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'It's Contagious!' Fallbrook family's pandemic game helps players through anxiety with humor

A card game born out of their own very close experience with the virus
Posted at 7:30 AM, Nov 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-30 10:30:47-05

FALLBROOK, Calif. (KGTV) — FALLBROOK, Calif. (KGTV) -- A worldwide pandemic is a very serious thing but coping with it is often done with humor and laughter.

Just ask a family in Fallbrook that’s created a new card game they call, "It's Contagious," featuring a not-so-serious side of dealing with the virus while allowing players to work through their anxiety.

"Folks will find that the artwork on the cards is really relatable," said mom, Lola Pickett. "And also just like a fun take on this very challenging situation that we’re all in."

For Lola, her husband, Tigre, and their two children, the pandemic came very close to home in March when the kids' Grandfather, Rich Pickett, tested positive for COVID-19.

"His case ended up becoming quite severe, putting him into the ICU," Lola said.

Lola says while her father-in-law was in the hospital and the family was quarantined. They coped while at home by spending time together and playing games together. But the stress of the pandemic and its very personal impact was never far off.

"We noticed our kids were processing things by like adding hand washing stations to their Lego builds," said Lola. "We thought, that’s how we do things as humans. We play through it and figure out how we’re feeling."

With that in mind, a project was launched.

Dad, Tigre Pickett, says the family found some old poker cards, "Lola took a Sharpie and whiteout and started marking them up. We were like what if we had this card that did this?"

Virus cards, spreaders, and antibodies. The headlines and stories of 2020 were becoming the cards of “It’s Contagious!” Like the café in Germany that required patrons to wear pool noodle hats for social distancing.

"We thought, well, there’s a card. That’s hilarious," said Lola as she and her husband showed off various cards. "So, we have things like that. We have home haircut. We have the t-p shortage which we’re going through again."

"Like Zoom birthday parties," Tigre pipes in, as Lola continues, "And then things like antibodies become superheroes. They become a superpower card in the deck just like they do in real life."

And the game itself becoming a part of real-life as the Picketts have invested in professional artwork and production in the hope that “It’s contagious,” catches on.

"We found that play is one of the fastest ways for processing," said Tigre. "And moving through some of that trauma and some of that experience."

An experience the Pickett's are grateful in this case turned out well for their Grandfather who has recovered and now plays the new game with his family.

To learn more about "It's Contagious!," check out the Picketts' Kickstarter page where the game can be pre-purchased or donations can be made to help fund their venture.