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Impact of Covid-19 on Technology

[PHOTO/ COURTESY]

Technology is keeping cities afloat in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Since the outbreak of the covid-19 Virus in China in November 2019, many countries have been forced to effect lockdowns and minimal travel to curb the spread.

Currently, the number of people affected is at 468,644 while 21,191 have been reported dead.

Airports were shut down as airlines suspended travel between countries. The COVID-19 illness, which is highly contagious, has affected almost every aspect of our lives. In all these, technology has provided the best fall back plan in keeping things somewhat normal.

Read: How M-pesa and Other Cashless Transaction Mediums Are Helping in the Fight Against Covid-19

Millions of people have thronged on social media to keep up with their friends and relatives. Physical contact is hazardous but Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tiktok and other social media channels are helping people keep tabs on each other.

Whatsapp messages and Whatsapp groups are keeping communities going. The ability to chat, do live videos and call each other on messenger has helped many people ease off the loneliness that comes with isolation.

Facebook reported that they were feeling the strain on their systems especially with employees working from home for the first time.

Read: Airtel Kenya Partners with Longhorn Publishers to Offer FREE Internet Access for Students

Calls and messaging services on Facebook and Instagram have gone up by more than 50% in many countries and more than 1000% in Italy.

Apart from providing a reliable platform for their users, Facebook and Twitter have extra workload moderating content and avoiding misinformation about the novel Coronavirus.

Employees who are required to work from home use apps such as WhatsApp to communicate to their colleagues. Zoom is also a great tool for office meetings and skype and teleconferencing are still keeping many businesses afloat. With a common electronic system, cloud facilities and DropBox, people are getting their work done from home.

Restaurants, food suppliers and Supermarkets are increasingly relying on online shopping apps like Jumia to make their daily sales.

Read: Usiku Games Now Offers Kenya Gamers Free Access During Coronavirus Lockdown

Tuskys partnered with Sendy, a delivery company, to allow customers place their orders from home for delivery. Carrefour offers delivery to its clients using Jumia.

Many restaurants already signed up with Jumia Food and to avoid having many people gathered in their premises, are offering delivery services only.

A quick look into popular malls and you will notice the empty chairs and tables in their restaurants which might lead you to think that they are closed.

Deejays have also not been left out in the wave. Many are scheduling listening parties and their mix tapes online to keep the entertainment going.

Read: Connectivity a Bedrock for Riding the Fourth Industrial Revolution Wave

Popular Deejay Stylez of Codered recently treated fans to a live mix-session remotely.

When China was on lockdown in February, a couple of their Deejays played their music live and through the platforms, revelers could respond and see each other’s’ messages therefore giving a sense of ‘cloud partying’, as it has come to be called.

With lots of time in our hands, cooking is also a popular pass time and many people are turning to Cooking vlogs on YouTube and social media for recipes and to share their cooked meals.

Parents have also been presented with an unexpected responsibility of homeschooling their children. With all schools closed, no one wants their kids to lag behind. Besides, it is important to keep the little ones busy as they are not allowed to go out to play with their friends. Dealing with a bunch of restless kids is no mean fit. However, with a few online tools, you can keep them up to date with their studies.

Read: What You Need To Know About Securenet, Safaricom’s Home Fibre Antivirus

Renowned blogger Robert Alai recently shared a couple of online resources on his Twitter timeline such as google classroom, Scholastic, My Story Book, International Children’s Digital library and many others.

You can also get some virtual adventures for kids from Fun Brain, National Geographic for Kids, PBS Kids and Knowledge Adventure.  Airtel and Longhorn publishers have also partnered to provide an eLearning platform for users.

Churches have also not been left behind and as more people avoid social gatherings like weddings, funerals and chamas, churches are staying alive via social media. To help reduce the spread of Coronavirus, many churches decided to cancel their usual services in Church and instead requested their congregants to follow the services online. People can still listen to sermons and tithe or give their offering using M-Pesa.

Read: Multichoice Kenya to Upgrade DSTv and GOtv at No Extra Cost

Entertainment is also available online as you can ‘Netflix and Chill’, take virtual tours and stream your favourite movies and series online.

With all this options, Safaricom have doubled the speed for their internet connection during this period to help companies and individuals stay afloat.

Being online is certainly not an alternative to what could be achieved physically, but in this case, the effects could have been much worse if we were not able to substitute using the world wide web.

Email your news TIPS to [email protected] or WhatsApp +254708677607. You can also find us on Telegram through www.t.me/kahawatungu

Written by Vanessa Murrey

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