Well, the similarities in fiction and facts are not as apparent as portrayed in the Hollywood movie Contagion. What the world is facing in real time seems to be hauntingly prescient, quite similar to a chronicle of the foretold pandemic. Long and endless queues, food scarcity, mass isolation and ghost towns identical to the virus outbreak portrayed in the film makes us feel as if we are dwelling in a time frame that was written a few years back. Though, the difference between the film and the current situation is the availability of technology. The internet is playing a very critical role in combating with the novel form of coronavirus and helping us in reclaiming our place.
Much similar to the 1918 Spanish flu, or the Black death, the COVID-19 pandemic has already started to expose the human fragility. Our only reprieve these days is the internet connectivity and our technological advancement which has made us a lot more equipped than any other era to respond to this dreaded disease. With the world in disarray, our internet connectivity is the only thing at which we are staring at in order to manage the crisis.
How The Internet Has Become Our Essential Needs?
During this period of a public health emergency, access to internet connectivity falls under our essential requirement and it is a very important tool to protect our economic and social rights and our health as well. The internet facility helps us to share and receive vital information about the COVID-19 and even enables us to know the measures that we can put in on our end to give it a pause. The internet helps us a lot to scrutinize and understand the actions of our government. With an approximately 70% of the world population under a lock down or maintaining social distancing, technology helps us to communicate, work and even shop on a regular basis. The internet has now become the only means of communication to keep in touch with our near and dear ones and support work from home facilities.
How The Internet Is Keeping Us Connected?
Thousands of businesses throughout the globe have made a shift online, ranging from educational programs like home-schooling to health care services. Several internet platforms are also thriving to provide consumers with entertainment and several new ways of connecting during this time of the crisis. Such an extent of digitalization is helping online education, telemedicine, telework to become proliferate. A massive surge in online video conferencing has been noticed and software such as Skype, Zoom, Cisco WebEx and Microsoft Teams saw a growth of almost about 40% in a week.
Technology and Humans Amplify Each Other
As the world is facing a psychological battle along with the medical one, it is not just the citizens that are making the place liveable but the technology and the internet too. It’s the technology and people amplifying one another and letting us survive much like a sequestered society while retaining a sense of connection. The current coronavirus pandemic is focusing the light on how essential internet connectivity has become for all communities, irrespective of social, geographical, pollical or economic circumstances. As of now, it is becoming clear that the surplus availability of technology and internet infrastructure or services that are getting delivered without discrimination is fundamental for healthy and resilient societies.