The Covid-19 pandemic, no doubt, has wreaked havoc on planet Earth, destroying economies, causing deaths and bringing misery and grief to large segments of humanity. It might seem to be illogical to attempt to derive some cold comfort from such havoc, yet the truth is that the virus has induced us to highlight the introduction and enhancement of certain practices which might, if persisted with, bring about benefits to human society. That communication technology has made stupendous development in recent times is a welcome coincidence since this has equipped us to overcome many hurdles created by the pandemic. It is true, of course, that the progress made in the communication sphere has created problems too, but then such technology is merely a tool that can be used both for good and evil, and it is up to humanity whether good use would be made of it. The most important factor is that communication technological advances have made possible for us to transcend the handicap imposed by the need for social distancing, in education, business, science, medicine, et al. We know that despite its drawbacks, teaching from home during the pandemic has somehow kept the process of educating our new generation going till in-school instructions could be resumed. Similarly, the work from home practice has saved many corporate entities from totally collapsing when confronted by the requirement to keep offices closed.
The service provided by networking apps such as Zoom, Skype, Google Hangout, etc., has been particularly beneficial to scientists who, apparently, now wants conferences to be held virtually even after the pandemic ends, citing ease of attending from anywhere in the world and low carbon footprint among its advantages, notwithstanding the inability to simulate in-person networking with colleagues. That numerous scientific conferences had to be cancelled all over the world after the outbreak was a dire reality which was countered soon enough by online interactions. Many researchers now claim that in the past year they have been able to attend more meetings than ever before because these were held online. Remaining sedentary while attending a conference saves on travel time and expenses, while less travel also assists in offering lower carbon footprints. It is on record that scientists and researchers had taken advantage of the opportunity to reach out while defying time constraints to begin new collaborations, resulting in a sharp increase in the number of new special interest groups. Naturally, a plethora of cons exist side by side with the pros in regards to virtual conferences, a significant negative being absence of opportunities of personal interaction amongst scientists during online conferences, which might open up new directions of research. However, the biggest drawback with online conferences involving multiple participants is the relative lack of data security which can sometimes be of paramount importance for scientists and researchers.