The Coronavirus pandemic has been an immensely challenging time for people all over the world, for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, the loss of human life has been enormous, with more than 500,000 deaths recorded as of late June.
There has also been a significant financial impact, with the global economy suffering as a result of the outbreak. Many people have lost jobs or been put on furlough, while countless businesses have been forced to shut down either temporarily or on a permanent basis.
And, without the opportunity for face-to-face contact with their loved ones, many people have struggled to cope emotionally with the social distancing measures that have been implemented.
However, we can at least be grateful that we live in an era of heightened technological power and that, for many of us, remaining connected (albeit virtually) is not an issue we have been forced to contend with. In the modern world, it’s hard to imagine a life without the internet and more than half of Americans say it has been “essential” to them during the outbreak.
There are many ways in which the net has played a pivotal role in helping the world manage the COVID-19 outbreak. Here are just a few of those:
Working from home
The vast majority of people have been encouraged to work from home in order to limit the spread of the virus. Even 10 or 15 years ago, this might have presented a major problem for most organizations, with technological advancements of the time perhaps not ready to accommodate the needs of employees who need to be able to access internal systems from a remote location. In 2020, however, that is a much more viable solution and has allowed for far greater flexibility, a theme that looks likely to endure well beyond the virus.
The likes of the tourism industry have been severely impacted by COVID-19, but there are other sectors that have prospered in the wake of the virus. For example, voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) communication has experienced a surge in popularity, with huge numbers of people using this method to speak with colleagues, friends, and family. Furthermore, e-commerce businesses are booming due to high-street stores being closed, while there has also been a surge of interest in forex trading, with the volatility of the global economy providing plenty of opportunities for those seeking to deal in foreign currencies and other commodities.
With far in excess of 10 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 worldwide, the strain on healthcare systems has been huge, but internet connectivity and associated technology have played a vital role in assisting medical professionals in controlling the virus. The likes of AI-aided thermal imaging, 5G networks, and cloud databases have all contributed to detection, diagnosis, treatment and the storage of information. Without all of these factors, the number of infections would be significantly higher.