What would the Covid pandemic be like without internet?

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“ We are all now connected by the Internet, like the neurones of our brain”

  • Stephen Hawking.

The present 4th industrial revolution era with Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Machine Learning, etc., were all the result of World Wide Web, simply the Internet. Having origins in the last decade of 20th century this small invention has been ruling the world, with its own implications. The Internet has now become an essential thing & a fundamental right of the human being, as said by United Nations General Assembly. It has facilitated the process of Globalisation & exchange of ideas & innovations. It’s unimaginable to see the present world without Internet, which might have created several hurdles in the progress of human civilization.

When everything is going smoothly & the human civilization is reaching its heights, there entered a demon in the form of Corona Virus ( COVID 19) pandemic, which created a 21st century’s devastating public health emergency. It has affected badly the socio-economic, political, cultural fabric of the societies. To tackle the adversaries raised by the pandemic, the Internet coupled with the modern technological advancements have stood behind the human kind, thanks to the WWW inventors.

In this backdrop, there arises a question that what would the Covid pandemic be like without internet? In this essay let’s discuss about it. The answer to this question is very simple – the covid pandemic might have worsened each & every sector & section of the economy & society respectively. If we elaborate this---

1.Lack of information to the public:-

As most of the population is reliant on internet for daily updates of news articles, the lack of internet may lead to the information asymmetry. This may affect the people’s alertness & paves way for the spread of virus. For instance, based on the alerts raised by the social media platforms most of the villagers have blocked the roads after their surrounding areas got infected with the covid 19. This might not be possible if there was no Internet.

2. Ineffective containment of the spread of virus:-

To effectively contain the virus there needs a proper communication between the Central & State governments along with the public health officials ranging from a small ward to the district, state & nation level. The Central Government’s Corona virus National Tele consultancy Network ( CoNTeN), Aarogya Setu mobile app were the result of internet only. If there is no Internet, then it may become difficult to manage all these things. Added to it there needs a proper maintenance of records of spread & nature of diseases( both communicable & non communicable) in all over the country, which is possible only through the Internet activated platforms, otherwise the pandemics will strike the humanity on regular basis.

 3. Effect on Vaccine & Drug development:-

Many of the drug and vaccine developers are collaborating with each other through video conferences, social media platforms, etc., which were none other than the applications of Internet only. In the covid imposed lockdown situation, if we would have deprived of the Internet, then it may become a dream only to develop the drug & vaccine in a much faster way. Even the samples of the DNA of the corona virus were shared on the social media platforms to spend up the process of vaccine & drug development, thanks to the invention of Internet.

4. Effect on Distance Learning:-

With the covid imposed social distancing norms & lockdown situations all of the educational institutions were closed & students career was jeopardized. In this situation the online education has shown the beacon light to most of the parents, teachers and students. Most of the institutions have started teaching in online platforms. Considering this scenario we can imagine the importance of the Internet & the adverse effects of lack of internet too.

5. Impact on work from home culture & Entertainment:-

In the lockdown like situation most of the companies are offering the work from home facility by utilising the Internet facility. And the people’s utilisation of Internet has increased in this period, which is the result of increasing demand for Internet based entertainment channels including Over The Top(OTT) services like Amazon prime video, Netflix, Sunnxt, etc. The lack of internet will definitely impact these activities and left the people with depression and loss of livelihood.

6. Increases the Digital & social divide:-

In the competitive world where the information is considered as power, the lack of Internet that too in this pandemic like situation will deepen the social, economic & political wide among the people. Already the present world is facing the digital divide in various forms, so the lack of Internet may further increase the gap between haves and have not’s.

Hence, from the above discussion we can conclude that the present COVID 19 pandemic affected world with out the Internet can yield devastating effects to the society as a whole. Therefore the government’s have to ensure the availability of the basis fundamental right of the 21st century citizens. For this they’ve to ensure the proper establishment of infrastructure throughout the nation without any regional disparity along with proper connectivity and power supply. The government’s also have to inculcate digital literacy to it’s citizens, so that the digital divide will erode & an egalitarian society will emerge. Finally let’s hope that the Internet enabled world will get ride of the COVID-19 pandemic & rejuvenate the resilient societies.

-Naveen G

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