Remember the good ole days? You know, when Governor Wolf announced a short 2 week social distancing shut down to get over the Coronavirus hump. As I recall, the distancing began March 13th with a scheduled end of March 26th. At that time, public school teachers and government employees "deserved" a paid break, while everyone else scrambled. In Pennsylvania, those 2 weeks turned into the rest of the school year as COVID-19 infections rapidly increased. At day 60 of social distancing, we are still far from a steady decline not strong enough to "get back to normal".
The purpose of technology, to me, is to make the world more efficient. Efficiency increases productivity and decreases waste. From a technology perspective, WHY go back to "normal" aka inefficient? Let's just ask for the sake of mother earth and our precious ozone, the very oxygen that keeps us alive, is it better to pollute our air, streams, rivers and kill the trees through de-forestation? What necessities have we been able to live without? What new appreciation have we gained? For the socialist that I am, can we FINALLY admit that internet access, the connection necessary for students to learn online, is a public good?
As a former Lyft driver (yeah, that model went out the window when people began working at home), I drove many passengers very close and very far to fill their prescriptions. In the new economy, prescriptions are delivered rather than picked up. I saw that trend as Instacart suddenly had daily Black Friday-like spikes in demand. It is way more efficient for drivers to deliver prescriptions, like just Amazon.com increased profitability by blowing the brick and mortar department stores into bankruptcy. The latest victim, and there will be more, is @Lord and Taylor. It is much more efficient to deliver 100+ prescriptions a day, then to have 100+ customers waiting in line for their prescriptions. Customers no longer waste their precious time waiting while those who need medicine ASAP wait less time to get a refill.
On March 16th, in a previously scheduled trip to visit my mom, I breezed down I-95 without having a 10 minute or more wait through the toll booths. The great state of Delaware had already started the implementation of toll-less highways on route 301 but I-95 was another story. A few months ago, I published an article - https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/wealth-building-series-i-hate-cars-love-driving-repeat-nicole-newman/. In the article, I wrote "Even with the EZ-Pass, I found myself caught in the technology quagmire receiving tickets and fines from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland too! Maryland was the easiest to consider since I was only billed for the fine and given 30 days BEFORE the penalty was added but the other states consider fines as a revenue source for their government/business with the worst offender in my home state of Pennsylvania. New Jersey kindly billed me $50.00 for the administrative fee after acknowledging that my EZ-Pass was working so the ticketing fee was removed but not the administrative fee." During "social distancing", New Jersey FINALLY sent a ticket for the open toll both without an administrative fee! New Jersey saw the light that neighboring states, Maryland and Delaware shine!
I'm not saying that the new economy will be better or worse for everyone. I am stating that technology allows us to move in a more efficient direction IF we are strategic about what we can GAIN that minimizes job loss (like toll booth workers) with new job creation. The ability to get a library card number using technology was on my wish list. Previously, I had to go into a library for card services. The Free Library of Philadelphia granted the wish by sending my library card number and updating my information over e-mail! In the new economy, patrons are going to have to support public works. Please KEEP our libraries going by donating @ https://freelibrary.formstack.com/forms/donation. #neweconomy #efficiency #courtoverthephone #telemedicine