When the Covid-19 pandemic struck, it left the entire population scrambling for not just essentials and medical care but the very semblance of regular, everyday life. Suddenly, we were all rearranging our days to fit within lockdowns. Juggling housework, work from home, online schooling, and quarantining. The unsung (yet unsurprising) hero to emerge was, of course, technology.
Maintain ties to the outside world
Social media and instant messaging became our lifeline to the outside world once lockdowns were enforced. From banana bread posts to awareness for medical resources, when the world turned upside down, there was solace in the fact that we could all commiserate online through Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, and the like.
Not many of us had heard about Zoom prior to the pandemic. Video calls were usually used to keep in touch with overseas relatives and friends, often one-on-one calls. As work from home became the norm, video conferencing became serious business. Today, it’s not just used for official meetings but recreationally as well. Children’s parties, after-work get-togethers and even weddings are now all held on these multi-person video conferencing apps, helping maintain our bonds with the outside world without necessarily going outside.
And video conferencing isn’t all about just meetings and meet-ups. Most doctors now give patients the option of video consultations to limit their exposure to the Covid-19 virus - a move that can help those who put off making appointments get the care they require.
A deeper community spirit
As cases rose and illness ravaged neighbourhoods, communities seemingly came together. Whether buying groceries for a neighbour who was isolating, helping elderly residents with essential products, or organising vaccination drives in the neighbourhood, the pandemic seems to have reaffirmed the need to be connected as a community.
Technology has played a huge role in facilitating this connection. Apps such as MyGate, a community management app, made communication between residents, residents and managing committee members as well as residents and building staff (building guards, cleaning staff, etc) seamless and (more importantly) contactless. All-important neighbourhood contact information can be accessed through the app, which was a huge boon during lockdowns when proximity was of utmost importance. This technology allowed for easy coordination for goods, services, as well as assistance for entire communities, rebuilding a sense of dependability and trust within neighbourhoods.
Essentials at your doorstep
Many businesses had to evolve fast to survive the economic toll pandemic. Food ordering apps turned to delivering groceries when getting out of the house seemed like a risk not worth taking for many residents. Society App providing medical services such as appointments for blood tests and covid tests were a boon to elderly patients and others who were considered high-risk.
The rise of contactless payments
Digital payments became a huge plus as the transfer of cash from person to person brought about hygiene concerns pertaining to the virus. Overnight, large, and small businesses adapted to a world where digital payments were the norm. Customers no longer had to worry about how to sanitize paper money when making contactless payments using their e-wallet.
No need to skip class
The pandemic has hit students hard but thanks to technology, those with access to the internet have been able to continue with their studies in a relatively uninterrupted manner. With no end of the pandemic in sight, universities and colleges are now introducing a range of online courses to make sure quarantine measures do not disrupt education.
Netflix and chill took on a whole new meaning at the start of 2020. It started with Money Heist and Tiger King, and then there was no looking back. Television became one of the main means of recreation when stuck indoors all day, and streaming services saw a huge boom. More than a year later, as fancy dinners and trips to the theatre are still off limits, the world is hooked on the easy access to TV shows, documentaries, and movies at our fingertips.
Technology, often faulted as the reason for lack of real-life social interaction, emerged as a lifeline during the pandemic. It has brought entire communities together, aided with resources and medical help, and helped us maintain some sense of normalcy during these trying times.