COVID-19 has revolutionized the lives of billions of people around the world. Starting in December 2019 in Wuhan city, Hubei province, China, the virus has rapidly spread to other cities and countries. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization officially recognized the pandemic. And as of October 2020, over 40 million cases of infection were recorded in the world.

Large-scale restrictions have become commonplace in most countries. Some of them not only closed borders, but also banned the movement of people between different regions. To avoid the spread of the disease, enterprises were forced to transfer employees to remote work. Educational institutions and various organizations did the same.

Under these conditions, one of the primary tasks was to ensure full-fledged communication between company employees, partners, customers, pupils, students, teachers, and so on. Fortunately, by this time there were already many convenient solutions – video chats from Microsoft Team, Zoom, Skype, Slack, Discord and others. For many areas, these services have become a real salvation, allowing them to quickly establish communication and continue working/educational processes.

This is no surprise that the number of video chat users has grown exponentially? So, the publishing house Mind Reports that on March 12, 2020, the number of users of Zoom mobile application was 32 million people. By the end of the month – 200 million. In April this number reached 300 million. This was reflected in the value of the company’s shares. On March 11, Zoom’s share price did not exceed $110, and by mid-July it had more than doubled to $240. The company’s capitalization grew by $36 billion and amounted to $67 billion.

Fall 2020: the second wave of the pandemic and new restrictions

Everyone realized that with the onset of autumn, the cases of COVID-19 will go up. According to WHO, as of mid-October 2020, the number of infections in the world is as follows:

• USA — 18,7 million cases;

• Southeast Asia — 8,5 million cases;

• Eastern Mediterranean — 2,7 million cases;

• Africa — 1,2 million cases;

• Western Pacific — 680 thousand cases.

At the same time, the active dynamics of morbidity began to be observed in late August and early September. The number of deaths from coronavirus in the world by this time exceeded 1 million.

It is not surprising that in the current conditions governments around the world are striving to maintain economic stability and are taking appropriate measures. One of the most striking examples is Spain. Here, the number of remote employees since the beginning of the pandemic has increased by 30.2%. In the summer of 2020, the Spanish Ministry of Labor prepared a new Law on Remote Work. Its basic principles are:

1. From now on, the company and the employee must agree and approve in writing the schedule of remote work.

2. A ban on discrimination against remote workers has been established. That is, the salary should not change depending on whether the person works at home or in the office.

3. Transfer to remote work is a voluntary process.

4. The transfer agreement is made in writing during the conclusion of the initial contract or at the time of transfer.

5. The employer is obliged to compensate the employee’s expenses related to work from home.

6. Companies can engage in “business performance monitoring” for a remote employee as long as this does not violate their privacy rights.

Preparation and adoption of similar laws in other countries is only a matter of time. According to the WHO, the second wave of COVID-19 has already become much more extensive than the first. The disease has “rejuvenated” and has spread to those countries that were practically not affected by the first wave.

Of course, not everyone is happy with the transfer to remote or distance training and work. Even those who soberly understand that these are necessary measures. This format in one way or another slows down many work and educational processes. Although in some situations everything is exactly the opposite.

The authors of Harvard Business Review portal Liz Fosslien and Mollie West Duffy published an article back in the spring of 2020, in which they described how remote work affects human productivity. The main points are as follows:

• Video conferencing is more inconvenient than offline conferences. A person may be distracted by incoming chat messages, they need to ask their family not to distract them during a conversation, and so on. At the same time, the concentration of attention on the conversation itself is often higher.

• The perception of new information improves, but the person’s fatigue increases. And the constant eye contact of the interlocutor causes discomfort in some people.

• Many people also report that they are distracted from the interlocutor’s speech by looking at the window with their image in the video chat. And at the same time, they start to think more about their own appearance.

All these statements are not a general picture, but rather a sample of observations. Nevertheless, the authors of the article give a number of recommendations on how to make the remote workflow more comfortable:

1. Avoid multitasking and focus on one thing. Otherwise, switching between small tasks can take up to 40% of the working time.

2. Take mini breaks. Not only during work, but also during long video calls. You don’t have to interrupt the conversation, but at the same time you need to give your eyes a rest and at least a couple of minutes to look around.

3. Roll your webcam video during a call to look into the camera instead of at yourself. Otherwise, your eyes will be constantly downcast.

4. Organize communication not only by video communication, but also by phone, in messengers or by email.

5. Don’t video call other people without warning. Discuss the time of the interview in advance.

As you see, there is nothing complicated. But following these simple rules can really make it easier for you and your colleagues. Let’s not focus on work issues anymore and talk about simple communication. After all, it has also undergone many metamorphoses due to the pandemic.

Video chats as salvation from loneliness in 2020

The largest jump in the popularity of anonymous video chats occurred in 2010. And the first chat roulette in history was Omegle, launched on March 25, 2009. According to Wikipedia, within a month the number of website views reached 150 thousand. And in early 2010, there was a huge increase in the number of active users. On some days, the number of visits to the website reached 2 million.

A new big surge in the popularity of Omegle service and alternatives occurred in February-April 2020, when dozens of countries were subject to particularly severe restrictions. And even after their weakening, the dynamics remained positive. If before the pandemic the average number of Omegle users online did not reach 20 thousand, now it is 23-25 thousand.

Even those who had not previously thought about it began to use video chats and dating websites. Someone – out of interest, someone – wanting to finally devote time to their personal life, and someone – seriously intending to start a family. A spokesperson for the dating service Tinder said in an interview with ‘Made for minds’ that the number of messages in the American segment in early 2020 increased by 10-15%. In addition, the duration of conversations has also increased – by an average of 25%.

The important thing is that even when quarantine measures were eased a bit, many people continued to communicate in video chats and on dating platforms. This is not only due to the fears of getting sick, but also due to the convenience of this communication format. After all, here you can literally meet dozens of interesting people in an evening, study them in detail and decide whether you want to meet in real life and continue communication.


The world will no longer be the same, and we all understand this perfectly well. The format of work, study and even everyday communication between people is changing. Certainly, these changes are not always for the better. But let’s be optimistic and learn to concentrate on positivity even where there is not much of it.

After all, working from home means more freedom. Dating and chatting online is a time saver. Dating online is an unusual and extremely interesting form of pastime. The Internet gives us tremendous opportunities for convenient communication. You just need to use them!