Imagine a world with COVID – 99, if the Coronavirus pandemic had struck 20 years back in 1999. It could easily have.
The spread of information would have moved at the bureaucratic pace of televised news. Countries would have been slower to respond, with politicos covering up crises. The virus would have spread farther and deeper.
You could not have spoken everyday to separated partners, aged parents back home or to siblings in another continent. You could have only imagined how they were getting along. The virus would have found an ally in a potent mental health epidemic.
Forget about Netflix and Youtube. People would have run out of books to read. Overnight, a handful of cable channels would have become the overlords of our leisure.
No e-commerce would have meant more people at shopping complexes, supermarkets, grocery shops. More shortages and more chaos. All good for the virus.
You, you and you would not have been able to work from home, worsening the pandemic’s economic impact. The millions who would have been laid off could not have found jobs using LinkedIn or posted their online certifications there.
Schools and colleges would have shut down, with kids and teenagers huddled indoors (and offline). It would have felt more like imprisonment than vacation.
A 100 years back, the 1918 flu epidemic killed 3 out of every 100 persons. But we don’t need to go back a century to think about a different era. 20 years ago is living memory for most people reading this.
The internet gave us COVID – 19. It’s deadlier cousin, COVID – 99, reminds us of how much we have to be thankful for.