From the Safety of Our Homes
Asteroid G and the Coronavirus
We're reaching the end of May, which makes this the third year of Asteroid G's current existence. Three full years of regular updates, articles and reviews. Traditionally I'd do a "State of the Site" report right now, but let's be honest: nothing about this last year was traditional. Due to the pandemic we went from regular content coming out from studios, along with regular visits to restaurants and other extracurricular activities to suddenly all being at home, waiting for whatever drips and drabs could entertain us.
That's not a complaint on my part, mind you. I'd rather everyone stayed home and stayed safe, doing what they can to not get infected (or infect others). Of course, if the last year was a test to see how humanity would do in a zombie apocalypse, I'm not sure society actually passed that test. Half of all of us would willingly go out in the middle of any kind of outbreak just so they can feel "normal" and "damn the consequences". I have a bad feeling that if a real zombie outbreak occurred, the zombie ranks would fill with all the people shouting "it's all a hoax" and the zombies dragged them down.
As we noted a little while back, we at Asteroid G think it's too early to treat the pandemic like its over. Just because we're at fifty percent inoculated in the U.S. doesn't mean we've reached herd immunity status yet. And just because someone might be fully vaccinated doesn't mean they can't get the virus, or spread it to others once they have it. Sure, they could only experience mild symptoms, but the people they infect (maybe without even realizing they're infectious) might not be vaccinated, and who wants that on their conscience. Don't be the person that's bitten by a zombie and refuses to tell the people around them.
To that end, for at least the next year (and probably longer), Asteroid G will have a very different policy when it comes to a lot of the content we review for the site. We are not going to go out and be around other people, potentially infecting them or getting infected by them in return. Instead we will only review those things we can experience from the safety of our own homes. What does that mean? Well:
- Movies: When it comes to films, the theater experience used to be the only proper way to see big-budget films. However, home theaters have come a long way since then, and between that and the rise of streaming services (many of which bringing out new content in 4K UHD), the theater experience can be handled just as well at home (if not better). Since we generally don't get screeners from the studios (because this is a tiny outfit, Asteroid G) the site will only review those films we can see, from home, on one of the streaming services. We'll likely pay for the earliest viewings we can get on streamers like Disney+ and Amazon PrimeWhile Netflix might be the largest streaming seervice right now, other major contenders have come into the game. One of the biggest, and best funded, is Amazon Prime, the streaming-service add-on packing with free delivery and all kinds of other perks Amazon gives its members. And, with the backing of its corporate parent, this streaming service very well could become the market leader. so we can get reviews out on a timely basis. Other services, like HBO Max, will release films day-and-date with the releases in theaters, and all for the cost of a standard subscription. In all cases, we want to provide reviews when we can, but if a movie doesn't come out in a place we can see it, we'll wait until we can find it. However long that takes is exactly as long as it takes.
- Food: Our lack of desire for the "outside the house" experience extends to restaurants. Although food reviews don't happen as frequently as film reviews on this site, they have been a steady part of the experience since Asteroid G was originally founded. As such we will continue to review meals we get from places that seem worthy of coverage. The key difference is that we'll only review take out; there will be no eating in restaurants for our reviews. If you'd like to know how the services was, or what the ambiance of the building might have been, we'll be just as in the dark as you will. Better this than the alternative in our book.
Naturally other media will be a lot easier for us to cover. TV is an at-home experience so nothing will change about that for the site. Music, too, is generally covered by sitting at home and checking out singles and albums. Concerts will, of course, be out but those reviews were so infrequent that it hardly matters at all. Sport events, naturally, are right out -- the next time we cover sports properly on the site will be the first time.
In general this is a move designed to keep everyone safe -- not just our reviewers but everyone we come into contact with (and they come into contact with, and so on). Society might be ready to move back to a state of "normalcy", but there are risks inherent in that, and even with everyone opening back up, ready to accept customers once more, safety is better than immediacy. Asteroid G is meant to be enjoyed, and you can't enjoy good content if you're sick.
As noted, this policy is in effect for at least a year. After that, we'll see if we want to relax it. Maybe we'll have gotten so used to this new status quo it's the new "normal". We shall see, but regardless, here's to a safe, and happy, fourth year for Asteroid G.