To flatten the spread of the novel Corona virus, many Governments have had to impose varying forms of a lockdown. This has meant a closure of offices, cancelling of conferences, postponement of international games, the takeaway of gym time and the daily bustling of commuting to work. The global and personal impact of the lockdown is endless. With the level of global effort and attention being given Covid-19, we are all hopeful this too shall pass and those living through it will be memorialising and recounting the experience.
In the wake of this global pandemic, most professionals are working remotely from their homes. Access to internet has made it possible for colleagues to use Skype, Teams, Zoom and divest communication platforms and technologies to have online meeting and keep businesses moving. Investors are continuing to pitch continental and national deals.
I am most certain we are all witnesses to how players of the academic community have adjusted to the times. Without the typical classroom setting, many lecturers, researchers and students are heavily depending on the internet to access the opportunities an e-world offers in continuing their academic works and e-learning remotely.
Families and households are also using the internet for online entertainment i.e. Netflix, gaming etc. The pandemic has boosted e-commerce and enriched online shopping. I have touched my phone uncountably today. With the imposition of a lockdown in many nations worldwide, there is an increased reliance on social media to maintain communications with family and friends across the globe. The exchange of information on WhatsApp, Facebook, IG, Twitter, YouTube etc is enormous. Our lives are inextricably tied to the convenience afforded at our finger tips.
Again, the internet has made it possible for churches and individuals to exercise their freedom of worship through a virtual congregation service and fellowships. Churches are adhering to directives to suspend gatherings to mitigate the spread of the corona virus through social distancing and self-isolation principles.
It is a given, the world will not come out the same; an aftermath of this pandemic will translate to a change in our lives. An improved internet connectivity will have to feature as one of the relics of COVID -19. Like water, food and light, access to the internet is fast rising to becoming one of the modern life essential that one cannot simply live without.
One of the few questions that will linger on with us in our efforts to building a more agile economy is what roles and infrastructures are Government and Telecommunication companies putting in place to hasten the digitalisation process of economies? Should accessibility to internet connectivity be added to the list of fundamental life essentials for citizens?
It is my hope that the uncertainties of the times and above questions will sharpen policies in the Telecommunicating space.
Source: Joseph Agrah