The Role of Technology in This Pandemic

Written by Nivedita Singh
Edited by Vijay Suryavanshi and Amy Gregory

Photo by Mohammad Shahhosseini on Unsplash

The role of technology in this pandemic.

It’s been nearly fourteen months since the first case of Coronavirus was confirmed in a city in China that most of us would not have had on our bucket lists. Very quickly, the world learnt where Wuhan was located, the industries it supported, the Hubei province it was a part of. Almost immediately, Wuhan had a place on the map, just not for the right reasons.

I say ‘very quickly’ because what made this rapid flow of information possible was our phones, laptops and the internet which allow seamless communication (but also misinformation) on a global scale.

Despite social media regulations in China banning the spread of information, the Coronavirus news found its way onto Twitter, as well as into the living rooms of families around the world. The world had now had its first sniff of COVID-19 and the internet exploded. It exploded with questions, possible explanations, accusations, fear and the rawest kind of panic.

It is said that sometimes the things we cannot change end up changing us. This pandemic has tested us on multiple levels and the world has never been more distanced and yet more connected at the same time.

Before this pandemic ensued, I recall feeling that we had reached a point of over-reliance on technology. Of abuse more than use. But today, I’d vote differently. Access to social media and phones has made this pandemic a shared experience.

The world is going through different stages of, what I can only call, “Covid Grief”. With some places and countries dealing with it later, slower, better, harder, faster than others. We are constantly comparing, competing, sharing and most importantly, learning from one another.

How has technology helped?

While the last few months have been dark and tragic, we, as a society, have had a loud voice. Globally, governments’ decisions have been challenged, explanations sought, small businesses supported, communities uplifted and stories heard. The internet has allowed us to reach out, seek help, request donations, support hospitals, mobilise protective equipment, donate food and, in a small way, share the wealth.

As we get better at switching from tangible experiences to virtual ones, there is something to be thankful for. It is difficult to overlook and under-appreciate the empowerment and happiness technology has brought to lonely homes across the world, to vulnerable individuals, to cancer patients, to care homes and to separated families.

Citizens from countries with diverse circumstances and challenges have had visibility into one another’s homes, infrastructures, healthcare systems and hospitals. Some have walked away counting their blessings while others have been made to question the very foundations of their political systems and the value they attach to people’s lives, health and occupations.

Let's use our tools for the best!

Regardless of what brought us here, we’re going to be here for a while. Perhaps, even be here again.

One of the things FightPandemics does is bring us together through the power of technology and people to make a positive difference. It provides a platform that has the ability to connect people who need help with those who offer it, rapidly and effectively.

We have large and veritable amounts of information today.

This is not a national or regional problem. In an almost ironic and refreshing way, the world has more in common now than it has for a while.

The potential of our phones and technology is immense. Let’s use this time and our tools wisely, and allow this pandemic to change us for the better if it must.

If you require help or know somebody that might check out our platform, available in over 20 languages: https://fightpandemics.com/.

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