COVID-19 or Corona Virus Disease is certainly the most terrifying term of 2020. All of us are having enough knowledge about this topic but let’s try to discover lesser-known facts about coronavirus. A coronavirus is a large group of RNA viruses causing illness which is directly associated with the respiratory tract. The infection could be as minute as a common cold to chronic health disorders such as COVID-19, middle east respiratory syndrome, and severe acute respiratory syndrome abbreviated as MERS and SARS respectively.
Without any further ado, let’s jump onto a few of the facts-
- It is popular speculation that coronavirus is a new virus and has been discovered recently in the Wuhan lab of China, but it isn’t true. Coronavirus which causes diseases in humans has been discovered in some 1960s, despite that fact, its existence was firstly evidenced in chickens in the 1930s.
- HCoV-OC43, HCoV-HKUI, and HCoV-NL63 are few of the variety of coronaviruses causing common cold.
- MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2 are the human coronaviruses causing SARS. Its outbreak was observed in 2003 which triggered infection in over 8k people and 10 percent of the infected population was dead.
- The next attack of coronavirus on the human race was in Sept 2012 resulting in the first few cases of human to human transmission of the virus. Initially, it was termed as novel coronavirus 2012 but later ameliorated to MERS-CoV as this caused MERS.
- Finally, the outbreak of 2019 is the one we are suffering through. WHO named it as 2019-nCoV, post which the international committee on taxonomy of viruses renamed it as SARS-CoV2.
The hardships of 2019 outbreak aren’t over yet, we’re here to discuss how technology is helping us by untangling our tangled everyday tasks:-
We can’t stress enough that technology is dominating our generation. There are several pros and cons to it. Firstly, we will be conversing about the pros offered by technology and finally, the cons are to be stated briefly.
We know that coronavirus is an immensely contagious disease. Therefore, to minimize the outspread of it we have to ensure minimal contact with people. Nonetheless, we can’t afford to interrupt our daily activities making our lives still. To this spot, the screenplay of technology begins to make our jobs much lighter and convenient.
- Digital payments– This facility is not exclusive for this time of the pandemic, its pre-existing and has worked as a saviour in those busy days, to avoid long queues and any sort of hassles. Through digital payment methods, there’s less possibility of getting in contact with the virus thus blocking a route (via notes and coins) of the spread of the disease. Also, we witnessed PM cares fund in India where donations were made easier through digital payment options. Its efficiency and quick access make it a very good option to consider for any sort of payment.
- Online shopping– The entire population is known of the risks involved in going to the marketplace. Thus, it becomes a preferable recourse, as it is a safer option to contemplate. It could be even better when service providers implement robust logistics systems. Online shopping is a bliss, which is being used thoroughly by masses during the quarantine.
- Distance learning– Lockdown has stopped people from stepping out, be it staff, employees, or students. Another time technology made it possible to sit at home and perform our duties. Especially for the students, as it prevents studies or exams being disrupted or delayed due to the epidemic. Online classes and tests are possible with the help of several apps and features present in our phones and laptops.
- Online entertainment– Life becomes monotonous and a lot more boring when you’re staying at the same place and doing regular stuff, which also leads to depression or anxiety. To prevent that from happening, entertainment becomes a necessity for every age group. Apps like Netflix or Amazon prime provide plenty of useful content with entertainment. Not only that, but you can also easily access the news and everything happening around you by simply googling it.
- Telehealth– Physically going to a healthcare expert in the present-day scenario, could be a threat, so telecommunication is a better alternative in case you need any sort of help regarding your health. Apart from that, apps like Aarogya Setu have been designed to keep a track of people’s health and make them aware of the chances of infection in their area.
- Research– From the emergence of the outbreak, scientists and researchers are exerting their hundred percent to find a vaccine. The machines in the laboratory are a product of technology which makes it a little easier for them to experiment and progress rapidly in manufacturing medicines. Not only the research, construction of 3D models of the virus, and tracing its mutations are the tasks done by researches aided with technology resulting in less time consumption and more accuracy.
- Manufacture of medicines– Due to escalating demand for medicines, sanitizers, PPE kits, testing kits; it can be a stressful situation for the manufacturers. Luckily, due to the variety of machines, it’s made possible to produce more and more safety equipment in the least time.
- Bots working in hospitals– Time and again we are talking about the contagious nature of the disease and about maintaining distance, but doctors and staff are working around patients and serving our welfare are having a higher risk of infection. If we start using bots to deliver medicines and supplements to the patients, we will be able to curtail the risk of infection in doctors and healthcare workers. Nothing is quintessential in this flawed world! Thus, it’s not a surprise to note that technology offers benefits along with some drawbacks.
- It’s not a good idea to generalize our statements in this diverse world. Everyone is not fortunate enough to be in desirable circumstances, thus everyone is not benefited from the above stuff.
- Poor cannot access the benefits of distance learning, digital payments, online shopping, online entertainment, telehealth, etc.
- There are risks and likeliness of frauds involved in digital payments.
- Risks of data-stealing if you’re using unauthorized apps.
- Contemporarily, there’s not a single shopping site in India which provides delivery of goods through robots.
- Poor network leading to poor internet service.
We are very much aware that the picture of the world seen today is horrifying as a nightmare. We are no novice of the precautions and the conditions that may prevail if we do not take them. The times are tough and so should be our determination to get through these times. Doctors, Policemen, Research Scientists, Government, WHO, other Corona Warriors, and Technology are combining their efforts to restore the peace that we had lost. It’s time we get over all other trifles and stand together with them to defeat the terror spread by COVID-19.
I hope you found it relatable and helpful, till then stay tuned for the upcoming ones!!
About the Author:
Akankshya Dash is a student of IIIT Bhubaneswar. She is currently the Head of Public Relations and a Content Stimulator at Qualki. She is a Machine Learning enthusiast and continues to be intrigued by the explorations of the Tech World.