Social distancing is not a new concept, but we have never seen anything quite like the current situation caused by Coronavirus. According to The New York Times, The concept of staying home and isolated from friends, families, and colleagues was brought up in 2006, but was seen as impractical and unnecessary to do during a disease outbreak. Scientists looked back at past pandemics, specifically the 1918 flu. During this pandemic, the city of Philadelphia decided to move forward with a parade, resulting in more citizens becoming infected than in cities like St. Louis, which took measures like closing schools, churches, and sporting events.
Social distancing during COVID-19 is not easy for anyone. Luckily, we live in a time and place where technology, innovation, and human perseverance can help us get by. We’ve seen so many people coming together to help others in need and support their community. We are also thankful for the products and services that have helped us get by during social distancing.
Video conferencing became well known in the 1980s when computers became more available to the masses. It wasn’t until the 1990s when video chatting became popular, specifically among college students. In the 90s, however, webcams were typically a separate device you connected to your computer, rather than a built-in camera. Other advances in video communication came with the development of the Skype platform as well as the evolution of smart phones that featured cameras.
Today, there are many different forms of video chat, including Zoom, Facetime, and Skype. Giving families and friends who are isolated a chance to talk face-to-face and not feel so cut off from loved ones. Video chat also gives companies and employees a better way to communicate and get work done in a more efficient way.
In today’s modern world, having streaming services in your home is as common as having cable television. This is especially true among young adults. Streaming services like YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu have completely changed the way we watch our favorite movies and shows. When it comes to listening to music, there are services like Spotify and Apple Music. You can now get your media easier than ever and many times even commercial free.
When it came time for everyone to social distance and remain in our homes, many of us turned to streaming services to keep busy and entertained. We’ve had more time than ever to binge watch our favorite television series or watch the movie we have yet to see. There is also a camaraderie among everyone who enjoys watching the same specific series. When the documentary “Tiger King” arrived on Netflix, its popularity swept a quarantined nation. This resulted in memes and laughs to be shared on social media and in group texting messages, allowing a disconnected world to feel connected in at least one type of way.
Medical Grade Face Masks
It’s not often in history that you would see almost every American citizen walking around in a protective face mask. While many depend on basic cotton face coverings to keep out germs, medical personnel rely heavily on N95 masks to get through this virus. The first N95 mask was invented by Peter Tsai, and professor at the University of Tennessee and was patented in 1955. This mask fits snuggly around your face while filtering out 95% of airborne particles.
Today, these life-saving masks are in high demand among medical professionals who are on the front lines fighting this virus. These masks make a huge difference for those trying to save lives while also trying to remain healthy themselves. Many scientists and engineers are also looking at how they can improve the N95 mask, or make other more efficient masks, during this crisis in order to protect us in any future pandemic.
Grocery & Food Delivery Services
Grocery delivery services have been around for decades, but in recent years more groceries are offering things like curbside pickup and delivery to your home. Apps like Grubhub, Postmates, and Uber Eats have changed the way we’ve been able to get our favorite foods delivered. Before these apps were developed, many of us could not get food delivered from some of our favorite restaurant. Now, consumers can get sushi, ice cream, and even steak dinners delivered straight to their doorstep.
Elderly and immunocompromised individuals are at the highest risk of being affected by contracting COVID-19. Grocery and food delivery have given those at risk an opportunity to get their food in a safer way. Services like Instacart also make it easy to get your groceries delivered quickly. By leaving food on the porch, customers can get what they need without having contact with another person who may potentially spread germs. Delivery has also helped businesses who are only doing delivery orders during this time stay afloat.
Social distancing has been difficult for many of us. We miss our friends, family, and colleagues. We also miss being able to go to our favorite restaurants, shops, and theaters. Products and services developed for us pre-quarantine have made quite the improvement in our lives during this time. We thank the inventors, product developers, and engineers who have brought us helpful innovation.