We all have been experiencing the lockdown and things are not going to be the same anymore. People are going back to the usual routine and this is the new normal.
What are the things that have changed in our daily life because of the pandemic? What are the positives and negatives? Here’s an insight.
One important thing happening during the lockdown is that we live with our families. Most of us would have been studying or working away from our homes. For such people, lockdown is actually a boon because it gives a lot of family time.
In countries like India, many people work in private sectors, small scale industries and even for daily wages, where getting a fixed income is not possible. For such people lockdown is indeed a bane. They struggle to fulfil their basic needs and are facing a tough situation.
We have got time, to pause and think, which is a chance for new business opportunities and innovations, a chance to rediscover ourselves. But, some get the fear that they aren’t being productive, that they are lagging behind. And this itself, may give depression to the person. Also being at home for such a long time can cause anxiety to a few.
Health and hygiene are now prioritized which is a great positive through the pandemic.
The usage of internet has increased exponentially during this period. There are 264 million internet users in rural India, and this is expected to reach 304 million in 2020. Also buying electronic goods have increased in the past few months.
The average daily data consumption has increased by 13% on the very first week of quarantine, according to telecom ministry data that showed Indians consumed 308 petabytes (PB – 1012 bytes) of data daily on an average for the week beginning March 22.
“With the consumption moving to residential places, the challenge was that these areas resist installation of cell towers. We worked with the government to ensure that of 800 unused cell towers in metro cities, 730 were made functional,” said Rajan Mathews of the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI).
Not just education, even job interviews and trade are going online. So, this lockdown period is a giant leap towards a more digitised future.
These technical advancements, have, for sure, made us comfortable during the quarantine but are they really beneficial?
The usage of internet will result in a lot of radiation; we are well aware of its ill effects to us as well as the environment. The effects will increase steeply by the extreme usage during this lockdown period.
It has become as if only those who get access to technology, only those who can digitalise themselves, can prosper in this new normal. But the world is not only for such people.
Two thirds of people in India live in poverty- 68.8% of Indian population live on less than 147 rupees per day, which could be even worse during the lockdown. One cannot expect such people to have a smartphone. But now, it has become a requisite.
In this scenario, the government has asked schools and colleges to begin online classes. Yes, education is essential, but are online classes even feasible for people?
Though it has some advantages, there are a few issues to be addressed.
Students tend to get more distracted than in normal classes. In a traditional classroom, there are many factors that prompts students to learn, such as face to face interaction with friends, teachers and strict schedules followed. These factors do not let students fall off track in a traditional classroom. But in a home environment, there is no external factor to force them to perform well. It is really difficult for students who do not have strong self-motivation or time management skills.
It is reported that online classes tend to cause social isolation. Students and teachers in online classes tend to have less interaction and as a result, those who spend much time in online class experience signs of social isolation, due to lack of human interaction in their lives.
Another important problem regarding online class is that, teachers tend to focus on theoretical methods than practical methods, because theory is easier to present in an online class.
Traditional classes were a way for students to socialize; online classes do exactly the opposite.
There are also a lot of physical and mental problems caused due to online classes.
Learning becomes incomplete if it doesn’t benefit the learner.
Will everyone be able to cope with this technical leap?
Indeed, there is no other way than this, but the question is, why can’t we pause? Why can’t we just spend some time reflecting back? Why can’t we step out of this race for a while?
Life is a journey to be enjoyed in every step. Instead of racing ahead for the next best thing, how about slowing down, savouring the moment and appreciating life’s beauty right now?