The destiny of the world took an above turn by May 2020 due to the global pandemic. Almost all countries were experiencing the threatening impact of Covid-19 and it was inevitable to build a shield by closing down the world. Things were changing at a rigorous pace and it was imperative that we catch up. The world was no longer the free stage where any play could be put up. Very soon we went from shaking hands to knocking elbows, adding masks and hand sanitizers to the essentials list. And more importantly, social distancing, lockdowns, and self-isolations became the norms of the day. For a society that thrived largely on social interactions and community culture, being cut off from the social core is an impediment. However, one thing humans are good at is adapting to challenging situations. And adapt, we did. In the best way possible.
The Digital Alternative
Technology had a major role to play in the pre-pandemic world. However, post-pandemic, technology moved from being a choice to a necessity. Because after all, man is a social animal, and being cut off from this basic framework is a hard pill to swallow. This is where technology comes in wearing the savior’s cloak. As we began adjusting to the new normal, a digital alternative for rebuilding life came forth. Virtual spaces became the most happening spaces, with offices and classrooms being reduced to a computer screen. Not just that, retaining social activities is not the only benefit of technology, rather it has also proved to be an absolute blessing that works as an effective weapon in the fight against the pandemic. Because sharpness and accuracy are two traits that can be of immense help while facing an almost invisible enemy.
Augmented Reality and Changing Realities
It is rightly said that “adversity is the mother of all invention.” The adversity of a magnitude like the pandemic will definitely push boundaries for exploring better domains of innovation and survival. Perhaps that is the one reason why AR and VR which were predominantly associated with gaming and entertainment started to exhibit a new potential of building a picture that is as close to reality as possible. Because certain fields like engineering and medicine require the understanding of subtleties and details. In short, these fields cannot move forward without a practical understanding.
One good example of such an innovation is the Microsoft Hololens that offered better alternatives to connect with the world around even in the midst of a raging pandemic. Innovation is a step away from determination and as long as we have that intact, not even a travesty like Covid-19 can stop the world from moving forward.
Safety, protection, and precaution have become codewords of the present situation. Working from home, away from the risks and threats of social contact is the most ideal option in the present context. However, it cannot be forgotten that despite the pandemic, the world and time are still moving at their usual pace. And sometimes, situations present themselves that demand us to break away from our safety bubble. For instance, there are times when travel becomes unavoidable. Technology comes in handy in these situations by reducing personal contact as much as possible. One way this is done is through electronic documentation of visas and passports, thus reducing physical contact, thereby ensuring a certain level of safety.
A Useful Weapon Against Covid
Experiments are being carried out to refine the technology to the point where it accurately predicts the potential for infections thus helping people to take precautions and be prepared in advance. Because a battle well prepared and planned is a battle half won.
Researchers at Standford Medicine are putting their heads together to develop a technology where wearable devices can be used to facilitate the detection and prediction of infection with the help of data sent to the cloud. Another effort is being made by a collaboration between Fitbit and Scripps Research where the researchers have proposed the idea of using a smartwatch to keep track of the heartbeat rate and skin temperature, thereby helping in the identification of symptoms that someone is battling the virus.
Another way in which technology proves to be a good weapon in the covid fighting arsenal is by assisting in the tracking of the spread of the pandemic, thereby helping to control the same. One example of this is the Aarogya Setu.
Bringing The Future Closer
Technology was always in the process of evolution, with better advancements coming in every now and then. However, with the pandemic, that evolution has received a boost as experiments are being conducted at a rigorous pace to explore better alternatives for the things that have been limited by the pandemic. Robotics, for instance, has gained momentum in recent days. With the surge of cases, the healthcare field is in desperate need of more hands to cater to the multiple needs of patients and to carry out crucial activities. Remote-controlled robots being used for the collection of mouth swabs and various other activities are preparing the setting for a time when machines and humans will work side by side, blending together the advantageous points of both, thus ensuring effectiveness and efficiency.
In addition to the health field, robotics is also proving to be of immense help in carrying out food and medicine deliveries, keeping track of the population, etc. thus adding efficiency and prudent innovation to the equation.
On a final note, it can be said that technology has been of immense help in facing the crisis at hand with a better set of weapons. Adjusting to the new normal can be quite challenging initially. However, what we must keep in mind is the very famous quote that “change is the only constant.” Resisting this change will only put us in a stagnant position which is why it is important to understand the boon that technology is. Because the world will keep on moving and sometimes we will have to change our running shoes and upgrade them to catch up with the challenging pace.