April 3rd 2020
By Milan Samardžić
With the COVID-19 outbreak we are reevaluating a lot of stuff that we took for granted before. Thankfully we have technology to help us avoid unnecessary contact and keep us safe. With that being said, here are some of free and easy to useful tools that will help you out in avoiding unnecessary contact!
You can use Google maps to check when stores are being abnormally crowded. By knowing this you can plan going out for shopping, accordingly, avoiding crowds and keeping yourself safe.
How to use it?
First open “maps.google.com”, in the search field type name of place what you want to visit(eg. Tropic Moj Market). If there are multiple choices on the list, pick the one based on your location. Scroll little bit down and you will notice Popular time section. This section will compare usual/average visits of the place with current visits. In the examples below you can notice the mentioned example. Current time stamp will be marked with the red highlight.
As you can notice this place is currently really crowded if we compare it to its usual weekends. Also, you can expect ~20% more people for the weekend than usual, at least compared to today’s data.
On the second image (Fig.2) you can notice that this shopping center is not too busy at this moment. So, comparing these two places you can choose the least crowded place for all your toilet paper buying needs😊.
It’s important to note that google won’t always be correct. Elderly people in most cases don’t have smartphones so they don’t get counted by the algorithm and also in the time of crisis clothing stores inside centers are closed so the “not too busy” sign is not super reliable. Think about “usual” visits in that store and of course, review your shopping list. Don’t buy unnecessary things. EVER.
Use the available banking technology (BANK CARD) for paying instead cash. All modern credit cards (even phones and smart watches) are equipped with contactless payment that will help you avoid unnecessary contact.
But even without the contactless payment option, paying with a card is much simpler and cleaner than paying with physical money. Recent research has shown that the virus can survive longer on organic material and money bills collect sweat more than plastic credit cards.
While it is safer to use a credit card you should still, wash your hands after and clean you card or phone with alcoholic tissues.
Even better if you can, pay everything online, from your phone, tablet, computer, tv, watch whatever. Try and avoid using ATM-s and bringing germs to your house at all cost.
Paying from the comfort of your own couch
If you are using pre-paid options in Bosnia and Herzegovina, you can use THIS WEB for BH Telecom, HT-Eronet and Haloo. For m:tel user this link, or do it from you TV (only available for mtel TV users). The process is really fast and there in no reason for detail explanations.
Also pay your bills online. Every bank has some form of internet banking today, be sure to use it!
Use # hashtags for posting or tracking important news on social networks.
Birthplace of hashtags is Twitter, but it’s also available and working on Facebook and Instagram. Stay up to date with important news in your building, street, town, country. It’s good to be aware of the global situation but don’t dwell and overthink things that you have no control over. Instead you can focus on your surroundings, help your neighborhood, and the elderly. Communicate with them using technology as much is possible as they are probably feeling lonely too. Help older people by avoiding the elevator and unnecessarily contaminating it. This is your chance to #stayActive!
Last but not least we have “Digitalno Vrijeme”. Its an online platform dedicated to finding free, quality content for you during this pandemic. The platform itself offers a wide variety of pages for you and your young ones. From theatre plays all the way to learning coding through some of the best learning websites available. The best part of the platform is the fact that even you can chip in by recommending content that you find interesting or even content you yourself are creating. Be sure to give this page a look every now and then when you have extra time on your hands and make something positive out of this whole situation.
In the end, don't forget to be responsible! #stayHOME #staySAFE