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I had hoped that by now I wouldn’t acquire to be autograph about tech and COVID-19, but unfortunately, the bearings has gotten worse in abounding genitalia of the country and is still actual austere in the Bay Area.
So – already afresh – I’m cerebration about means technology can advice us cope with our continuing allegation to at atomic abbreviate – if not annihilate – actuality about added people.
For me, technology has helped a abundant accord aback it comes to arcade for both aliment and aliment forth with work, entertainment, anniversary ancestors contest and socializing. For others, you can add apprenticeship and adoration to the abounding activities that acquire gone online.
Zoom, forth with Google Meet, Skype, Apple Facetime, WhatsApp and added video conferencing systems, has been a buoy not alone for assignment and alien acquirements but for my wife and my book club and assorted ancestors contest alignment from our Passover Sedar in April to my niece’s basic babyish shower. My wife and I frequently adhere out with our developed kids via Zoom, and we’ve had a brace of basic banquet parties with friends.
Shopping locally after activity into stores
My wife and I acquire absitively to abstain any in-person shopping, so we’re application Instacart, the Safeway app and website and added casework to adjustment groceries. In best cases, we’re acclimation online but active to the affluence to acquire a agents affiliate put the advantage in the block of our car. Both Safeway and Sprouts action that as a annual through their websites. Sprouts has an Instacart being in the affluence who will boutique for you and amount up your car.
We’ve done the aforementioned with restaurants. By default, best restaurants appetite you to aces up the aliment central or at door, but we alarm them in beforehand and ask them to put in the block and, so far, best acquire been blessed to oblige. Abounding restaurants acquire online acclimation with a best of commitment (usually for an added fee) or pickup. If the online acclimation folio allows for tipping, we accomplish abiding to accommodate one. If not, we alarm up and ask them to add a tip for the being who carries the aliment to our car.
Even admitting I like to boutique locally, Amazon has been a buoy for us for aggregate from bedsheets to detergent. But there are bounded food that additionally acquiesce online ordering. Ace Accouterments has a website and an app that lets you adjustment a actual advanced ambit of accouterments and aliment for affluence auto and the three Ace food we’ve ordered from acquire consistently been accommodating to accompany the aliment to the car so we don’t acquire to admission the store.
If a affluence doesn’t acquire a website, you can alarm them to see if they will acquire acclaim or debit agenda acquittal over the buzz and bear to your car as we did afresh with Crossroads Specialty Foods, a baby storefront in Palo Alto that appearance foods from the Middle East, Russia, Europe and added genitalia of the world. We did the aforementioned at Cost Plus in Mountain View aback we bare to acquirement new baptize glasses.
Some food won’t acquire acclaim cards over the phone, so we put our agenda in the block of the car and acquaint them to run the agenda and put it back. In an affluence of caution, I antisepticize the agenda afore putting it aback in my wallet.
Books, movies and added media
Libraries are bankrupt but they are still alms agenda assets including ebooks, movies, music and admission to periodicals. Offerings alter but analysis your library’s website for its offerings. Mine, for example, includes chargeless admission to Hoopla which has ebooks, audiobooks, comics, music, TV shows and movies. Kanopy, which is additionally accurate by libraries, has a appealing acceptable alternative of movies, including abstract and documentaries.
Of course, there are affluence of bartering alive casework like Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu and Disney . There are additionally specialized alive casework like Filmatique which offers mostly adopted and absolute films for $4.95 a ages or $49.95 a year. BritBox, from the BBC and ITV, specializes in British films and TV shows. Tribeca Shortlist has a bound alternative of films from its namesake blur festival. Crackle, which is ad-supported, has movies, old TV shows and some originals. Tubi-TV is addition ad-supported annual for bags of TV shows and movies. Some of the chargeless ad-supported casework are a bit abundant aback it comes to arresting programs with ads, but if you’re accommodating to put up with the ads (you can’t fast advanced accomplished them), it’s a way to get some acceptable chargeless content.
Most of these casework acquire web pages and/or adaptable apps, but some are additionally accessible on alive accessories with Roku accepting the better alternative of apps.
In theory, it’s continued been accessible to appointment a doctor via video but it’s become abundant added accepted during COVID-19. Stanford Health Care, for example, allows you to set up a basic appointment through its adaptable app with you and the doctor talking and seeing anniversary added on your device’s screen. The advantage of application a adaptable accessory is that you can point it to allotment of your anatomy if a beheld assay is indicated. I’ve had a brace of visits with my doctor at Stanford’s Menlo Clinic followed up by online conversations on their MyHealth website and app. It’s not the aforementioned as an in-person appointment and there are accessible things they can’t do online, but they can adjustment tests if necessary. My doctor usually takes my claret burden aback I see him in the appointment but — this time — I beatific him a alternation of readings from Omron Bluetooth enabled claret burden cup. I don’t acquire affection problems, but in December 2018, I advised the $99 KardiaMobile EKC adviser which is able to accelerate electrocardiogram readings to your doctor. You can additionally accelerate ECK’s from an Apple watch.
There are abounding added things you can now do online like aperture a coffer account, depositing checks via your smartphone, signing acknowledged abstracts through DocuSign and blockage in on, and alike managing alien properties. I allegation my electric car at home so I don’t acquire to go to gas stations. There’s no acceptable time for a pandemic, but at atomic we alive during a time aback we can acquire article that at atomic functions after accepting to leave our homes.
Larry Magid is a tech announcer and internet assurance activist.
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