Cases of the coronavirus known as COVID-19 have been confirmed around the globe. In addition to causing mass amounts of death and sickness today, research reveals that life as we know it has likely changed long term, if not forever. How?
The Internet Has Become More Essential
A study conducted by the Pew Research Center found that a majority of Americans have relied on the internet during the coronavirus pandemic. Included in this survey were responses from 4,917 adult Americans.
Roughly 53 percent called their online service “essential” during this time. Another 34 percent labeled it “important,” though not quite to the level of being absolutely essential.
Another Pew study indicates that it is the younger generations relying on the web most. Internet usage also tends to increase with level of education, income, and ownership of a smartphone.
In some cases, increased internet use is due to educational classes now being offered online. Others are using it to order food and other essential products, to keep up with social media, and to stream their favorite television shows.
Workplaces are Changing Their Policies and Procedures
In April of 2020, PwC conducted a survey of 305 chief financial officers. Seventy-seven percent said they had to update their safety measures to enhance protection from the coronavirus. Another 65 percent are changing their worksites to allow for better physical distancing.
Approximately one-half (52 percent) shared that they’re also going to modify their work days so exposure to the virus is limited. Some will do this by creating different shifts. Others are attempting to achieve this goal by reducing the number of staff working at any given time, such as by alternating crews.
Almost one in four (22 percent) of the workplaces are focused on creating ways to track the workforce and perform contact tracing should it become necessary. One in ten offer hazard pay for employees who are performing duties in areas affected by COVID-19, with 9 percent providing additional benefits for these workers as well.
Travelers Have Higher Expectations
The coronavirus has also changed how we travel. In the short-term access to certain locations is limited, but one survey also found that there may be long-term consequences as well.
For example, this survey noted that travelers expect transportation and lodging facilities to take steps to protect their health. This includes creating stronger cleaning protocols.
Roughly 42.8 percent of travelers are avoiding airplanes for the rest of the year, if not longer. Though, younger generations and business travelers are more willing to begin flying again in the next couple of months.
How Has COVID-19 Affected YOU?
Unfortunately, it will likely be some time before we know the full effects of the coronavirus. However, if you would like to take an active role in the research, several institutions are looking for people to share how this virus has affected them.
A few to consider include:
- COVID-19 Symptoms & Social Distancing Web Survey: Version 2 (Harvard School of Public Health)
- National Daily Health Survey for Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 (Stanford Medicine)
- International Survey on Coronavirus (from researchers at Harvard, Cambridge, Warwick, and nine other institutions)