How Has the Internet Helped Cope With The Pandemic?
We all remember the days not so long ago when everyone was free to go wherever they wanted and most importantly, free to establish physical contact. After COVID 19, life changed for us all in every possible sense of the word. No one realized how we all took for granted little things such as shaking someone’s hand or hugging your loved ones. Since human beings are social animals and the need for physical contact is imperative for our mental and physical health, this pandemic contradicts the very nature of human beings.
The sheer panic created by the virus was evident when people took to the shops and marts and started hauling supplies they did not need. It established a state of urgency to do whatever it takes to survive. We may be social animals but ones with a very acute survival instinct. In the middle of this madness, there was one thing that kept us sane, informed, and in touch with people, we care about. The Internet has helped communities tackle the subsequent consequences of the pandemic.
Keeping Americans Connected
Lucky for us, the FCC urged telecommunication companies to sign the “Keep Americans Connected Pledge” when the pandemic started, to ensure that the maximum number of internet users could keep their internet connections during the pandemic even if they are unable to pay the bill. Hundreds of internet service providers including Spectrum, CenturyLink, AT&T, etc. agreed to sign the pledge and are still committed to it. So if you had signed up to any of Spectrum packages or any of the packages from the list of providers who signed the pledge and can genuinely not pay the bill due to loss of income, then do not fret because your service won’t be suspended at least till the 30th of June, 2020.
Education and Empowerment
Although technology could not help in preventing the inception of the pandemic, it did potentially help prevent the multiplication of cases at a catastrophic rate. Through educating and empowering communities to be mindful of the situation, thus lessening the impact.
Misinformation has always been the culprit behind panic when it comes to dealing with situations of global distress. Misleading data about the number of mortalities, treatments, vaccines, and government policies create more anxiety within society. The results are widespread panic, street violence, hoarding of essential commodities, rising prices, conspiracy theories, discrimination, and whatnot. To lessen the impact of these behaviors, entities such as the World Health Organization are working in coordination with the governments and local authorities to provide accurate information to everyone to inform people on the correct steps to be taken for them to stay safe.
The social platforms like TikTok have collaborated with WHO on COVID 19 to inform their users on accurate information and timely facts that keep them knowledgeable and provides them with a channel to clear any doubt and to seek any answer they might have.
Entertainment in Quarantine
The Internet is also playing a dominant role in providing entertainment to people while they are in lock-down. It has helped communities cope with this unfortunate global event with the help of social networking and of course binge-watching our favorite TV shows and going back to those classic movies we watched years ago. The internet has enabled people to stay in touch with their loved ones and to just blow off some steam in chat communities. Although it does not provide a way around physical contact it does give us all a chance to talk to each other and share our thoughts and feelings regarding the new life changes that have taken place.
Schools and Colleges
Since schools and colleges are shut down due to the pandemic, it has not stopped us from educating the new generation, which is now taking place through online lectures. Students are following their schedules and curriculums and are getting used to the new way of learning. Although online learning has been around for quite a while now, it is going to take some time for everyone to adjust to the new online schooling system compared to the conventional means of on-campus learning.
Companies have made a great effort to accommodate the delivery of goods to peoples’ doorsteps. Online shopping has taken on a whole new meaning, one that promotes the safety and security of communities. Organizations have expanded on the online market and have taken this chance to make almost everything available through online transactions. Sixfold, that offers real-time supply chain visibility, has circulated a live map to keep track of the timings that trucks cross borders to enable all of Europe’s supply chain to know about any delays in receiving their shipments. And the best part is that this service is offered at no charge.
Work from Home
The most prominent advantage of the internet is the role it has played in the lives of the people who are working from home. It has provided companies and organizations the ability to continue their business operations remotely without the need for their employees to work from offices. It has enabled people to earn a living in these times of lock-down and has helped them to continue to support their families financially while maintaining social distancing.
Post-COVID life has revealed to many how manageable it is to work entirely from home. And we owe it all to the internet. It’s hard to imagine a life without this important service and most importantly, it’s difficult to imagine what the global economy would have looked like if we wouldn’t have had access to such an essential service.
What started as a U.S. military research project back in 1969, has saved the world from a potential economic and social disaster in this era of a pandemic. There’s no way of knowing what life would’ve been without it but we can safely assume that it would have been extremely hard with the majority of us without any source of income. The world would have turned into a war zone without a real war. So, take full advantage of this powerful resource that is at your disposal and use it to promote and maintain social distancing. Stay safe!