Technology During Pandemic Situations

On Episode 483 of the Waves of Tech, we dive into a lengthy discussion of the impact that the Coronavirus is having on people, community, resources, and technology. In the end, we are learning how much the technology industry is doing to help in this new reality of global pandemic situations. With several million people being quarantined and living on minimal supplies, tech is stepping up. Jack Ma is donating test kits and masks. Facebook and Apple are donating money to relief efforts. ISPs are not terminating service for non-payment and lifted data caps. Education services are providing services for free as millions of children have been sent home. Be safe, stay healthy, and make smart choices.

Impact of Coronavirus on People, Community, Resources, and Technology

This is the most difficult podcast we have recorded over the past 13 years. The world is in crisis. Several millions of people are quarantined; several millions of children are without structure and classroom; several millions may be short on the needed food and medical supplies; several millions are feeling the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Families are being told to not visit each other and the risk of infection is severely deadly at this point. Thank you to each and every medical worker around the world for protecting and serving us.

Even with that said, the technology section is stepping up to the plate and doing their part to keep the domestic and international community connected and communicating.

  • Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma, through the Ma Foundation, donated 500,000 test kits and one million face masks to the United States. His donation follows suit with ones to Japan and Europe.
  • Zoom CEO announced the video conferencing platform would be available for free to K-12 schools in Japan, Italy and the U.S. as schools, educators, and businesses adapt to learning and working from home.
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is funding treatments up to $125 million. Facebook and Apple announced a commitment of $20 million and $15 million, respectively, in donations to support relief efforts.
  • Internet service providers and mobile carriers – AT&T, Charter, CenturyLink, Comcast, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint, Cox, and many more will not engage in charging late fees or terminate service.
  • Google has partnered with the United States federal government in developing a website dedicated to nationwide education, prevention, and local resources with information associated with the World Health ORganization and Center for Disease Control.
  • If your child’s school is closed, PBS KIDS has launched a weekday newsletter to share activities and tips you can use to keep your child playing and learning at home.
  • Schools are closing across the nation and parents and educators are trying to navigate and plan out how kids can learn and obtain their education from home. In response, hundreds of education focused websites and services will allow you to sign-up for free right now. This will help keep your child engaged and learning as parents shift to a home-based schooling approach.

Resources & Links

Big Tech Taking on Covid-19

Google Continuing to Help

Education Companies Offering Free Subscriptions

PBS KIDS Newsletter

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