Technologies that cured a pandemic
We have truly witnessed the power and advancement of our technological growth during this lockdown. When all other sectors of our country were struggling to make ends meet, technology proved to be a great help in each sector. CoronaVirus is a tragedy that caught us off guard. It tested our country’s strength in tackling any such situation. It proved that we were not ready for anything as such.
We faced a lot of difficulties, lack of essential supplies, fall in revenue, sudden unemployment, lack of workforce, migration problems, and many more. The difficulty was on both sides of the door. The world went under a state of isolation for at least 6-7 months. We went through various emotional phases. Despite all the problems, a major setback was the lack of medical supplies. When the attack was on people’s health and the situation was as critical as it can be, a lack of medical supplies like ventilators and PPE kits, made the situation more difficult. We salute the strength of our people, each individual of our country, who stood together for each other and surpassed every difficulty, primary or secondary.
The role of technology in this pandemic was vast. Entertainment, communication, work management, these were all basic but important deliveries of technology.
The bigger question here is whether we are prepared for the next pandemic.
- Are we prepared for something bigger or more dangerous than this?
- Are we truly prepared for the worst-case scenario?
- Are we prepared to live with this virus?
- How can we prepare ourselves
The goal is to prepare ourselves for any future incoming disasters that can pose a greater threat. The chances are very high and finding a possible solution will take more than a single discussion. Today let’s discuss the technological aspect of this solution. In this article, we will discuss,
- How technology helped tackle major problems?
- How can it help us prepare for the future?
- Problems we may face.
- The effect on technology.
How technology helped us during this lockdown?
The most important role was connectivity. With a sudden restriction on any type of physical connection world, we lost connectivity with the outer world. With a virus restricting us within the boundaries of our homes, we lost touch with our regular, general time-table. Schools, colleges, and offices were locked down. We are aware of the problems because we faced them. So let’s not get into discussing them, and focus on understanding how technology helped. This will help us in understanding the area of improvement and involvement of technology for future purposes.
Availability of Stocks-
During the initial stages of lockdown, online shopping and deliveries were restricted. They held a chance of endangering delivery personnel. The local grocery stores, Kirana stores, and medicine shops became our primary suppliers during this lockdown. With the shopkeeper’s and buyer’s health at stake, curbing the virus became the need of the hour. That’s when apps like ForLocal came in as a big help.
The app allows buyers to connect with the stores near them and order essential items online. A small technical involvement allowed people to cooperate and work in a way that ensured safety and proper social distancing.
Maintain proper social distancing-
As they say, “ignorance is bliss” but when the problem is so big that it may affect you one day, a need to track its path and progress arises. With apps like Arogya Setu, which was issued by the government of India, it became very easy to keep track of rising cases. The app uses a contact tracing mechanism to track and notify about infected people around us.
Cleanliness and sanitation are the primary guards against this virus. But cleaning the air we breathe in, that’s something hard as a nutshell. So it’s better to filter it, with masks. Though masks don’t guarantee 100% safety, we have some that ensure 65%, and it’s better than nothing. Some people remained hesitant in maintaining these protocols. For some people, the whole concept of the virus was make-believe. God bless the people who lost their lives.
We saw people around the globe standing up against the ones who were resistant towards the protocol. Many understood and accepted, some still hesitant. In the worst-case scenario, if we may need to live with the virus, then ignoring such people will be bliss. A device that prepares us for something like this is a mask detecting device. We go through much tertiary physical connection in stores. So ensuring that the person who was there before us, was following primary protocols, lowers the chances of infection. A mask detecting device restricts the person without a mask from entering the store.
Getting back on track-
The unemployment rate and the lack of workforce were the two sides of the same problem. It will take more than technology to solve this problem. But during this lockdown, the lack of man force in the companies led to the remote employment of many individuals. Work from home culture saved man companies who were on the verge of closing business during this lockdown. Work from home may set a whole new work culture. It opened a gate to much deeper technological penetration in work culture. The swiftness with which each sector, business, schools, and colleges adapted to the online meeting/class conducting services, shows the comfort and readiness of people towards technology.
To maintain mental sanity-
A sudden lockdown, a sudden restriction on movement, plans and trips canceled, a blurry vision of what may happen tomorrow, it all became overwhelming. People never gave up, they tried very hard to fight and cope with the situation. For some, it was whipping the coffee and for some, it was getting back to their fitness regime. Somehow, we were successful in finding a diamond in the soot. From an imposed isolation we made it our time, a time to grow into better versions of ourselves. The fact that we were able to see and track a person’s way of handling his stress online on social media, inspired us to at least try. The fact that we were socially connected helped us coped with lockdown blues in our way.
OTT platforms like Netflix and Prime video provided several online contents that became a source of entertainment and the only thing that didn’t change in this lockdown.
We have witnessed how technology acted as the backbone of certain sectors. But let’s get back to the main motive of this discussion that is,
How can technology help us in the future?
Technology is the future. There is a mind working on a next-level technology right now. The world of technology is ever-changing and ever-growing. Electronics and technology have been answers to many problems. We just need to shift the growth curve towards the development of a system that can make us future-ready. A system that holds the capability to predict, inform, and direct.
A technology encapsulating data created based on historic events. For this thing to work, we need to believe in Einstein’s “Theory of Everything”, which states that the universe speaks in numbers.
Such a system can analyze past events and give data about the methods that can be used to escape or save ourselves under similar circumstances. It can give a chance for prevention and can help in cure.
Under the influence of a pandemic brought upon us by a virus, we lost direction in our lives. Even our country lost track of the economy, supplies, and finance. To have a technological system that holds the power to direct a large group of people, a whole country towards safety and precautionary methods on the arrival of such disasters or pandemic.
Building such a system requires a deep understanding of databases, high knowledge of the software that can be implemented, and a proper execution system.
The problems we may face with technology-
Technology can sometimes be too much to digest. The power it holds over the world is often scary for some people. The addiction to technology often isolates some people from the real world. What we need to remind us here is that technology attracts the human mind because it is a real-life example of innovation. There is always something new, not only to learn but to experience. It is not something to be feared but something to admire and appreciate.
Technology can be way too overwhelming for highly religious people. They always find it difficult to understand and adapt to the latest technologies. At last, everyone is free to have their own opinions.
Machine learning is a part of the technology that most people remain hesitant to accept. The idea of machine learning and adapting the human way of execution or human behavior remains impermissible.
There are many concerns about a device’s effect on health, but it’s not something beyond our control. Technology holds great power and under the wrong guidance, it can implicate serious damage. With proper governance, control, and execution technology can do wonders and can prove to be beneficial and helpful in each sector.
The effect of lockdown on technology-
The gauging user’s attention towards technology is observed during this lockdown. The entertainment sectors or recreational platforms gained a spike in their user-engagement. Though these measures made this lockdown bearable, they observed an unimaginable gain in viewers and customers in a very short period. Let’s have a quick look into what worked for them and how they can maintain it in the future.
With the companies conducting their whole business online, the digital transformation seemed to be the safest and easiest way to execute work from home culture. The creation of a single company server helped companies track the work and data of the employees. With an online Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) employees and companies could work efficiently. With these problem-solving features, digital transformation became the need of the hour for many businesses and companies.
Platforms like Netflix, Disney HotStar, Amazon Prime Video, and many more, who delivered OTT content saw a substantial rise in viewership and app download. Netflix experienced a potential increase of 15.77 million paying subscribers during the first month of this lockdown. India’s digital OTT platforms like Zee5, and AltBalaji, who provide regional content observed 100% app engagement during this lockdown.
The online gaming market in India witnessed a hike in user engagement during this lockdown. Gaming platforms like Gametion technologies who were the creators of ludo king, experienced maximum user engagement with 300 million downloads in March. The app was ranked as India’s top gaming app on both Android and iOS. Other gaming platforms like Hit Wicket and Rummy experienced 200% growth in its user base.
Online local shops-
The platforms connecting shops and stores selling essential items around us with our mobiles saved our days during this lockdown. Platforms like ForLocal became the perfect solution to our grocery needs during this lockdown.
A sudden rise in online grocery shopping was seen as people restrained from going outside, during this lockdown. The need for the hour features like the door to door deliveries and the option of time slot pick up attracted customers.
Mental health and peace-
A sudden realization of the cruciality of life and death, made us question our life choices. Under isolation, we realized how much we lacked peace of mind and calm. We lacked leisure, the pleasure of having a hobby. The sudden decrease in pollution and recovery of nature made us realize that something is wrong with our way of living. This sudden realization compelled us all to be better versions of ourselves. Many people chose mental health above everything else. Many rose with the aspire to regain their physical strength and fitness.
People were attracted to many health and fitness online applications that provided online indoor fitness training. Apps such as CureFit and LeapFitness, with their easy to use features, observed a decent increment in in-app usage during the lockdown.
Stock Market Apps-
Capital Markets are the easiest way to earn high interest over a long time. The noticeable factor is that though the involvement of technology has not always favored the business area, the involvement of technology in the broking industry has been sort of a miracle. A rapid increase in the number of clients was observed as many investors decided to try the stock markets during this lockdown. Broking houses like Angel Broking and IIFL reported a rapid rise in trading volumes.
Though the pandemic took more than it could and nothing can compensate for that loss, the involvement and adaptation of certain technologies made life easier. The situation was unbearably difficult but with the incorporation of the right technology, we overcame the worst and we are on the verge of this lockdown. We are ready to once again move on with our lives whether with or without the virus. The technological revolution we went through during this lockdown, was unpredictable, futuristic, comfortable, and mandatory.