What would the covid pandemic be like without internet

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Essay Contest for UPSC Exam for IAS

Since 11th March 2020, the day when the lethal SARS-CoV-2 was declared a “Pandemic” by the World Health Organisation, the human civilisation has encountered an unwonted tremor in their lives. Terms like “SOCIAL DISTANCING” and “LOCKDOWN” have led to seclusion which is indeed the paramountcy of the hour. Human being is a social animal and she/he needs to socialise with other people in order to content her/his social and emotional needs but due to this pandemic physical interface has become paradoxical. Although physical interaction has come to a halt but the world is now connected through the virtual media i.e INTERNET. Internet apart from consolidating people together has also contributed to taking decisions of national interests, business world, public administration and many more. Let us now predict certain situations of the current scenario without the existence of internet and also its consequences.

  1. BUSINESS SECTOR: Numerous business houses have shut down their activities due to lockdown and liquidity crisis. The ones that are operational have opted for digital methods of carrying on their activities. A lot of virtual business entities have flourished in this pandemic. In case, if there is nothing like internet that exists in the world then online businesses as well as the conventional ones operating will plunge into depression and a catastrophic economic condition globally.
  2. EMPLOYMENT: Millions of people have become unemployed during this pandemic as a result of halt in economic activities. Large numbers of migrant worker as well as technician have returned to their native lands after job loss. Yet, the concept of “WORK FROM HOME” has been seen in the pandemic and it is possible because of access to internet. Without internet this would have not been possible and resulting to even more unemployment.
  3. SOCIAL NEEDS, DISTRESS AND MENTAL HEALTH: Though COVID-19 has created a physical distance within human but people are connected through virtual platforms like “Whatsapp, Facebook, Video Conference, etc” that creates a sense of being close to each other. And without internet man, a “SOCIAL ANIMAL’s” social needs will remain discontended. Distress about losing work and putting own self in seclusion might lead to depression. Without being able to connect with counterparts, relatives as well as family members residing away will make a person feel isolated resulting to serious mental disorders.
  4. EDUCATION: Schools, colleges and universities are imparting classes through online software applications like Zoom Education, Google classroom and many more so that students do not suffer or lag behind in the midst of their session. Tests and assignments are submitted by students regularly who have access to the basic requirements for internet connectivity. Without these amenities the education will come to halt and especially the final year students being the worst sufferers who were about to complete their education. Major number of students will tend to dropout from institutions as they will remain in a perplex situation with improbable future.
  5. SKILL DEVELOPMENT: This pandemic has given people an opportunity to develop their various skills like learning any foreign language, personality development, soft skills, music etc by pursuing online courses. But without internet this development will not have occurred. Also the fees charged by online platforms are quite low than that of charged by physical institutions leading to more enrolment by people from various sections of society. In the absence of internet this will be implausible. 

 Above were few situations of life and lifestyle without internet. The idea of not having internet access during this current pandemic situation is quite inconceivable. Yet, there are a few advantages of not having internet connectivity during a pandemic as we can associate with our family more relishing a sense of solitude and warmth that we often disregard due to a busy schedule. Also due less pollution and low radiations emitted by mobile towers for high speed in the environment will rejuvenate the wildlife and chirping of birds can be heard everywhere. Considering these aspects we can conclude that the cons supercede the pros of not having internet during this pandemic.

-Juli Medhi

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