Tech in the Time of Corona

How exactly will the coronavirus be stopped? Can it be stopped in the first place? According to developing news, the vaccine for it will not be available until a year from now. The effectiveness of people being quarantined and told to stay at home can only do so much, as people positive for the virus may not be fully known until all persons under investigation or monitoring cannot be tested for it. As it is now, there is a worldwide shortage of test kits that determine who has the virus. So, it seems that it may realty take a while before this virus becomes less of a problem for the entire world.

Thank god for science and technology, though as they may have some fixes to help with the current efforts. They may not yet be perfect solutions that will eliminate the problem in one clear swoop, but they can at least make what is being done now more effectively.

Can tracking apps prove useful?  

Tracking apps may as well be an effective tool to contain the coronavirus outbreak, as it aids an approach called contact tracing. The idea of contract tracing is that all people with the app are tracked, so when someone tests positive for the virus, it would be easier to identify everyone else who he or she has been in close contact with, so those people can be tested for the virus as well. Tracking apps have been reported to be successful in Singapore and the government has now made the code open source so that other countries may use it. Of course, apps can also be a one-stop-shop in terms of its being a source of information about the virus. In fact, app developers have been working overtime to make their expertise usable in solving this pandemic.

Three researchers at the University of Oxford want to build an app to serve as a control center for coping with the coronavirus. The app could do everything from sharing information about the coronavirus to tracking contact with other people to testing and even food delivery.

(Via: https://www.techrepublic.com/article/scientists-suggest-governments-build-a-mobile-tracking-app-to-trace-people-exposed-to-coronavirus/)

 

 The potential of social media

Another tech advancement that may already be in use to track people with COVID19 is social media. Research groups in Italy, which has now eclipsed China in new cases of COVID19 in the past days, are looking into tracking social media posts to find out people who have been in contact with COVID19 positive patients and who have violated stringent lockdown policies in the country.

Your posts on social media have been harvested for advertising. They’ve been taken to build up a massive facial recognition database. Now that same data could be used by companies and governments to help maintain quarantines during the coronavirus outbreak.

(Via: https://www.cnet.com/news/governments-could-track-covid-19-lockdowns-through-social-media-posts/)

 

How about the kids?

One of the first things governments do in outbreaks such as this would be to close schools, as they are filled with kids who can easily transmit diseases. So, now that most, if not all schools are closed, what can they possibly do at home. Enter technology with a plethora of e-learning platforms parents may use so that they can still study in the comforts of their homes. Several companies have also made their platforms available, much to the delight of parents. For example, Amazon’s programming for kids, which used to be only available for a fee, can now be accessed for free for all Amazon account holders.

Amazon has lifted its Prime Video paywall for a select group of kids’ TV shows available on its streaming platform, with both original and acquired series now free for all users with or without a Prime subscription. (A free Amazon.com account is still required for viewing.) Titles include Amazon’s If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Pete the Cat, and Costume Quest, and PBS Kids shows such as Arthur and Caillou.

(Via: https://ew.com/tv/amazon-prime-video-kids-shows-free/)

 

WiFi is Everyone’s Best Friend

And now that everyone’s working from home, Wi-Fi is suddenly everyone’s most prized possession.  The importance of Wi-Fi is has skyrocketed so much that even governments are dispensing advice on how to keep internet speeds in top shape. On March 27, Ofcom, the UK’s telecoms watchdog provided the British public invaluable advice on how to make the most of their connections.

New guidance on wifi has been published as millions live and work in lockdown at home because of the coronavirus outbreak.

(Via: https://www.bridgwatermercury.co.uk/news/national/18333732.avoid-using-microwave-get-faster-internet—ofcom/)

 

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