Was Social Media preparing us for Covid-19 all along?
Who could have thought in his wildest imagination that all humanity could one day stay indoors worldwide; Even if it was for a day?
The story of the year 2020 cannot be complete in history without the mention of the novel Corona Virus. The world came to a standstill and everything seems to be on a temporary halt.
In December 2019, the world woke up to a new kind of unknown virus in Wuhan, China. Laboratory investigations later identified and subsequently named the ailment as Corona Virus Disease 2019 (abbreviated as COVID-19). It is assessed as an infectious disease, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus. The virus which is almost entirely driven by human-to-human transmission soon spread across the world with unprecedented speed and catastrophic effects.
With knowledge of previous similar ailments, specialists worked out preventive behaviors in a bid to curb the virus and safeguard society. Containment measures included regular hand wash; using alcohol-based hand sanitizer, avoiding crowded places, and maintaining good respiratory hygiene, wearing masks, and staying home among others.
The most significant of the measures is that of staying home; this was aimed at isolating the virus and stopping its transmission, but the impact on humanity was phenomenal.
Staying indoors was enforced by authorities in almost all the countries of the world and there was little or no difference between weekdays and weekends, as all social activities came to a halt.
social media to the rescue
As all were locked indoors, acting as if a monster was lurking outside to devour, human activities gradually shifted to the virtual world. Social media became the only source of interaction among peers, neighbors, colleagues, and the general public.
Activities such as fundraising for the vulnerable and many other human endeavors were done online due to the social distancing and lockdown measures. The lack of physical interaction also brought with it, down moments, as individuals and the globe, unfortunately, recorded some suicide out of the depression caused by the moment.
The only consolation the world had was the several social networking platforms that at least made communication possible and enabled people to understand what was happening next door, next town, or next country.
Television and Print media were always adjudged to be manipulating tools of the authorities, but social media was that “in-person” guy that allowed us to know the real situation of things as they are.
Social media was individualistic in nature and during the lockdown, it literally became the virtual version of most individuals in the world. For the first time since the introduction of social media around 1997, real-life and social media handles became one and the same.
Who knows, if social media was non-existent, the mandatory lockdown and physical distancing would have had a more devastating psychological effect than its good intention to humanity.
The world economy also would have been in worse shape than the present situation because the corporate world was not left out in adopting social media to fill the gap created by the lockdown measures.
We are grateful to have prepared for this new normal without knowing it; all thanks to the social media networks.
Without social media, even the traditional print and electronic media wouldn’t have any information to feed us during those critical moments.
All thanks to social media and the brains behind its existence, Covid 19 lockdown could have been worse.