringent COVID-19 prevention policies at in-person tournaments around the country, including HSNCT and PACE, seeking to mitigate the dangerous impact of the set.
While the impacts of COVID-19 have been detrimental to numerous facets of quizbowl, setting back physical outreach by a couple of years at least, there have been some perceived benefits of everything being moved online. Organizations such as AQBL worked to expand outreach to potential teams in more isolated regions quizbowl-wise, such as the Mountain West. 2020 also saw development of online quizbowl spaces such as on Discord, both in terms of more regional servers than before and new online affinity groups (e.g. the LGBTQB Discord), no doubt partially due to COVID-19.