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COVID-19 Tech: History Repeats Itself

Blog 2 in the Emerging From COVID-19 series

At the start of the pandemic, everyone buckled down to weather an unfamiliar storm- hoping that the end would be marked by a return to life as it was. However, amid the unexpected societal shift, business and consumer behavior were changed indefinitely. History has shown us that mass societal disruption accelerates technology adoption. Just as the 1918 flu pandemic influenced the adoption of telephones, the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has introduced Zoom communications and virtual gatherings. As other aspects of our lives return to “normal”, we need to expect business interactions to remain altered. Technological progress will not “slide back” or “stagnate”. 

As the world braced for a shut down in early 2020, working from home seemed like an impossible task with all of life’s distractions. But as we’ve adapted, many businesses have seen an increase in productivity, enabling employees to live healthier lifestyles.

Advantages of Working from Home

Because of internal communication programs such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Slack and, businesses across all industries were able to smoothly integrate homes into the new workplace. But, this isn’t the first time a pandemic accelerated the development of modern-day communication tools. 

An eerily similar catastrophe, the 1918 Flu pandemic, led the United States into quarantine because of limited knowledge of the virus and its transmission. The Bell Telephone Company saw the isolation that the people of the US were experiencing and promoted their product as something that would bring cheer in a time of loneliness. Telephones Emerged During the 1918 Flu Pandemic

By the end the flu pandemic, children were calling their teachers, families were calling their loved ones, and the sick were able to communicate while in isolation. The telephone was around to stay.

Similarly today, Zoom has defined a new type of communication during a pandemic. Although Zoom was invented prior to COVID-19, the isolation and gap in communication that the virus caused was the perfect opportunity for Zoom to take off and become the $117 billion company it is today. 

Although there is evidence of light at the end of the current pandemic tunnel, many people and businesses continue to feel the effects of COVID-19. Even though the world seemed to come to a screeching halt at the beginning of COVID-19, our technological progress did not. Instead we found new ways to communicate with each other and overcome the isolation and threat to productivity that this virus posed.

Stay tuned as we continue to address topics like…

  • Is working from home here to stay?
  • What will social media look like post-pandemic?
  • How to avoid your own crisis while reopening.
  • And more…

Sinclair Public Affairs will be posting a five part blog series highlighting the best practices and changes of businesses as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. Remember to subscribe for the latest updates!

If your business needs help navigating communication efforts during this time, our staff at Sinclair Public Affairs is here to help. Contact Sinclair Public Affairs at [email protected]

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