Technology in the ere of social distancing
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During today's uncertain times of COVID-19, social distancing has been touted as the only solution to prevent the spread.This sane advice has been widely advertised, but it is difficult to assess whether it is being followed or not. Health experts say social distancing is important because it can slow the virus’ spread. Offices are shifting to remote work, college campuses are shifting to online courses, and entertainment events are being canceled. As we all are uncertain how this will impact our near-term experiences, but one thing is sure that technology will support our daily lives, possibly long-term as well.
Businesses must evaluate their infrastructure and policies to ensure they can support remote participation, both technically and socially. Companies may need to consider executing portions of their emergency preparedness and disaster recovery plans.The service providers must ensure their systems have the capacity and bandwidth to accommodate a large influx of users.
Virtual gatherings, enabled by digital platforms like Zoom, Google Hangouts, Facebook Live, FaceTime, House party and others, are helping socially‐distanced people across the world to engage with one another and socialize. It has become increasingly clear that social distancing should more aptly be called physical distancing — because those practicing it can still be social. As bars temporarily shut down to prevent potential virus transmission, virtual cocktail parties and happy hours are taking off.
Physical distancing also does not mean cultural deprivation. Many of the world’s museums, including the British Museum in London, the Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Louvre in Paris, offer virtual online tours. It is now even possible for you to ask your guide questions and receive answers in real time as you tour.
We need to be empathetic to the impact on workers and students who will be forced to work and learn differently while continuing to meet social needs despite physical separation. At the time of publication, mandated quarantine and isolations are limited to specific regions where the concentration of COVID-19 cases are the highest. But already, a trend is emerging in higher education to shift to online courses for the remainder of the school year. Schools moving to online learning has increased, and the list is expected to grow.
Some recent changes, like greater workplace flexibility toward remote work and improved accessibility of tele health services, may prove enduring. This is an inflection point, and we’re going to look back and realize this is where it all changes. Remember that patience is a virtue. “Don’t panic!” And as always, be sure to consult your company or school’s IT department for guidance on how to stay efficient while working from home remotely.
It is clear that the pandemic has pushed humanity to use technology in innovative new ways, and that technology has made severe social distancing measures much more bearable. The new social distancing developments will have a lasting effect long after the coronavirus has been contained. We expect to grow as individuals and we anticipate this experience will result in adapting “the new normal.”