I’m personally very concerned about the coming mental health crisis that is being sparked by COVID panic. For people living with depression, anxiety, and many other mental health challenges, overcoming feelings of isolation are part of our daily struggle – even if we’re surrounded by loving families and friends. To open up the news, or just to glance a headline walking past the newsagents, shrieking that isolation is our civic duty, the only response to Covid, etc… Looks/sounds like a demon taunting us to our own destruction (I’m not speaking for everyone struggling, but this is my experience, and I need to believe I’m not alone). We struggle not to feel isolated on the most beautiful of summer days playing with our kids in the park, how can we stay safe now?
Magpie Fun & Games was born out of my resistance to my own dark struggles with isolation. I’ve been working noon and night for months to create a space and experience filled with my hopes and intentions of hosting togetherness, bringing people out of isolation to play and have fun & games together.
Currently worldwide deaths from suicide in 2020 are 227,416. As long as I am physically healthy, I will keep Magpie open. I will continue to do so until worldwide deaths from Covid are greater than those from suicide. I will do so even if the government orders businesses closed because I believe that fighting isolation is a matter of life and death, and that we have a human right to protect our mental health as well as our physical health.
Here is what I’ll offer:
Coffee and tea are free for the asking. Anyone is welcome to break their isolation – you don’t need to talk to anyone or be ‘social’, there’s puzzles if you want to work on your own – or just sit and read. Or, you’re welcome to come in to just socialise, there’s loads of games to play and if you come in on your own, I’m happy to start a game up.
If you want something stronger, I’ll have drinks at happy hour prices. Wednesday game nights will go on as scheduled.
Here is my health and safety bit:
I’ve been a hospitality professional for more than twenty years. Impeccable sanitation and hygiene are second nature to me – frequent handwashing the whole thing. Additionally, I’ll reduce the number of toys available to play with in the play area to those that are easily disinfected, but I won’t put an end to all playing. I’ll clean the play area and toys after each group of kids.
I will close the shop if myself or anyone in my household is sick and I ask anyone who is sick to keep to themselves.
Because my shop is planned as a place to come together, as a place to experience fun & games, I am not set up for online sales. If the crisis deepens, I’ll do my best to find a way to arrange deliveries. I will send an update with details should this come to pass.
My shop was conceived as an alternative to ‘social’ media, and you’re likely aware that Instagram is the only presence I maintain there. In this exceptional circumstance I feel I must compromise on my principles and I ask you to share this message with the social media communities you trust the most.