Courtesy to the internet, though the pandemic has hindered social gathering, social interaction and engagement is on-going and deepens. Social media usage globally has experienced an high surge in its engagement.The virus has basically changed the way we internet. Streaming services appears to be the most sought after entertainment. Netflix Europe had to reduce it quality by 25% as a result of loaded unusual traffic.The rise in social distancing have carried along video chat especially in the urgent need for long distance education in times where institutions can’t afford to gather people. This has made Zoom somewhat trending and popular.
Twitch,the leading site for online gaming has had traffic shoot up by 20%. In South Korea, snapchat traffic has increased by about 25%. With majority of people at home seeking information on the pandemic, public health and the economic consequence, the media especially mainstream and established outfits have grown in traffic at about 50%.One may wonder how interaction and communication was administered and managed during the previous pandemic, must have been terrible for people of our age.
The Internet has is saving our asses which awakens my consciousness on two point; Africa needs better and affordable internet and secondly, does the 5G internet service truly adulterate our DNA because better internet service will definitely make life better. the internet has truly save our generation in this pandemic; speedy dissemination of information, cheaper and affordable communication (audiovisual), real time entertainment and streaming services (Netflix, Snapchat, Instagram etc). Imagine if the internet never existed amidst the level of how contagious the virus is, the casualty would have been scarier, with a potential acute population collapse.
While the internet ease our stress, tension and fear, it doesn’t just can’t fit in for hope; that ray of light in the midst of stark darkness. There is a stronger reawakening for global health care system. However, the cost of globalism should not be at the expense of sovereignty, mutual respect and tolerance of our different culture and civilisation. There is a race to finding a vaccine for COVID-19 and Africa isn’t left behind. Through rough times, Africa has been-resilient and surviving and at the moment, all eyes should focus on Senegal.
Senegal’s Institute Pasteur de Dakar is developing a $1 dollar COVID-19 testing kit. The institute has been on the virological forefront developing vaccines and treatments for several ailments such as yellow fever, dengue, Ebola etc. It is a specialised research facility in collaboration with Mologic, a British biotech company with the aid of £1million grant from the UK government as part of it effort to combat the deadly coronavirus. Senegal has also been able to work out a 3D printed ventilator that cost $60 contrary to a $16,000 imported one. Senegal is truly Afrocentric in preferring solutions. The goals is to produced 2 to 4 million test kits for Africa which carters the need of Africa in key areas such as price, easy-to-use, availability, sensitisation and other technical requirements. The test kit can be used at home using a blood or saliva sample,somewhat similar to a pregnancy test kit. Thus, there is no need for a highly equipped lab. This will ease the stress of health workers and prevent needless traffic in health centres.
It is hightime Africa invested in her health care system, profer Afrocentric solution to our health care and not elitist privileges that cannot benefit the poor and people in rural areas.