• Shaun Ting

Technology in the New Norm

The Covid-19 pandemic has drastically affected the way we live our lives and many of us have already gotten used to this new normal. It has truly demonstrated the importance of digital readiness in businesses and life, as we've witnessed many of the financial consequences caused.

GIF by @butler: https://gph.is/g/ZOkprrv

Throughout the past few months many of us have come to utilise food delivery, online shopping and video conferencing applications to get on with our lives despite the restrictions caused by the pandemic. Many businesses are struggling financially to the point of bankruptcy while many are emerging amidst the havoc.

In this article, we explore some of the technology being utilised during this time of crisis, how it's being used to combat the virus and how it has helped us get through the new norm of 'no-contact' systems.

Pandemic management and response

Governments have been utilising technology to collect data and track people's movement in order to minimize the spreading.

GIF by @playkids: https://gph.is/2PhPeHR

If you've been out grocery shopping lately you've probably had to scan a QR code to fill in your personal details followed by a temperature check before entering the store. Scanning the QR code directs you to a page where you enter personal details on a government-regulated website. This is called contact tracing. The government stores these logs in order to track your location and the time. In the case that an individual who tests positive for the virus was present at that location and time, a notification will be sent via SMS indicating that you have to self-isolate for 14 days due to being in the presence of a Covid-19 victim.

Oftentimes temperature checks are done before entering the store by an employee designated at the entrance with a thermometer in hand. However, in more crowded areas it can be difficult to efficiently get every person's temperature with such a tedious method, so thermal cameras are used instead. A giant television screen alongside a complex camera setup can have quite the hefty price tag though, so it can't be implemented everywhere.

In the case that you have been notified to self-isolate, you will most likely have to submit temperature declarations every day as well as download an app to constantly track your location (depending on the government's regulations). Having been through a stay-home notice myself, it's quite the pain having an app that tracks your location 24/7. But hey, you gotta do what you gotta do.

Technology Trends

Many of us have had to download a bunch of apps to help us cope with the pandemic. The idea of 'contactless' technology very quickly became a thing during the pandemic due to how easily the virus can spread by touch.

I don't know if it's just me, but I've been carrying far less cash lately because of the whole 'contactless' thing. Contactless payment technology is everywhere, and it's become such a convenient, hassle-free way of paying. E-wallets which involve scanning QR codes to pay are also becoming a thing, though the competition in the industry is pretty insane.

Not to mention the online shopping business has been booming. E-commerce has become such an important platform for many businesses during this period, it started off as nice-to-have but is now a must-have. I've found myself

The food delivery industry has been on the rise as well, with everyone trying to avoid large crowds and having their meals delivered at no additional effort. It's also created a massive amount of jobs to keep people going during these times.

Lastly, let's not forget the importance of video-conferencing tools in these times. Till today people are continuing the practice of working from home or attending classes through software like Zoom and Microsoft Teams. People often use apps like Discord and Skype to keep in touch with friends and family, in some cases overseas due to the closing of overseas travel borders.

I hope the article has helped you realise how much technology has played a part in getting us through the pandemic. Just imagine a time where a pandemic like this were to hit and we had no access to such technologies.

Oh man, what a nightmare.


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