As the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic rolls on people have found it difficult to stay connected. With governments worldwide insisting on social distancing to control the spread of the virus, people have been left immobilized and caged.
Coronavirus or the so-called COVID-19 originated in Wuhan, China in December last year. Within a span of 3 months the virus has affected over 170 countries. More than 340,000 infections have been confirmed worldwide. And the death toll has crossed 15,000.
Amongst the Western Countries, Italy has been devastated. It has reported over 59,000 cases out of which close to 5,500 people have died. The worst part is that the virus is spreading exponentially and is overwhelming the health-care system. Doctors have had to make choices who should get the ventilator.
A great number of people have been stranded in countries affected by the virus. Travel bans are put in place to control the situation. Families have partially been separated. And employees are dependent on technology for utilizing the work from home option.
In these troubled times, technology is assisting to maintain some sort of normalcy in the state of affairs. Of course, this is limited to only the privileged.
Classes have been conducted over gaming platforms like Discord. Some have tried to use the option of Google Hangout as well. More recent platforms like Zoom which provide video conferencing has aided the office employees to work from a remote destination. Likewise Slack is another good option to keep the office running.
Microsoft is providing Teams free to individuals as well as office organizations as part of its commitment during COVID-19. Teams can easily be downloaded and used if one has an email-id. For IT professionals who work in teams Teams come as a part of free Office 365 E1, and the offer remains for 6 months.
To help the education sector and set up classes and administration Teams is available on Office 365 A1. And then, there are great stories from individuals who have expressed their gratitude to technology for helping them stay in touch with their loved ones.
An anonymous Reddit user thanked Microsoft and the Skype team for keeping Italy connected during the quarantine. The user claims that he uses Skype daily to see his family and for his work. He is a private tutor. The availability of free communication apps like Skype (replaced by Teams) and the above-mentioned apps is to be commended.
As each passing day seems to grow more difficult technology has proved its usefulness and advantages in hard times. With health-workers giving their all and world-wide governments trying their best to control the situation let's hope we remain connected in this endeavor. Technology is there to help and assist, as it was meant to be.