As children we grew up hearing of pandemics, we have studied about what they mean and how cholera was a pandemic once upon a time. Most of us have even read the novel “Love in the Time of Cholera” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It is a story about three people, Florentino, Fermina and Dr Jevenal Urbino. None of us however ever imagined living in a time when a pandemic would take control of how we live our lives. Especially today when medicine and medical devices have advanced to a great extent. But, the reality is that we are living in a time of Corona – a pandemic also called COVID-19.
All human lives have been disrupted during this time and one of the major disruptions that have occurred is the way we work. How technology is taking over our lives has been discussed a lot in recent times. However, with the time of Corona coming into the picture, it has taken a different turn altogether.
There is no office or a workplace, most people are working from their homes. No single-unit exists now where everyone can meet and discuss and work as a team, all work has to be done remotely with only technology to the rescue. Video meetings rather than meeting someone in person is saving people a lot of time making it easier and faster to collaborate, an application called zoom video communications has experienced a surge in downloads, there is a 17% increase in user session per day.
There is no defined time period for work now. Each person was at their nine to five jobs earlier and on most days did not work beyond that. With work from home coming into the picture, there is no definite time to work as the workplace and home now mean the same thing.
The time of Corona pandemic has engraved a sense of fear in the minds of people. Hence, even after the virus dies out, there is a chance humans would want to avoid crowded places. What would then be the alternative? Food delivery applications will be used more to avoid crowded restaurants and online grocery delivery will become more common than it ever was in order to avoid crowded departmental stores. Virtual and online education may also become more normal than it has ever been.
Thinking of these points only makes me wonder if the pandemic will serve as a lesson for humans and for organizations around the world. Since quarantine and work from home has begun, the planet seems to be breathing, the skies are blue, there is less noise pollution, we can hear the birds chirping, dolphins were seen in Marine Drive, Mumbai. The way things are happening now because of the pandemic could have happened earlier too and we could have saved our planet from a lot of stress. When things get better, we need to have a purpose and ensure that we do not only work towards making profits for our businesses but also to make the world a better place for every being.
In the book, “Love in the Time of Cholera” the two lovers, Florentino and Fermina used a virtual model of communication which was telegrams, however, they did realize that this could not go on forever and eventually met physically later in their lives. In the same way, working remotely is not a permanent solution. One needs to work together physically as well. However, if the correct balance is found, then it could be a situation that would make our lives simpler and also make the Earth a happy place to live in.
– Niharika Dowareh
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Niharika Dowareh is a part of the Class of 2020 of PG Programme in PR and Corporate Communications at SCoRe, Mumbai. He completed his winter internship with Avian WE, Mumbai.
She has done her post-graduation in sociology from Ambedkar University Delhi. After that she was invited to the annual meeting of the pacific sociological association to present her paper. Through the experience she learned that research excites her. She went on to work for an NGO as a communications executive that led her to the path towards PR as it’s a field that requires one to read, write extensively, and also face challenges on a day to day basis. As an extremely patient person and also a good listener, She feels these skills will help her in this field.