A Spanish Flu Scenario
Is it safe to say that telecommunications have played the most important role in tackling the Covid-19 Pandemic? Imagine a modern day world where people travel frequently. Insert a pandemic as deadly as covid-19 in your imagination. Erase mobile phones and the internet in your imagination. Imagine how lack of knowledge against the virus would have affected millions. Insert limited media houses with no adequate information.
The above scenario must have been the case during the Spanish flu pandemic minus today’s huge urban population. Today’s technological advancement in the information age has proved beneficial.
An information age scenario
In a world absent telecommunications, Covid-19 would have claimed twice as many lives than the Spanish flu. Evidently, globalization has helped in tackling the pandemic where information has freely flown between countries and continents.
The world has the telecommunications industry to thank as the pandemic’s safety measures are known worldwide.
Furthermore, working from home would have been impossible without the present-day developed communications apparatus. As one billion children across the world are locked out of classrooms for safety measures; online classes fill the gap.
According to WHO, the most vulnerable people against the virus are the ones without internet access. This translates to a total of 3.7 billion people.
As internet access comes as a positive thing against the virus, its affordability kills its reality. In sub-Saharan Africa, one gigabit (GB) of data costs nearly 40% of the average monthly wage. In reality 1GB is only enough to stream a standard-definition film for one hour.
This is also a reality in other parts of the world. An American 2017 congress report said 12 million American children were growing up in homes with no internet connection. It is the same scenario in Australia; almost a third of less well-off homes have no internet connection.
The internet blows things out of proportion with so much fake information, yes. But you cannot outlook the advantages it has played against this deadly pandemic.