The future is changing in front of us. We know that things will never be the same due to the impact of Covid 19 Pandemic. Here are some things I believe will happen.
The immediate impact is obvious. We have had to rethink some of our most normal routines due to Covid 19 Pandemic. Even simple morning routines of going out to buy bread has become a tedious task. Washing hands and faces consistently. Making sure the clothes that we wear outside do not mingle with the ones we wear at home. In fact, everything that we take outside now has a different place in the house or is thoroughly disinfected before we let it in.
Hygiene will Drive Products and Lifestyles
Hygiene has become a high priority word in our lives. It is obvious that companies manufacturing hygiene products are going to gain market share. Masks, gloves, sanitizers and hand washes are the need of the hour. Antiseptic liquids for baths are catching on and social distancing is being strictly followed.
Let’s meet online
The one place that is easy to meet without problems of physical contact is video conferencing. In fact, thanks to the ‘work-from-home’ rule adopted by many companies, people are using online meeting apps regularly. Although these apps have been existing for quite some time now, their usage skyrocketed in the past few months. Google and Microsoft also announced better avatars of their existing apps to meet the demand.
Telecom companies have launched special work-from-home data packs to help people use more data for such purposes. Relatives and friends are now frequently using the video conferencing to meet each other during quarantine.
Teachers are now teaching online. Some have quickly learned the use of video platforms like YouTube and presentation software to make their teaching methods even better. Some teachers are still struggling with basic features of the apps. Online education may become the new way of teaching as advocates of online learning come forward with the advantages of such a setup. Although parents are uncomfortable about this new way of teaching since they have to now take care of systems and phones along with all the other hassles related to school. Parents may be forced to adopt this way of learning since sending children to school seems even more scarier.
Start teaching online
Good teachers (some of whom have not been paid their salaries for quite sometime) should break the shackles of their jobs and become self employed professionals. If you are not already teaching online, now is a good time to start. It is time teachers took control of teaching rather than playing second fiddle to administrators. Teachers who are confident about their teaching skills should jump on the online band wagon and reach the most number of students who are in need of their expertise. They can teach one subject or all. To a privileged few or earn by teaching maximum students at a time from all over the world.
I have been an advocate of flipped classrooms in schools for a long time now and would love to see it being implemented. It gives teachers a lot more time to help weaker students in class. It also helps ease the load of books carried by children every day – an old complaint by parents which has not been addressed by the authorities.
AR and VR are still hanging around waiting to be used. They will make the learning experience of the students more realistic. These technologies will also help all students to have a virtual experience of various topics they have till date only read about in text books. Imagine if every student could actually participate in practical experiments or experience scientific and geographical phenomenon.
Economic advantages of online learning
Upskilling and competitive exams – which are really expensive becomes cheaper online. Since the use of infrastructure becomes minimum. At the same time traveling time and expenses are eliminated.
Travelling becomes easier
The other industry that has been badly affected by the virus is the travel industry. People are now afraid to get into a closed spaces with other people. So all kinds of travel, road, train and air travel has been impacted. Many countries have suspended air travel. However, whenever it opens the demand may not be as it was in pre-Covid times.
Here too I am looking forward to the help of technology to help travellers go to destinations.
There are two broad categories of travellers. One is the business traveller. And the other is the vacationer.
The business traveller is already coping with the meeting apps. He is attending conferences, speaking at meetings and to a large audience, while dictating his tasks to the virtual assistant.
By the way virtual assistants will also pick up demand. For the ones who don’t know who the virtual assistant is, let me briefly tell you about this position. This person helps another person remotely. He or she may act like a secretary and handle mail, while fixing appointments, booking tickets (including movie tickets) and taking phone calls on behalf of the client. It is a work-from-home situation.
Vacationers too can travel the world through technology. You’ll be surprised to know that there are already many operators offering virtual tours of exotic places that may not be accessible to the not so privileged. Travellers have always wanted to visit the less beaten pathways of the beautiful destinations around the world. Honestly, if presented correctly any destination can be beautiful. All tour operators out there should work on their local destinations and offer virtual tours and live webcams for a minimum fee. I am sure there’ll be many takers around the world.
Are you entertained?
Netflix, YouTube and other video sharing platforms have become good alternatives to movie theatres. The online entertainment industry has already increased manifold during this lockdown period. Those lockdown also presents an opportunity to talented artists to showcase their talent to millions of netizens waiting for new entertainment. The raging debate about nepotism in Bollywood had no place online where the audience decides who’s popular.
The food industry too already has its zomatos and swiggys for home delivery of piping hot food. The ecommerce industry has helped bring grocery to the doorstep already.