COVID-19 — A Pandemic in a Digital Age

This is the first-ever Pandemic that the Humankind have acknowledged in the Digital age because we are tackling this pandemic with Internet and other technological advancements that we have never done before. Just think how would this pandemic would have been if we don’t have an access to internet.

The new coronavirus, known as Covid-19, was first encountered in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. This Zoonotic disease which has symptoms as a runny nose, cough, sore throat, possibly a headache and maybe a fever which can last for a couple of weeks. When it comes to human-to-human transmission of the viruses, often it happens when someone comes into contact with an infected person’s secretions, such as droplets in a cough, sneeze or handshake. The virus can also be transmitted by touching something an infected person has touched and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.

CORONAVIRUS STRUCTURE

It is more contagious, but due to the technological advancements we are tackling this pandemic like we have never done before.

D614G MUTATION

Read full Paper → D614G Mutation

Researchers in the US and UK have identified hundreds of mutations to the virus which causes the disease Covid-19.But none has yet established what this will mean for virus spread in the population and for how effective a vaccine might be. The research, which was carried out by a joint American and British team led by Los Alamos National Laboratory, has been released ahead of peer review as ‘an early warning’ to other researchers.

IMPACTS MADE BY COVID-19

Reducing air pollution across the globe

Nature is thriving back!!

Comparing the photos of these before and after lockdown we could see that there is a dramatic reduction of poisonous air particles in the air. Due to this there is a change in the wind pattern across the globe. The picture at right which was taken by Nasa clearly shows how levels of nitrogen dioxide, a toxic gas from vehicles, power plants and factories, plummeted after the mass quarantine, compared with before. This is one of the positive things that has happened.

Water Pollution decreased

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, while humans are isolating, nature and wildlife is thriving. Even our rivers are become cleaner. With the industries shut and people staying home, the quality of Ganga river water has witnessed a significant improvement. Now the Ganga river is so clean as Scientist claims that is it purely drinkable as it has no contaminants. The pictures at the right shows the swans and dolphins returning to the Venice water canals as the water become clean.

Global Recession

Spike in unemployment claims due to the current coronavirus pandemic is unprecedented in U.S. history.

Economists says that this is the worst global recession that humans have ever faced in the history. Even though countries are now moving towards easing lockdown restrictions, the coronavirus pandemic has already hit the global economy hard. Millions of people are out of work, financial markets have been rocked, and supply chains have faced major disruption as factories around the world have closed. Unemployment in Britain and the US have already surpassed the levels that were reached during the 1930s Great Depression within months as the coronavirus crisis crushes the global economy.

TACKLING COVID-19 WITH THE PRESENT-DAY TECHNOLOGIES

Since the virus is more contagious the governments suggests to follow social distancing and contact tracing to bend the curve. Technology helps in doing this in a much efficient ways. The graph below shows that how different countries are trying to bend the curve.

COVID-19 CURVE OF DIFFERENT COUNTRIES

Artificial Intelligence

AI

Humans have already started using AI to tackle this pandemic. BlueDot, a Toronto-based Canadian startup that uses a platform built around artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data to track and predict the outbreak and spread of infectious diseases, alerted its private sector and government clients about a cluster of “unusual pneumonia” cases happening around a market in Wuhan, China. The BlueDot engine gathers data on over 150 diseases and syndromes around the world searching every 15 minutes, 24 hours a day.COVID-19 was not BlueDot’ s first hit. The engine has been used to successfully predict that the Zika virus would spread to Florida in 2016, six months before it happened. AI can do a world of good in the race to find a vaccine. AI is playing an important supporting roles in this quest: suggesting components of a vaccine by understanding viral protein structures. Developers are using artificial intelligence to help researchers comb through thousands of studies and find relevant COVID-19 information for the development of potential treatments and vaccines.

Infrared Cameras That Can Spot a Fever

Since Fever is one of the symptom of Covid-19,these Infrared cameras are used to identify whether a person has a fever or not. It can check nearly 15 people at a time. The worker monitoring its display sees color-coded boxes around each face : GREEN if your skin temperature is less than 100 degrees Fahrenheit; RED if it’s 100 or above, which prompts a request to step aside for additional screening.

Infrared Camera identifying temperature of people

There’s a lot of ways you can get false positives and false negatives. It can only tell based on skin temperature. It’s a screen, not a diagnostic test. Sure, an oral thermometer is accurate. It’s not perfect, but it could be a quick, inexpensive, noninvasive way of surveying large groups of people.

Tracking Social-Distancing Between People

A company called Landing AI introduced a technology that might help combat the pandemic: a tool that measures social distancing. The tool uses cameras and AI to track people’s movements, and it’s able to put their location on a bird’s-eye-view map of whatever area the camera is observing. Using these calculations, the tool estimates the distance between people. Businesses and governments all over the world could use the tool to ensure whether the people are practicing good social distancing.

UV LIGHT

Ultraviolet

Ultraviolet (UV) is a form of electromagnetic radiation with wavelength, shorter than that of visible light. Depending on wavelength, ultra-violet rays are classified as UV A,UV B,UV C. The only wavelength that is blocked by Ozone layer is UV C which is more harmful.

UVD Robot is a mobile robot to disinfect hospitals and pharmacy industries. The robot aims at preventing and reducing the spread of infectious diseases, viruses, bacteria, and other types of harmful organic microorganisms in the environment by breaking down their DNA or RNA-structure. It does so using UV technology.

These UVD Robots use this UV C rays to destroy the viruses and bacteria that is present on any object. It takes nearly 15 minutes to disinfect a typical room, with the robot spending 1 or 2 minutes in five or six different positions around the room to maximize the number of surfaces that it disinfects. In China even the buses are disinfected with the help of UV light.

DRONES

Drones are more formally known as unmanned aerial vehicles(UAVs). A drone is a flying robot that can be remotely controlled or fly autonomously through software-controlled flight plans in their embedded systems, working in conjunction with onboard sensors and GPS. During this pandemic drones are used for surveillance during lockdown, disinfecting streets or buildings and delivering medical supplies to aged-people.

3D PRINTED FACE MASKS

Since, the virus is so contagious there is a demand for the face mask and face shields. With the help of 3D-Printers, a number of self-customized masks are produced in a short period of time in a bulk quantity which are cheap and easy to use.

MOBILE APPS

Aarogya Setu app

With the technological advancements, now several countries are using mobile applications to trace coronavirus patients nearby. For example an Aarogya Setu app which is used in India to track coronavirus affected patients nearby them. The app, which is a coronavirus tracker of sorts works on the basis of contact tracing and can help a user identify possible coronavirus ‘hotspot’ around his or her area. It can help people stay safe and adopt necessary precaution in some areas where there are cases and accordingly, help stop or prevent community transmission to an extent. By the basis of geotagging, it can also alert a specific user about their proximity to a nearby infection case or hotspots.

CLOUD COMPUTING

Cloud Computing

As the virus spread, the demand for cloud-based video conferencing and online teaching has skyrocketed. Various cloud service vendors have actively upgraded their functions and provided resources. The “Online Classroom” function, has made education to enter into a new era for students of universities, primary and middle schools across World. Since Work-from-Home become common and mandatory during this pandemic cloud storage services also boomed.

5G TECHNOLOGY

5G TECHNOLOGY USED DURING PANDEMIC

5G, which has just been commercialized, has also played an important role in this pandemic prevention and control. China has already started using this 5G Technology. It is mainly used in the fields of live-streaming video and telemedicine. China Mobile opened 5G base stations at Huoshenshan and Leishenshan hospitals, and realized 5G high-definition live broadcasting of the construction of these two hospitals, providing real-time views of the construction sites on a 24-hour basis for more than 20 mainstream media platform

RACE TO VACCINE

The virus spreads easily and the majority of the world’s population is still vulnerable to it. A vaccine would provide some protection by training people’s immune systems to fight the virus so they should not become sick. This would allow lockdowns to be lifted more safely, and social distancing to be relaxed. The world will not be back to normal unless and until the vaccine is found. There are several foundations, organizations and Scientists are working to find a vaccine for this Coronavirus.

VACCINE

The above picture shows of different vaccine developed by different countries and in which stage. Thinking about the world in Post-covid scenario one thing we can be sure that the world will not be the same as before the Coronavirus pandemic.

“There is nothing Permanent Except Change” — (Heraclitus)

So be prepared for change and Stay home, stay safe, wash your hands and follow social distancing to stay healthy.

An Artificial Intelligence enthusiast https://www.linkedin.com/in/koushik-c-s-75784b168

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