Was COVID-19 a Surprise?

Telling the Future

Conceptually, a pandemic impacting our society is not a new thought.

The flu pandemic of 1918, Ebola, SARS, MERS, etc. have all been examples or at least indications that a pandemic could have a drastic impact on our society. The depth of the impact has been more difficult to think about ahead of time than we expected. (Who knew that toilet paper as going to be a thing?) The inter-connectedness of world has come into stark focus. Think about supply chain impacts. We have been shocked to learn that we could have empty shelves in a grocery store in our current world. We’ve learned that it’s possible. We have seen cleaner air, less traffic and had more time for our families… Not necessarily outcomes we could have predicted. Schools closed. Restaurants closed. Nail salons, hair salons, massage providers, doctor’s offices, dentists… the list is long and distressing.

From a technology perspective, the impacts have been surprising and a natural outcome from other changes. Children have been schooling from home. Think of the pivot for teachers in terms of lesson planning, delivery and testing. College-age children home unexpectedly. Parents have had an entirely new work-life balance equation than we had never considered: video conferences for work and video conferences for kids along with a constant streaming of entertainment…. How can they accomplish all of the items on the daily list…

Nearly all of the home and work changes have had technology impacts. NerdsToGo McKinney can help set up your remote work and study space today! NerdsToGo Mckinney takes pride in our unparalleled computer support and IT support services.

Technological Stress

New Software

The first class of software that has emerged in our pandemic world: video conferencing!

Zoom meetings are new to many. The software interface is new. The social rules for videoconferencing is new. Lighting. Sound. Camera angle. Most of these considerations are completely new to many users. It’s not just Zoom. There’s WebEx, Hangouts, Teams, Ring Central and Skype. For most employees, video conferences are a new phenomenon and the idea of how they work is strange and new. How to share screens, turn video on or off, muting the microphone and managing the interface (full screen, Brady Bunch view, side by side…) are all new ideas and slightly different for each platform.

Stress, uncertainty and frustration abound.

Security and Privacy Risks

To the uncertainty and frustration of new software and just learning to use it, add the new security and privacy risks in the pandemic world.

First, as soon as the news began to cover the pandemic, the phishing related to COVID-19 exploded. Same kind of social engineering attacks as usual with the COVID-19 hook…

Next came the Zoom bombing. Uninvited and unwanted guest sharing disturbing images and language in Zoom meetings for business and schools…

Finally, ransomware hackers began to target hospitals and healthcare providers since those organizations would be particularly pressured to pay the ransom.

All of the security impacts probably have not manifested. All of those home users connecting to all of those, especially, small and medium business have likely had security impacts that haven’t shown up as we start back to work.

Network Demands

With the exponential rise in video demand (Zoom exploded from 10 million users in December to over 200 million in March) from video conferencing by employees and students, networks experienced huge increases in demand. Add to that the stay at home population had plenty of opportunity to catch up on Netflix, Amazon Prime and YouTube addictions. Social media (Facebook, Instagram, TicTok etc.) use also increased dramatically.

As well as general stress on the infrastructure, home networks, particularly wireless networks, as well as business networks got unexpected stress tests. NerdsToGo Mckinney is here to help with all your wireless network needs!

Hardware Surprises

Especially for home users, with more use in the home environment from working from home on personal computers, the weaknesses or issues with home equipment became, if not apparent, a much bigger issue. The demands for a laptop at home to check email and Facebook is one level of capability. Some of those home machines did not have the horsepower to perform the new tasks asked of them. In an effort to upgrade those machines, home users as well as repair facilities found out that the supply chain for hardware had degraded in terms of shipping times and availability.

October Surprise?

In the political realm, the phrase October Surprise refers to orchestrated or apparently orchestrated events that are intended to impact the Fall elections.

This year the term may have another meaning… and it shouldn’t.

From all of the news we are getting regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic, it is expected that in the Fall, it will reassert itself on the population. In addition, the start of the normal flu season my coincide with an increase in COVID-19 impacts. This may further stress the health care impacts of coronavirus.

Here is something for homes and businesses to consider: although the February appearance of the COVID-19 pandemic was a surprise, the reanimation of the disease in the fall shouldn’t be a surprise.

Users of technology – that is all of us – have the opportunity to prepare for the potential impacts of a resurgence of the coronavirus in the Fall.

Adapt Your Computer and Network Services amid COVID-19 with NerdsToGo 

You can count on the team at NerdsToGo or help with making adjustments or repairs to your computer or network amid COVID-19. Offering in-home computer repair, our certified Nerds know what it takes to get your device in working order. From home-based security to business IT services, computer virus and malware removal, residential firewall setup, and more, we have the knowledge and skills it takes to deliver the best possible solution for your unique situation. Contact us today for more information!