By Emily Drooby and Franca Braatz
COVID-19 has wrecked lives and devastated the economy, but it has also given birth to some amazing innovations, a cleaner environment and a more family-friendly work-life balance.
In the medical field, therapeutics and ongoing advances in testing have slashed the death rate from just months ago. The pandemic has even forced a re-imagining of the routine doctor’s visit.
“We are going to take lessons from this pandemic and use them to create new health care going forward,” explained Dr. Hallie Zwibel, the Medical Director of the Academic Health Care Center at New York Institute of Technology.
Part of that forward momentum is the growth of telemedicine, where doctors can see patients remotely using HIPAA compliant video conferencing tools.
“What led to the adoption was not only that necessity is the mother of invention in that we needed to do, this but there is a lot of regulatory changes between the government and different health departments which allowed us to really move on telehealth full steam ahead,” Dr. Zwibel told Currents News.
She says telemedicine forces doctors to be more creative when face-to-face office visits are impossible.
That kind of innovative technology has some businesses booming, especially as tech companies step in to tailor to the needs of a work-from-home workforce.
“We have seen companies utilize technologies that for many years have been ‘nice to haves’ and have now become ‘must haves,’” explained Craig Wilson, the managing director at NYU Tandon Future Labs.
Like telemedicine, remote communication platforms are changing the way we work and socialize. Wilson thinks it’s here to stay.
“Zoom has basically become a verb in the way that Google has become a verb, or Uber has become a verb,” he explained.
Technology has even kept the faithful connected to their parishes, as churches around the diocese continue to stream church services and utilize the power of social media.
Even donating to the weekly collection plate can be done remotely. While money is tight for many, you might be able to save on rent by buying a new home or refinancing an existing mortgage because interest rates have plummeted.
If you have a little extra money, financial experts say now is the time to invest.
“If there’s an area of interest that you’re looking at… homes, stocks, bonds, whatever, go for it…don’t be afraid,” said Larrea. “This is not the time to be timid. And just go after what you’re interested in and go pursue your passions.”
Other leaps forward are more nuanced, like the lessons learned from weaknesses in our global supply chain, or fixing the flaws in our government’s preparedness plans. These are key improvements that will help avert another potential disaster.