The COVID-19 pandemic has taken over the world – we now sit isolated in our homes. Keeping both mentally and physically healthy is of paramount importance as these are uncertain times when one can easily feel restless and stressed. It’s important to stay informed and connected to feel safe. Lifestyle changes are now unavoidable.
This is why technology has begun to play such a significant role in the lives of people in recent months. Read on to know how tech can help you to stay safe amidst this situation.
Connecting People – For Work and Personal Needs
With the need for social distancing, technology is playing a key role in keeping people connected. Video calls using Skype and FaceTime, for instance, which was always a great way to communicate, is now the default way.
- In stressful times, keeping a fresh mind is important. Staying connected with others helps us to stay calm and feel connected.
- Those who are in self-quarantine and alone at their homes, need to reach out to people so that others are aware that you are doing fine.
- The elderly need to stay connected so that in case of an emergency, they can be helped.
- Businesses are dependent entirely on Skype and Zoom to keep their teams productive and serve their customers.
In fact, many healthcare service providers and doctors are providing telemedicine services so that those seeking medical attention can reach out easily.
Work from Home
Yes, many businesses have suffered a huge setback. The aviation or the hotel industry for example have come to a near standstill. But there are other industries, like software and IT, where work from home has begun to be implemented on a wide scale. Various online meeting software are being used to ensure that businesses keep running while employees work from home. Even the education sector has begun to roll out new learning platforms. With this students can continue to learn using live-streamed lectures.
With countries under lock-down and almost the entire workforce around the world currently working from home, productivity becomes a major challenge Certain industries such as SaaS have an advantage in that with the right tools, they can manage their tasks working from home with the same level of productivity.
Here are a few examples:
- Sales and marketing teams can use tools such as Salesforce to manage their leads, funnels, activity logs, revenue goals and so on. Apps such as ScanBizCards help you stay productive managing leads and contacts
- Software development teams use tools like Jira and Slack to keep track of work, software release etc.
- LinkedIn helps you stay informed and connected with other businesses and professionals
Helping With Access to Essential Items
People can comfortably stay in home confinement only if they have easy access to the essential items – the most important during this time being food and medicines. For this, yet again, tech is helping. For example, as it is no longer safe to go grocery shopping at stores, many ecommerce businesses like Amazon Fresh and Farmbox Direct are offering home delivery services. With the help of e-wallets payments for these deliveries is also now no longer a hassle. There are also psychological counselling services that are now available online. Most of these are free and are providing people with counselling to help them deal with their stress and fear.
Helping to Stay Healthy
Let us admit it – if we stay cooped up for so long, with no exercise of activity, our health will suffer. However, there is no way that we can go out to the gardens or gyms to exercise. Hence, finding ways to keep ourselves fit at home is needed. Here is where access to technology will help. For example, there are fitness studios that are live-streaming exercise sessions and there are plenty of workout links available on Youtube as well.
Location Tracking of Infected People
The governments of nations like South Korea, China, and Taiwan have been tracking people with the help of location information given by them through their phones. This has played a crucial role in reaching them to know if they have been infected or not and providing them immediate treatment. Also, countries like Germany and Italy have been using location tracking to identify places where group gatherings are occurring as this is now no longer permissible. In the UK recently an app was launched that helped people to report their symptoms. This tracker has helped to identify high-risk areas.
Sharing News and Alerting People
When the virus began spreading, it also began to spread a lot of false information – as WHO termed it, an ‘infodemic’ was beginning. This is when tech yet again saved the day. Experts, universities, and organizations came in to share the correct information and encourage people to take the right measures to protect themselves.
Artificial Intelligence has also helped people in providing information on public health. For example, the Canadian company, BlueDot, uses AI to scan 100,000 online articles in 65 different languages every day to find information on public health. This, in fact, helped to alert clients about the virus threat even before WHO had!
Use of Robots at Hospitals
In China and Singapore robots have been used in quarantine facilities to take the temperature of patients, give them food and medicine, and even to clean the facilities. This has spared healthcare workers from getting exposed to the virus. In some parts of China drones fitted with cameras and loudspeakers have also been used to tell people to leave the streets and to return to their homes.
Drones Delivering the Essentials
In some countries drones have been assembled that are helping to supply essentials like food and medicine to people who are now restricted at their houses. In fact, e-commerce sites like Amazon, Domino’s Pizza, and Walmart, have begun to test if they can use drones to reduce their delivery costs. In the USA, however, safety concerns have constrained the use of drones. Drones help to deliver supplies quickly and don’t have the risk of spreading infections. So, maybe rules in the US would see some relaxation in the days to come.
With everyone now at home, and no outdoor entertainment possible, people have begun to turn to the Internet for entertainment options. Hence, tech is now playing an important part to keep people entertained. For example:
- Live Streaming of programs
- Chatting with family
- Holding group meetings to discuss favorite books
- Playing video games
- Learning a new hobby
- Downloading new food recipes
- Curating playlists of the most-loved songs
Technology is now everywhere – without it no business can run, and now without it, we can no longer feel safe and stress free. A time will come when the virus threat will end and we will all get back to the earlier routine. Let us not forget then how tech helped us to stay safe amidst a pandemic.