COVID-19 has affected so much of what we’ve deemed necessary in our daily lives. And those components vary, based on our levels of privilege. They include anything from a greeting with a grocery store cashier, coffee dates, the opportunity to raise a hand in class or even access to regular meals.
As a result, we've been forced to embrace remote work. All operations these days depend, to some extent, on computers, smartphone technology and various softwares. Whether we like it or not, our functions, habits, lifestyles (and yes, even joys and sadness) are increasingly bound by technology during this pandemic.
Simultaneously becoming more pronounced, however, is the gap between the developed and developing world, as well as socioeconomic classes.
A study by the University of Chicago showed that, in the United States, up to 37 percent of jobs could be done from home — but most of them belonged to high-salary, white-collar occupations in metropolitan areas. An extension of this research from the International Monetary Fund discovered that, among these jobs, considerably fewer of them could go remote in less-developed economies.
One of the biggest reasons is that less than 50 percent of the world has personal access to a computer, and only 60 percent can access the internet. Marginalized communities and populations who fall victim to systemic disadvantages, as well as regions that are unable to shift to efficient remote work, are predisposed to economic scarring, which is already a byproduct of the pandemic.