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Technology and Lockdown

 

Author – Saranya Krishnan M

 

On January 1st, 2020, all of us turned over a new leaf and we were accoutred with our New Year resolutions. None of us would have expected a sea change by March. The Covid-19 pandemic has driven the world into a catastrophic mode. This has made a colossal influence on our life. Many people are working from home or unable to work and some are under isolation. All and sundry should be social distancing. This has necessitated the citizens and denizens, government and organizations to adapt as best they can that we may continue in the face of enormous social and economic disturbances.

One of the salient threads in the adaptation story is the role of technology. Amid all trials and tribulations, there is also a room to manoeuver: to modernize and harness the power of technology to make greater strides. Needless to say, many things cannot be shifted online. For some roles, there will be no fill in to continue on-site work, other than increased social distancing and PPE. But in other cases, it may be possible to shift some services online, particularly in health and education and work.

If we have a butcher’s at the trends that have sprung up, the adoption curve of telemedicine had shown a sharp rise As direct medical care has been snowed under Covid-19 crisis, self-assessment triage with personalized information and guidance have become essential for health-care delivery. As fitness centres are shut down many people are unable to stick with their fitness quotidian. This has enkindled at-home workouts and online fitness classes. Mental health wellness, especially at this time, is paramount. Many people have been turning to online resources for mental health. Meditation and mindfulness apps have mushroomed in downloads since the lockdown.

Closing all educational institutions is a necessary step of lockdown. But technology helps to provide a broader spectrum of educational experiences to students who are confined to their homes. Now that smart devices and fast connections are more common, video calls and interactive classrooms allow teachers to maintain several of these elements even if they are less organic. If any time is the best time to refashion the school curriculum for the better, this time has given us the thrust and thesis taking away any excuses built on a narrative that ‘we have always tagged along with this method and this is how it has to be’.

If we take the case of working professionals, many have switched to remote working during the lockdown. This has increased the use of video conferencing and other workplace tools like Microsoft Teams etc. The question now is will work ever be the same? The next few months will be a significant experimental period of which the outcomes will decide whether technology can enable mass remote working for employees successful. Out with the old, in with the new. People who were uncomfortable working from home had now blown away the cobwebs. Managers who didn’t think they could manage teams beyond the black stump now have a fresh perspective. So, on the grounds of the recent work pattern shift, I don’t think we will go back. We may see a trend in more companies bringing into play their official app to connect and engage employees, even after the Covid-19 crisis.

All those who have been turning a deaf ear to the importance of technology till now must have climbed down since the lockdown hit. In this tough spell, technology is a lifeboat. Be it a working professional, a student, or anyone for that matter, technology has impacted their lives to the extent that they cannot gainsay its importance in making lockdown endurable.

The Covid-19 crisis has bespoken the importance of technology in the bind. I believe without a shadow of doubt that technology is a stratum to erase friction from our day to day routine.

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Saranya Krishnan M

Author
Sree Chitra Thirunal College of Engineering,Thiruvananthapuram

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