Since 2019, when the earliest reports of a mysterious flu-like illness first began emerging in Wuhan, China, the world has changed dramatically. With an unprecedented rate of infection and a horrifying fatality rate, COVID-19 is a global health crisis unlike anything in modern history. With infected all over the world, it was only a matter of time before economies stagnated and businesses had to shut down. In a world without services like Cox internet packages, there may even have been a complete reset of the global economy. But thanks to internet penetration and accessibility, this hasn’t been the case. This blog explores how digital accessibility is now a necessity in the post-COVID world, not only an option.
Understanding How Important Digital Accessibility Has Become
Before there was even a hint of a pandemic like COVID-19, digital technology had been steadily taking over. From early home computers to laptops to smartphones, digital accessibility and use have increased over the past two decades. Today, billions of people all over the world have access to the internet. And the internet itself is far more than a novelty. It is the new landscape for everything including business, education, entertainment, and socializing. It is also one of the largest sources of commercial transactions, as evidenced by the meteoric rise of e-commerce companies like Amazon.
And of course, with subsequent advancements, both hardware and software have only improved with each successive year. Businesses have long had the ability and means to transition to remote workforces. However, an adherence to outdated workplace norms made a digital transition much slower than it had to be. It is been much the same for education, government functions, logistics, and even medical care. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed digital accessibility into a necessity. Almost on par with basic utilites like heat, lighting, and water. Here are a few reasons why digital accessibility is indispensable in the post-pandemic world:
Keeping The Infection Rate as Low as Possible
The rates of infection for COVID-19 have been alarmingly high. Even in the United States, the pandemic has ripped through the population regardless of age, race, or other demographics. Of course, the US has access to some of the most advanced medical care facilities in the world. But the medical infrastructure isn’t designed to handle millions of incoming patients all at once. Moreover, medical care in the United States, even during a pandemic, is notoriously expensive.
Therefore, most people have no option but to reduce the risk of getting exposed or infected by a COVID-19 carrier. For this basic reason, people have chosen to isolate at home, restricting their outdoor activities only to essential needs. In many cases, governments have imposed lockdowns and even prosecuted people for violating Covid safety protocols. With minimal social interaction, the need for digital accessibility has never been higher. Otherwise, with no other way to work, learn, or do other essential tasks, people would be forced to go out, and drive up the infection rate.
Businesses are Using Digital Platforms for Remote Work
If it weren’t for digital technology that already existed, many businesses wouldn’t have survived this far after the pandemic. Companies like Google, Microsoft, and even Zoom have been in use for businesses for many years. Skype, Outlook, Gmail, Google Drive, and many other purpose-built platforms can only be accessed using the internet. Therefore, without digital accessibility, workers would not be able to share information or execute their tasks efficiently. In other words, without a workforce with digital accessibility, your business could face dire consequences.
Educational Institutes Rely on Remote Learning Tools
Schools and universities are some of the most populated places in the world. Lots of young people partying and socializing, trying to meet their academic workload, football games, and so on. The American learning experience is excellent, but in many ways outdated. In particular, educational institutes have been reluctant to move to the remote learning model for many years. Of course, there wasn’t any other choice with the pandemic.
Therefore, many educational institutions now use remote learning tools and systems to ensure the learning process continues with minimal disruption. As in the case of businesses, it was a choice between either going digital, or shutting down entirely. With students and educators both relying on digital access for a substitute learning experiencec, reliabile accessibility is now a necessity.
Government Services Need To Stay Running During a Pandemic
Of course, its not just business or education activity that has to continue despite a pandemic. Government services are essential to any citizens needs. They cannot be put on hold, even when faced with a deadly and unprecedented pandemic. Imagine if your local police force, sanitation department, postal services, courts, or even minor functionaries suddenly stopped working. Even without any actual looting or rioting taking place, you will certainly feel a lot more exposed than you normally do. That is why digital accessibility is crucial to keep governments running during the pandemic. This in turn boosts the government’s ability to keep doing its job at the local, state, or federal level.