Technology takes center stage during pandemic

Published 9:19 am Wednesday, April 8, 2020

What did we ever do before there were computers, tablets, and cell phones?
Our daily lives have been altered by the COVID-19 pandemic. School has been dismissed, and college students are getting their classes online for the duration of the semester.
Also, as families have hunkered down due to stay-at-home guidelines, many have been forced to weather the uncertainty alone, leaving social media as their outlet to the outside world.
A vast range of consequences have dramatically altered the daily lives of citizens while the dire, unseen risk of infection remains ever present.
Schools and businesses were quick to embrace technology as the only avenue to keep schoolwork on course and workers on the job remotely. Nationally, 84 percent of households have broadband Internet access.
Not only have more Americans turned to the Internet to work remotely, they shop, stream entertainment, use social media to stay connected, and access to telemedicine. During this pandemic, more and more medical offices are seeing their patients online rather than in the office.
Even church services are being streamed over the Internet each Sunday and Wednesday. You can worship without leaving the confines of your home, and even in your PJs with a cup of coffee.
Researchers, businesses, and innovators around the world are putting technology to work to alleviate the effects of the global health crisis. From applications that collect data to track the spread of the virus to 3D printed ventilators for hospitals: these are some of the various technology projects rising to the occasion in the fight against coronavirus.
Technology is being used to measure the progression of the disease it causes (COVID-19), to ensure health care centers have access to the supplies they urgently need, and even to relieve some of the more difficult side effects of social distancing.
Video call applications have become essential tools for dealing with confinement and not losing contact with those beyond one’s four walls, especially for those who live alone.
Technology is being used both to help loved ones stay in touch with one another. The last few weeks have borne witness to an unleashing of creativity as users have organized concerts, workshops, virtual get togethers, birthday parties and even weddings, for which guests have received invitations with a link to a site where they can see the ceremony streamed.
This past weekend, there was a virtual Bristol NASCAR Race via the Internet.
COVID-19 has impacted every sector of the tech industry. The manufacture of products has been disrupted, workers have had to adapt, and tech services had to be re-engineered. Certainly, U.S. health workers who have been fighting the battle on the front lines, at great personal risk, are unquestionably today’s heroes. They are out there every day putting their lives on the lines.
One Greeneville medical doctor is now hospitalized and on a ventilator fighting for his life. Dr. Daniel Lewis, a former Hampton resident and graduate of Hampton High School, is now being treated for the coronavirus. Dr. Lewis, a graduate of the Quillen School of Medicine at ETSU, is chief medical officer at Greeneville Community Hospital East. Our community’s prayers go up for Dr. Lewis.
We are thankful for technology which has helped us to stay in touch and do our work while staying safe in the confines of our home during this pandemic….but once it is over, we’ll be glad to see students in school, people in church, chatting with folks at the grocery store, and enjoying lunch with friends at a local restaurant. Until then, stay safe.

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