It has been half a year since the first confirmed case in Australia and four months since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. During this time, people have adjusted to the norms that can help slow the spread of the coronavirus in the country. People continue to practice good hygiene more than ever, observe physical distancing, and undergo self-isolation when necessary.
But in addition to these shifts in behavior that help stop the spread of the virus, the pandemic has also pushed people to become more digital. The COVID-19 precautionary measures inadvertently affect people’s use of technology to communicate and acquire the products and services they need.
Here are three areas where the shift to digital is most apparent.
Social Gathering through Computer and Phone Screens
Australia is one of the more prosperous countries in ‘flattening the curve.’ Nevertheless, people are urged to continue keeping distance as a way of limiting the risk of infection. This generally means putting large social gatherings on hold regardless of the varying rules between states and territories.
At the time of writing, here’s how many people you can have over at your house:
- ACT: No limit
- New South Wales: Up to 20 people from different households at a time
- Northern Territory: No limits as long as you keep a 1.5 distance from people you don’t live with
- Queensland: Up to 100 adults from different households
- South Australia: No limits as long as there’s no more than one person per two square meters
- Tasmania: Up to 20 guests
- Victoria: Up to five guests at a time, excluding in Melbourne
- Western Australia: No limits as long as there’s no more than one person per two square meters
You can still gather in small groups. But health experts and the government would still strongly advise to re-consider these visits and to keep a 1.5 distance from people you don’t regularly come in contact with. Hence, more people are choosing to catch up through video calls and conferencing.
Shopping and Buying Essentials Online
Over the years, business owners have seen the importance of e-commerce and SEO campaigns in attracting and retaining an increasingly online market. Precautionary measures of the coronavirus outbreak make digital strategies even more beneficial because of the increased online spending.
When the outbreak in Australia first occurred, people were advised to stay at home except for essentials. But more people realize the convenience of online buying. So from groceries and everyday needs to things that they treat themselves with, it seems like Australians prefer to click the checkout button on their online shopping cart and wait for the items to arrive directly at their doorstep.
Scheduling Telehealth Services
Why go to the hospital for consultations and appointments when they can be delivered remotely? Why drive to your therapist for regular sessions when you can do them via video calls?
Telehealth services are more popular than ever now that people are taking active precautions to stop the spread of the coronavirus. There’s increased funding for telehealth, so more Australians are taking this opportunity to seek healthcare services that can be conducted online or over the phone.
This is only a glimpse of how the COVID-19 situation is shaping a more digital future. But there’s no doubt that we’re headed in that direction faster than we initially thought.