The COVID-19 public health emergency has officially expired – signaling a new chapter and bringing about many changes.
One thing that will remain the same? The importance of a reliable, high-speed internet connection.
Why it matters: The pandemic catapulted the critical role connectivity plays in our daily lives. During COVID’s social distancing norms and nationwide lockdowns, we relied on the internet to work, learn, socialize, entertain, shop, access critical services, and much more.
- Fortunately, broadband providers were prepared for the surge in COVID-19 internet traffic – working around the clock to ensure networks continued to deliver a seamless experience.
Even in a post-pandemic world, many of these internet trends are sticking around – here are four to highlight.
Internet Trend #1: Telehealth Is Here to Stay
Then: As we scrambled to safely seek medical care, the availability and use of telehealth services skyrocketed during the pandemic. Virtual medical visits grew in popularity, offering easier, faster, and more affordable ways to access healthcare.
Now: Most Americans still prefer getting their prescription refills and care for minor illnesses via telemedicine. And with the introduction of 10G networks, the possibilities are endless when it comes to diagnostic wearables and sensors – enabling patients to take even more control of their health right from home.
Internet Trend #2: The Future of Work Is Flexibility
Then: The pandemic shattered the concept of traditional in-office work due to public safety, ushering in a new era of working from home (WFH). It also shed light on issues around work-life balance, mental health, and the need for more flexible work arrangements.
Now: While initially a necessity, WFH – or at least a combination of in-office and remote work – is here to stay. Businesses are seeing the benefits of workplace flexibility – which can lead to increased productivity, reduced overhead costs, and improved work-life balance for employees.
Internet Trend #3: We’re Ordering More Food Delivery & Takeout
Then: The pandemic caused a surge in expanded food delivery and takeout services, as most Americans avoided eating in restaurants or bars…
Now: Even as in-person dining resumes, the convenience of ordering takeout or delivery is likely to remain a popular option for many. In fact, two-thirds of adults say they’re more likely to order takeout from a restaurant now than they were before the pandemic.
Internet Trend #4: Fitness Goes Beyond the Gym
Then: Lockdowns and social distancing measures encouraged many people to explore new ways to stay fit and active without going to the gym. Home exercise equipment sales soared, and online fitness classes and apps gained widespread popularity.
Now: As people became more accustomed to exercising at home during COVID-19, it’s likely that many will continue to incorporate these routines into their post-pandemic lives. One perk? Many are finding that the flexibility of being able to workout whenever and wherever is helping them stick to their workout routine.
The Bottom Line
Whether it’s refilling a prescription or working from home, the internet has made our lives easier. And with technology continuing to improve our lives, it’s critical that every American has access to high-speed broadband.
Check out our #ConnectivityCounts page to learn how we’re helping to achieve the goal of 100% connectivity in America.