The global COVID-19 pandemic has clearly changed our world. It has forced everyone to work or study at home to avoid infection. Government agencies are now operating almost exclusively online, schools from grade school up to higher education are conducting classes remotely, cities have turned convention centers and dormitories into hospitals, and lines at food banks extend for blocks. The virus has disrupted or altered nearly every aspect of life.
As we endeavor to keep people safe, help businesses stay open, keep our culture alive, and provide some modicum of comfort in the face of considerable uncertainty, we have had to push technology to new limits. People’s laptops have become their lifeline—the very difference between staying connected and productive or isolated and stagnant. This situation has also exacerbated the gaps in our society—gaps in access to technology, healthcare, education, and economic security.