Yes, you can lead with a Remedy card. This is referred to as “dumping the trump.” In this situation, the highest Remedy card that is played first wins. For example, if the person who plays the first hand in that round plays a Vaccine card and another player also plays a Vaccine card (likely because that is the only Remedy card that they have), then the first player to play the Vaccine card wins.
You may want to do this if you bid aggressively and want to drain the other players of their Remedy cards to increase the odds that your low day cards will not be trumped with a Remedy card. You may also want to do this if you have made your bid for the round and have some less powerful Remedy cards that you want to get rid of so you’re not forced to play them and win a trick later in the round.
From most to least powerful, the Remedy cards are: Immunity (if playing with this optional card), followed by Vaccine, Social Distance, Face Mask Medicine. Here is how we remember it: if you have immunity to a virus, you don’t need any of the other things. If you don’t have immunity, getting vaccinated will protect you. If there isn’t a vaccine, social distancing from others will prevent exposure. If you can’t social distance, wear that face mask! Failing that, if you get sick, take your medicine to feel better.
Because whoever is dealt the Virus card has to sit out that round, that would leave the other player playing solo! Plus, you wouldn’t leave your shelter buddy alone while s/he is sick, would you?

Sure thing! The Virus & Immunity cards are only used with 4 players. You will shuffle all of the cards and deal all but 2 cards to the players. Each player should have the same number of cards. Here are the possible options and how they are played and scored:

  1. A player is dealt the Virus and Immunity cards. In this case they cancel each other out. The player discards both cards and picks up the 2 cards from the draw pile. They score 5 bonus points for being invincible!

  2. A player is dealt the Virus card only. They are out for that round and score 3 pity points. Their cards are placed face down on the table and the rest of the players each pass 2 cards, make their bids, and play as usual.  They bid and play without knowing which cards are out of play for that round.

  3. A player is dealt the Immunity card only. They keep that card in their hand and can play it in any trick. It is the most powerful card in the deck and wins any hand in which it is played. For example, if someone plays a Vaccine card, a player with the Immunity card can “over trump” them with the Immunity card and win that round.

Not at all. In fact, this is part of the fun. You’ll learn who is feeling cocky and bid high and who is a chronic under-bidder.

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