Technology cannot prevent a pandemic; however, it can help to manage the crisis more effectively. We all know how badly COVID-19 has affected our personal and professional lives. In this time of pure uncertainty and constant fear, we are ready to take over the technology.
While COVID-19 warriors on the front, such as doctors, health and sanitary workers, bank employees, security guards, a supplier of basic necessities, etc., were forced to stay outside, for those who were locked in their homes, the technology was fortunate while the savior was locked when people were able to do essentially many things while remaining safe indoors. Technology here has played a very important role in keeping people engaged and not forcing them to move out of their houses.
Let's see how technology has affected our lives in the current COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a recent study, some 191 countries have either implemented or reported school and university closures, which have directly affected nearly 1.57 billion students. Most educational institutions have started offering their courses online to make sure that the pandemic does not disrupt education. Technologies used in distance learning include augmented reality, 3D printing, virtual reality, and teachers of robots enabled by artificial intelligence. A few of them have also used video conferencing tools for live online classes where they manage to connect with all the students of a particular grade and educate them.
Online entertainment has become very popular in this pandemic. Trendy shoes or series, concerts have gained popularity as well. OTT(Over The Top) platforms like Prime Video, Hotstar, Zee5, Voot Select are taken up by many production companies to release their movies. Lockdown has helped people understand the ease of viewing content on OTT platforms; it has changed the way people consume content on a daily basis. OTT platforms have seen a significant increase in both application downloads and viewers during the lockdown period.
Different Applications for Contact Tracing
As COVID-19 is increasing day-by-day, the Aarogya Setu app was developed to track the spread. Technology has also helped to educate people about the whole situation and remind them of the necessary precautions. Telecommunications operators, such as BSNL, Jio, Airtel, and others, have used caller songs to spread awareness of the pandemic. Also, CCTVs are of great use here, as they can be helpful in tracking people if they're following the rules or not. They can easily monitor the movements of quarantined people.
Contactless Online Deliveries
As the COVID-19 has given us a complete lockdown, there were times when we were not allowed to go out. The online food market saw massive growth during that time due to increasing consumer demand. Families, especially children and the elderly preferred to order groceries online, which in turn led to a significant number of new users using web-based applications to deliver food. The provision to choose the preferred delivery period plus a reduced delivery fee if orders exceed a certain amount is attracting more and more customers to online delivery business models.
Fitness & Health Apps
Gym, general stores, malls, etc., everything was closed due to this pandemic. In between all these, to keep people healthy, fitness and healthy applications introduced new alternatives to help people who can stay comfortable indoors and do their regular exercise by just sitting at home. Many sports and health brands have started conducting live training sessions on their applications and social media platforms. These initiatives have also seen decent traction.
Stock Market Knowledge
The introduction of technology in the stock market has been quite good for brokerage firms. Since more investors have decided to go public, several brokerage firms have seen an increase in the number of clients. Due to the pandemic, customers are mostly indoors and get more free time to get to the market situation, which also leads to an increase in trading volume.
Temperature Monitoring Tool
Infrared and wireless thermometers have now become the most commonly used medical equipment at the gates of toll gates, offices, airports, shopping malls, hotels, train stations, shops, hospitals, and other public places. These temperature monitoring technologies have helped people measure body temperature remotely; these temperature measuring devices have also been useful in identifying individuals who may need further investigation.
Work From Home(WFH)
The work at home opportunity has helped people to stay safe and healthy at home. Many companies have opted for this and are working from home. The Internet, data privacy security, virtual meetings, cloud conferencing, etc. have helped professionals easily adapt to a home scenario. WFH has also ensured that outputs are not delayed. Teleworking has been a hidden blessing that has helped us to a large extent to preserve and comply with social distance protocols.
COVID-19 has proven that technological innovations have helped to manage the epidemic in a timely, systematic, and peaceful manner. The lesson learned from the COVID-19 pandemic is to be prepared in a good time for all crises, both individually and collectively. Only preparedness is needed to fight an epidemic like COVID-19. Technological development is constantly advancing; it will undoubtedly grow exponentially. We, the people, need to adapt more quickly to technological change and continue to invest in building technology systems for better preparedness.