The safety of our people is extremely important, and we urge all necessary precautions be taken to protect against the threat of the coronavirus. The difficulties from the pandemic goes across all creeds and wealth levels. It has shown us some of the best of humanity through the extraordinary efforts of first responders and charities.
There is an economic concept known as “Creative Destruction which roughly means that the destruction of an industry or economic structure creates the opportunity for a new one to stand in its place. This happens naturally through technological development, which reduces the value of existing business models, necessitating growth in order to maintain purchasing power. A crisis event, such as war or pestilence, can destroy much more quickly, but its possible that the gaps created will be filled more quickly as well. This doesn’t mean the recovery will be fast, or easy, or that everything will recover.
We can hope that the infrastructure we’ve built and are building to respond to this crisis will be beneficial well beyond when the crisis is over. The coronavirus has created unprecedented needs in our society, and new mechanisms to fulfill those needs. We were already on track to fulfill some of those needs, with a greater number of people working from home and automation than ever before. Services such as video conferencing make this more feasible, and those services can be utilized to help us through social distancing as well.
Here are additional ways that video conferencing are being ramped up and can help us stay safe.
Estate Planning – Funeral Streaming
Many funeral homes started offering livestreaming of funerals last year so that those who were unable to travel would be able to participate in the communal grieving process. The CDC has endorsed that approach during this crisis. Funeral services should try to restrict attendance and utilize live-streaming services when possible. Given that travel should also be avoided, the utilization of this additional service is likely to go up substantially.
Beyond live-streaming the funeral, a digital memorial can be considered to allow people to communicate their grief. Many online companies have formed to offer this service, the largest currently being www.legacy.com, but some funeral homes are starting to offer a digital component as part of their services.
Health Services – Telehealth or Telemedicine
By video-conferencing with a doctor, people are able to find out what services are appropriate for them without exposing others. There have been various improvements to telehealth services, even a robot that has a video screen of the doctor and moves around between patients to check in on them. Video conferencing allows doctors to better diagnose patients than they could just over the phone.
Entertainment – Netflix Party
Through a chrome extension, friends can get together remotely in order to view the same video at the same time and make comments about what they are watching. Just because they aren’t in the same room, doesn’t mean they can’t have a shared experience.
Education – Zoom Conferencing
Zoom videoconferencing had already offered a free service with an upgrade to premium model based on participant size and length of seminar. For Coronavirus affected countries, they are now taking those caps off for educational usage for classes K-12.
Beyond increased utilization of video conferencing, many businesses have pivoted to provide new ways to provide their services through a delivery model. Many restaurants, from fast food to steakhouses, offer roadside pickup or delivery services so that people can still enjoy their fine meals without the exposure of being in a crowded restaurant. Those that are able to find success by creating or utilizing additional infrastructure in this environment may be able to regain their earlier standing and keep the added distribution channel.
We are part of a vast social network of people that supports people who support people, and social distancing doesn’t change that. It merely changes how close we can come in contact with each other in order to do so. We’ll continue to be social animals, and we’ll continue to support and trust one another as best we can.
From all of us here at Garden State Trust Company – Stay safe, and keep in touch.