This pandemic has taken its toll on most facets of daily life. It has devastated healthcare sector and the global economy to degrees that no one is certain the world can fully recover from. Despite how dire everything seems now, this outbreak has also brought out some of the best in people. Individuals are stepping up to brave the front lines so some semblance of civilization can still continue. Communities are uniting to come up with measures protecting the more vulnerable. Corporations are reaching out to offer support. Governments are making hard decisions to maintain order.
Technology has also played a huge part in preventing the world from spiraling down. There are numerous innovations, both newly made or newly adopted, that have been instrumental in battling the spread of the virus and helping people get on with their lives.
According to the World Economic Forum, robots are being used in the healthcare systems of both Singapore and China in response to the outbreak.
In Singapore, robots are using the open government data, with its detailed mapping of the virus spread, to make deliveries of meals and medication to patients.
In China, robots are tasked with disinfecting hospitals while drones deliver medical supplies. Artificial intelligence is also being utilized to analyze scans for infection – significantly reducing the time needed for the process.
In South Korea, authorities are using cell phone and satellite technology to track down potential carriers of the virus.
This is also the trend in several Southeast Asian countries. They use mobile apps and location information to better predict the spread of the pandemic.
Telehealth has been playing a major role in limiting the spread too. The virtual healthcare platforms give patients the necessary medical attention without exposing professionals to possible infection. According to the Harvard Medical School, telehealth has been indispensable as the virus spreads across US cities and communities.
Aside from the obvious separation these telemed software tools give medical staff and patients, they also free up resources to better deal with the contagion. By using telehealth for elective procedures and routine checkups, more healthcare workers can focus on the spread.
Ecommerce has been around almost as far back as when the internet first started gaining traction. However, the recent rise in ecommerce suggests that it’s in response to the current situation. According to Big Commerce, grocery shopping has increased as much as 250 percent amid the outbreak. They also reported a significant increase in online sales of medical, infant, and cleaning products.
According to the Common Thread Collective, there has been an increase of 58.4 percent in the revenue of online sales since the start of the quarantine. They said the trends are encouraging for businesses. They are calling for more innovations in ecommerce space.
As much of the world’s resources have been focused on getting rid of the coronavirus, millions of people remain stuck at home. That’s why entertainment is also vital in making sure everyone stays where they are.
According to Market Watch, paid subscriptions for streaming TV and video rose by 32 percent during the first week of the quarantine. This means dramatic increases in sales for companies like Netflix, Amazon, Disney, and Apple. The loss of live sports has also helped in boosting their numbers. But these video services are not the only ones people are turning to.
According to The Guardian, more people are also playing video games. They stated that Twitch, one of the biggest streaming platform for gamers around the world, grew their audience by a third in the month of March alone. The article also mentioned canceled esports tournaments and some decline in overall participation for these events, but there is still evidence to support the growth of the video game industry during this time.
Social media use has also risen dramatically amid the pandemic. Although this was not entirely good news at first because of the prevalence of misinformation. However, according to Forbes, this issue of fake news has prompted networks to take long overdue action against such stories. They reported that this time may be an opportunity for social media sites to ‘level up’ for good.
In any case, the rise in the use of platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and global newcomer Tiktok, is undeniable and inevitable.
For example, streaming live on YouTube is getting very popular and people are starting to build their own businesses using the platform for creativity. Where boredom strikes creativity often follows. Using any of the social media platforms gives people stuck at home a way to express themselves in new and exciting ways.
People are also looking for these live events to join and feel like they got out of the house as it’s happening in real-time meaning they can interact with the chat room and other technologies built into most platforms.
But aside from the inherent entertainment value these services offer, they are also fundamental in keeping people sane. According to Psychology Today, isolation can be a gateway to loneliness if there are no maintained meaningful connections.
This gap is what those entertainment services are bridging. The use of social media is still on the rise because people want to reach out to each other and understand that they are not alone in being alone. Online games and streaming services are also helping people share experiences and moments.
The truth is, the world wasn’t ready for this pandemic. And it’s obvious in how the initial spread was handled globally. But because of the technologies mentioned above, everyone is in a far better position than how they would have been if this outbreak happened just two decades ago.