The year 2020 was unlike anything seen in decades. A global pandemic impacted lives across the world as it changed our way of life. Lockdowns kept people in their homes, companies closed their doors forever, particular industries were decimated, and only the most essential businesses were allowed to stay open. One entity that thrived, however, was the internet.
Hassan Mahmood realises that many aspects of our lives are transitioning to the online space. Many organisations and retailers have no brick-and-mortar presence as they operate only in the digital realm. These are the companies that not just survived but thrived during the pandemic. The “Zoom boom” kept loved ones in touch with each other, e-commerce saw record sales, and people took the time to learn new skills or explore interests while they were at home. All of this was made possible by the internet, which Mahmood deems a savior as Covid ravaged the world.
While people did inevitably get bored, they utilised online resources to bridge social distances or find entertainment. Several new social media stars were born as platforms that were already growing exploded in popularity. Brands and businesses also scaled up thanks to digital advertising and people buying goods that would let them dive into newfound hobbies. As restaurants were closed, scores of people either learned how to cook or finally had the time to further hone their skills.
Perhaps the most prominent role the internet played during the pandemic was as a source of information. After all, this is one of the core reasons the world wide web was developed. People could seek answers about the virus itself, how it spread, the symptoms, where to get tested, and how to protect themselves. Thanks to the advancements in global communication and the 24-hour news cycle, Mahmood credits the internet with keeping people safe during this dark chapter of human history.