Covid-19’s Effects On The Tech We Use Every Day

Jason Cooley is Support Services Manager for Tech Experts.

As we all know, most of the world was basically shut down earlier this year. There was no planning or infrastructure in place to help ease the burden of entire populations staying home. Consequently, the domino effect hit hard.

People rushed out to stock up on essentials like toilet paper and sanitizer. Overbuying then created a new issue as supply chains struggled to keep up with demand. Shipping times overall started to slow.

Amazon, whose Prime subscription service is famous for its 1-2 day shipping time, prioritized essential items for their guaranteed delivery. From personal experience, I had an Amazon item that did not ship for two weeks after ordering. This was solely due to the de-prioritization of nonessential goods.

The United States Post Office has had severe delays as well, specifically in their larger Metropolitan areas, and have been buried under a Christmas season-like load with a much smaller workforce.

Manufacturing as a whole took an almost immediate hit. Most manufacturing facilities have a large number of employees in an enclosed area. This presented a huge risk for the spread of the disease, causing automobile manufacturers, food processing plants, and computer manufacturers to send their employees home and shut their doors.

Why does manufacturing being put on hold matter so much? Once again, it’s due to the struggle to meet demands.

While many industries did put a hold on their business, many others made a quick transition to remote work. Many companies, both big and small, scrambled to obtain laptops for their employees to allow them to work from home.

While companies worked out remote solutions for their employees, schools had also closed down all over the country.

Some schools had existing devices for their students, such as Chromebooks, but many schools did not. To continue the learning process during the pandemic, more computers were needed for students to do their work. All of these new needs for computers – primarily from online retailers – created a huge surge in PC sales, but also created a real issue. Inventory was running out all over the United States and a computer shortage began.

With no manufacturing, there was no inventory being created, including PC parts. This affected the entire sector and the shortage is on-going.

All faces of technology – from the big guys like Amazon to smaller companies – have felt the effects of the pandemic. They have also done their part to help.

Auto plants changed their lines over from making cars to making respirators. Amazon put a high priority on essential items and medical supplies. Many other industries and businesses have shifted their production to meet immediate needs such as masks.

There is some silver lining in all of this. Seeing companies band together for the good of people without thinking of profit has been reassuring. The phrase “unprecedented times” has been used more times than we can count, but now that we have that precedent, let’s hope we can learn from it.