During the summer months, parents are accustomed
to having their kids at home. Sometimes a summer
camp is on the schedule or a summer vacation. Except
for parents who provide home schooling, it is a rarity
to have school-age children home year-round.
The coronavirus pandemic and its many societal
changes may force that reality on many American
families as the new school year approaches. The
challenges from the last portion of the past school
year are reemerging and necessary modifications
to curricula are once again at hand.
Many states with new surges of infections have had
to select online learning as the model for the return
to school, at least into the foreseeable future and then
a “blended” online and in-school schedule will be the
standard for many students.
At the same time, many E-learning companies are
taking advantage of the new requirements for online
learning. Many offered their services for free for the
remainder of last school year.
By mid-March, 33 states had closed schools along
with 1,000 universities across the country.
This meant that college students who lived on campus
had to vacate their university residences and return
home for online courses.
Working from Home
The homebound online learning experience may
have to be adopted as part of the “new normal” as
the work-from-home culture has had to evolve. While
remote workers had been increasing in recent years,
they have remained a small percentage of the workforce.
With stay-at-home orders and sheltering in place, every
bit of current technology has been called upon for
workers ordered to stay home.
Companies like Zoom and Slack Technologies,
along with products like Microsoft Teams, are more
in vogue than ever, as companies in financial services,
technology, insurance and other sectors keep employees
at home. With collaboration and security as key areas of
focus, the technology to enable video calls and remote
team meetings has been embraced like never before.
Other remote services have seen exponential growth, as
tele-medicine or telehealth and remote psychotherapy are
finding many new patients.
Going into a doctor’s office involves the potential cost
of exposing one’s self to infection. Telemedicine, which
has been used successfully in recent years, provides a
solution. Fire up your laptop, desktop or tablet and meet
with the doctor face-to-face.
Remote psychotherapy services have been in demand
with the impact of isolation on people and the anxiety
of a pandemic or the anxiety of losing a job.
By early March, many large tech companies had already
arranged for employees to work from home. Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, Twitter and Zillow are among the large tech employers who have helped lighten traffic in northern California and other places. Many of these firms have told employees to work from home through the end
of the year
At the same time, companies are finding that savings
on real estate, free food and other perks may be a winning
combination. Studies have shown that employees appear to
remain productive, so some companies will not be returning
to the traditional work arrangement.
What first appeared to be some temporary adjustments
to work and school may instead reflect a new way of life for
most people. Even after a vaccine is found, or therapeutic
treatments are discovered, the roads are sure to be