Tech tips to beat COVID-19 blues - part 1
While technology can never fully replace the human touch, here are six ways that technology is making life during the ‘circuit breaker’ more enjoyable.
As the worldwide movement to embrace social distancing gains traction, individuals and organisations alike are scrambling to adapt to the new realities of life.
Whether it’s a work-from-home arrangement or online parties, technology has become indispensable when it comes to accepting the new normal. Here’s a list of tech tools to help you navigate these challenging times.
1. Meet people on online
Travel restrictions and social distancing have prevented face-to-face meetings between family, friends and colleagues. So it comes as little surprise that video conferencing tools like Zoom and Google Hangouts have taken centerstage. Equipped with bells and whistles—like Virtual Backgrounds, more on that later—it is ultimately Zoom’s ability to accommodate large groups for video conferences or classroom lectures give it an edge over its competitors.
If you’re keen to avoid a video conference faux pas like the ‘BBC Dad’ or just want to hide the clutter in your room, take advantage of the Virtual Background feature that allows you to display custom images or videos in the background. Additionally, Zoom also lets you record video calls. This can be handy for students who want to revisit course materials and lectures.
2. Get organised with Airtable
Keeping tabs on multiple projects when your colleagues are cocooned at home can be cumbersome. Enter Airtable, a free-to-use cloud collaboration service that promises to make organising projects easy. Its spreadsheet design—which is similar to Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets—feels familiar and easy to work with. Airtable also provides several ready-to-use templates for a variety of activities including marketing and product planning, making it easy for new users to get started.
Airtable accommodates many types of data and allows you to switch between different views like a Kanban board, an image gallery or a calendar. It can also help set up web forms and collate responses within the same table for easy reference.
3. Let’s TraceTogether
Contact tracing normally requires significant time and resources. But the recently launched TraceTogether app that hopes to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 through community-driven contact tracing, will make the task much simpler. Using Bluetooth signals, the app records the presence of other TraceTogether users nearby. If someone tests positive for COVID-19 and provides their data to the Ministry of Health (MOH), MOH can inform potential contacts over the phone.
The app, which was jointly developed by GovTech and MOH, can be downloaded on Google Play or the App Store. In case you have any privacy concerns about TraceTogether app, check out this myth-busting article here.
4. Embrace the outdoors
Physical activity is important for our health, mood and productivity. If you’re thinking of taking a walk outdoors or going for a trail run, make sure it’s not too crowded by visiting an online portal named Safe Distance @ Parks. Co-developed by GovTech and NParks, the website allows you to check how crowded a park is in advance so that you can plan your outing accordingly.
The portal monitors the real-time visitors of major parks and green spaces with the help of data gathered by staff on the ground, as well as aerial photographs taken by drones. NParks has advised that people should avoid areas where footfall is high and return home as soon as they complete their exercise, so as to free up space and allow others to use the park.
5. Stay healthy with home workouts
Parks too crowded? Fret not. Plenty of YouTube and Instagram videos, as well as apps catering to varying fitness goals, are providing home workouts you can bank on. For example, FitOn app offers free exercises designed by celebrity trainers, ranging from pilates to high-intensity interval training sessions.
If you’d like to support local fitness experts while working on your health goals at the same time, why not try ActiveSG Circle, a new platform connecting freelance fitness instructors to users across Singapore. With 88 verified instructors in piloxing, Zumba, yoga and more, you can choose from free content or classes that cost as little as $10 to $20 per session. ActiveSG Circle content is also available on GetActive TV, dedicated YouTube and Facebook channels that also provide talk shows and cooking tips for a well-rounded healthy life.
6. Protect your mental well-being
Much of life as we know it has changed in a remarkably short time, thanks to COVID-19. Protecting our mental well-being is as imperative, if not more, as keeping our bodies fit and healthy in these trying times. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the current situation, try practicing mindfulness through meditation. While it might seem daunting at first, plenty of meditation apps such as Calm and Headspace are available to guide you through the process. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that this too shall pass.https://www.tech.gov.sg/media/technews/tech-tips-to-beat-covid-blues-part1