Currently, the coronavirus known as COVID-19 is spreading rapidly across the globe and creating a significant public health crisis, especially in China, Italy, and the United States. Every possible countermeasure is being taken, from donating supplies to hospitals to social distancing and fostering morale-boosting communication across the Internet. What does this mean for you? There are many ways you can cope with the current health crisis whole in quarantine, and that includes not only washing your hands and staying home when sick but also using internet technology productively. Such modern technology can help you do anything, from consult doctors with live video to medical cannabis delivery and buying items online, and this can make the COVID-19 pandemic that much easier to endure. Such technology was totally absent during the deadly Spanish Flu of 1918, but now, with medical and communication technology all over, COVID-19 might be contained much more effectively than pandemics of times past.
Internet technology has come a long way in just 20 years, and while the internet is popular for entertainment and social media, it is also highly educational and can play a major role in anyone’s college career or business. Such technology is a natural fit for a college student, who can apply for loans, enroll in classes, email their professors, and of course, take classes online. They can download resources, complete tests, submit essays, and more, and during the COVID-19 epidemic, more students than ever can make use of this technology. Even before this health crisis, many students opted to take virtual classes, and now, virtual classes may be the go-to option for the foreseeable future.
Today’s young adults, mainly the Millennials (born 1982-1995) and those of Generation Z (1996-2010) grew up with the Internet, and using it for college has been an option for them ever since they graduated high school. Often, we consider adulthood as starting around age 20 or 21, and many college students are indeed that age. It may be risky to go to a crowded campus and sit in an equally crowded lecture hall for two hours, but students can stay in their dorms, apartments, or parents’ homes and continue their education safely. Nearly all colleges today provide online courses, and indeed, some of them are entirely digital (the students rarely, if ever, go the campus in person).
But it’s not just the young adults who can make use of this technology. Older adults, such as those looking up how to start a business or get into manufacturing (like joining a solar company) can take classes at their leisure, and learn a lot. No one is “too old” to take college courses, and older students may get ahead in their careers with their reinforced knowledge. In fact, some older citizens take college courses simply for personal enrichment benefits, and they can learn something along the way. In short, don’t just spend the entire quarantine browsing celebrity Instagram accounts; why not learn something new? This can give you an edge when the health crisis is over and businesses get back on their feet.
The Internet and Healthcare
Doctors, nurses, and other health professionals are on the front lines against COVID-19, and they are at risk more than anyone else as they deal with this challenge. Where does your own healthcare fit into that? Even if you are not sick (with COVID-19 or otherwise), don’t neglect your basic health needs during this time. Your dental health does not need to suffer because of the pandemic; after all, you have enough to worry about without a cavity or a toothache keeping you up at night. But should you risk going to a dentist’s office for exams and implants? For the most part, yes, you can and should visit your dentist, family dentist, or orthodontist for routine care like usual. The difference is that your dentist’s hours might be affected, so you ought to call your dentist and reschedule your appointments if need be. And make sure that you only spend the minimum time needed at the dentist’s office; try to arrive right on time, and avoid spending time waiting in the front lobby. This is especially true if you are ill.
Doctors and internet technology combine in another interesting way: telemedicine. What is that? This is a young but popular field that is growing rapidly, and it makes good use of video chat apps and Cloud data storage so a patient can consult a doctor without even having to leave home. Ordinarily, this is done when a patient has no transportation to a doctor’s office or clinic, or if the clinic is too busy. Right now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, most people (that may include you) definitely don’t want to sit in a room packed with sick people, so remote medicine is a stronger option in many cases. You can look online for “virtual doctors near me” and specify your city or town, and meet with a doctor on your screen. That doctor may use Cloud data storage to access your medical records for reference, too, and with the video and audio, you can show the doctor your symptoms and talk with them. Some of these doctors may be available at times when regular doctor’s offices are closed (such as 3:00 AM or so).
Internet Technology and Business
It might be faster to list the ways in which internet technology hasn’t affected the business world. To maintain a competitive edge, businesses big and small (and in nearly every sector) have warmly embraced internet technology, often in creative ways. This ranges from digital marketing and SEO to finding consulting services to ordering materials for manufacturing custom swim shirts, not to mention Cloud data storage. In fact, many business phones are combined with the internet, too. Online, a business owner can refinance loans for their company or inventory, as well as hire purchasing agents and hire independent contractors for work. The possibilities are endless.
What does this mean for you? It is strongly recommended that you live in a partial or complete quarantine, and if you are a white-collar business worker, then a quarantine may have a fairly limited impact on your work. Actually, in some ways, working like this will benefit you, not slow you down. The concept of remote work is much older than the current health crisis, and thanks to internet technology, many office workers were already embracing the idea of working from home, so long as they had a solid internet connection and a working phone.
With or without a quarantine for COVID-19, why should a worker such as you try working from home? One benefit is the elimination of commuting, which cuts down on auto emissions, eliminates the risk of an auto accident, and most of all saves you a great deal of time. You can use that time for the work itself instead, and your boss will certainly like your bolstered productivity. But that’s not all. An office can be a noisy, cluttered, and somewhat dirty place, and many offices have dirty carpets that emit VOCs or dirty air ducts that circulate germs, pollen, and dust all over the place. Offices often have poor air quality, but you can avoid that when you work remotely in your residence. Besides, offices tend to be noisy places, and this will distract you and make you more anxious, too. Worse yet, when on the phone, you and the other party may have trouble hearing each other properly with all that racket in the office, leading to poor customer service. Working at home means having a perfectly quiet environment.
While working remotely, you will miss very little. With your PC and phone, along with any necessary papers, you can perform many or all of the tasks that you would in the office, and you can use email and Cloud data storage to send and receive files as needed. Most companies today have both a data center and a Cloud storage account, and combine them so any employee in any location can access and share files to anyone else. And most laptops also come with video chat cameras and microphones, allowing you to chat live with just about anyone and have a virtual presence in meetings.
Many users of the Internet are freelance workers who do not have a traditional office to commute to anyway, so a COVID-19 quarantine has practically no effect on their working lives at all. Who are these people? More than ever, many web designers, SEO experts, and content creators are freelancers who are not on a company’s formal payroll. Instead, these workers can be contracted to perform work for a business client, and rarely if ever will the two parties come face to face. In other cases, such workers are part of a digital marketing firm whose employees are all remote and never meet in person. Often, these firms are hired by business clients to design websites, create keyword-dense content for SEO purposes, create programs, and content creation ranging from pop-culture news to video editing to social media profile work. Many businesses make use of social media accounts to share messages and advertisements with their customers and general consumers, and this internet technology is now a major part of any brand’s broader marketing campaign. With social media profiles on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and the like, brands can also post surveys or polls and quickly respond to customer questions or comments. Many surveyed consumers say that they like it when a brand promptly answers their question this way. So, freelance content creators can continue their work uninterrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and their business clients will certainly appreciate it.
The Internet and Entertainment
Many people’s default use of the internet is for entertainment, and the possibilities are quite varied. Sometimes, internet technology can be entertaining or informative through interaction with other people, and other times, a user can view content all on their own. Social media can help keep people together and keep their morale up during the current health crisis, from live video chat to uplifting Instagram or Twitter posts to text messages and FaceTime or related apps. This is a big crowd; already, social media platforms are used by 33% of the entire world’s population, and 67% of internet users are using social media as well. Now, more than ever, social media can do some good for the people, and that includes you.
How else can the internet entertain, motivate, and inspire you? Forums are another good call, and there are forums for just about any topic you can think of, from exercise and weight lifting to sports, classic cars and car restoration, trading card games, pets, every music genre, and many pop culture franchises. Many internet users take part in these forums as a matter of course, and now, during the quarantine, these forums can help you be a part of a community more than ever, and stay connected to other people who share your interests and hobbies. If you are not already part of these forums, now is a great time to join one, with searches such as “forums for classic movies” to “forums about dog care” or “forums about Star Trek.” You may surprise yourself to see how many other people share even the most obscure interests or hobbies as you, and internet technology will bring you together with them. You can learn and share all kinds of ideas.
The internet can also entertain you in other ways, such as video streaming services of all kinds. Many of these services are available on multiple platforms, from PC and Mac to mobile devices, tablet computers, and even video game consoles, so long as it’s plugged into a TV. Just be aware of how much money you are spending on the subscriptions for these video streaming services, and make sure that you have enough room in your budget for them. You can also watch all kinds of educational programs and documentaries this way, which can keep the whole family occupied for hours, and prompt some deeper thought and discussions. Many YouTube channels can also provide entertainment on certain topics (and don’t cost anything), and for your young children, there is a YouTube for kids out there, too. You can also find and submit poetry and short story fiction online as well. Why not tap into your creative side and share that story you’ve always meant to write, and entertain other people who are stuck at home?
The COVID-19 virus is dangerous and spreading fast, and the countermeasures are greatly affecting businesses and people’s lives in all sorts of ways. But you can make the most of it via internet technology, so you can continue to work, learn, and be entertained all day long without even leaving your residence. This is the time to be optimistic and proactive, and do a little self-improvement while you’re quarantined in your residence.