The instantaneous shift from physical meetings to online meetings, this is how fast the coronavirus has transformed our lives. We have been forced to pivot our ways of doing things into a virtual space. Video conferencing platforms such as Zoom, Skype, Google Meets/Hangouts, Microsoft Teams to name a few have been in increased use over the last few months. If you are like me, you have been eager for life to return to “normal.” But what exactly does that mean and what does it look like?

With the increased use of technology in our lives, I believe that the virtual space will be part of our “new normal.” There are a few ways in which I see the use of technology sticking around for a while:

Virtual Doctor’s Appointments (telehealth): Many health professionals were not able to see patients/clients due to the measures put in place to slow down the spread of the coronavirus. This in turn led to a new way in medicine called telehealth or telemedicine. Here, patients can have access to quality healthcare from the comforts of their home, while doctors virtually monitor their patients through digital technology devices such as computers, laptops, tablets or cell phones.

Virtual Gatherings/Hang-outs: With gathering limitations and restrictions from outings to bars, places for special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, graduations amongst others could not take place. Not to mention that most places were closed anyways. This led to creative ways to meet and gather with friends, work associates and family. I have used video conferencing to have dance parties, game nights, dinner, happy hour and networking on various virtual platforms/apps.

Virtual Education: Schools across the globe closed their buildings abruptly and quickly transitioned to remote learning via the internet. However, there are many debates about the benefits and shortcoming of distance learning from students, parents, teachers and school administrators. There is more debate about what schools will do for the upcoming school year that is quickly approaching. Particularly in the U.S, COVID cases have spiked across most states in the South and West Coast, leaving much tension about what is the best way to move forward. One thing is certain: the use of technology will be involved in some capacity. Many colleges, universities, private and public schools are considering some kind of hybrid model that integrates both in person and remote learning depending on the situation.

Virtual Fitness Classes: There is definitely a new wave and transition of doing fitness at home amidst the pandemic. It has raised questions about the benefits of working out from home as opposed to the gym or fitness studio. I have personally found myself taking a combination of live and on-demand fitness classes in my living room-turned fitness space. Again, both have the pros and cons but I feel that the convenience and ability to exercise on your own time and space is an option that will be sticking around that will cause a shift in the fitness industry moving forward.

Prior to the pandemic, I used technology occasionally. But now, technology has and will continue to be an integral part of my everyday life- as I imagine the same for you. The one good thing about this time is the ability to be creative in how we live and work through technology. It is opening up new opportunities that we couldn’t have thought of otherwise.


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