Rishika Rao, a digital marketing agency owner from Jaipur, discovered that her use of Twitter since the pandemic has gradually improved. For a large segment of Indians who are struggling to find support and comfort for their friends and family in the face of the pandemic, Twitter has become the go-to resource. It’s also become a forum for people like Rao to support people who need help to live in COVID-19.
“I and my entire family were sick with COVID last year,” she said. “At the moment, my Twitter buddies were very helpful. Now, I believe that if I can assist them in some way, it would add significant value to my presence on the platform.”
Rao is one of hundreds of people on Twitter who are organising supplies and assisting people affected by the coronavirus pandemic in India’s new outbreak. The number of people who are infected and die is increasing at an unprecedented pace. When it comes to COVID events, the nation has now surpassed the United States as the world’s second biggest.
This isn’t the first time social media has proven to be effective in disasters; the same thing happened during the Chennai floods of 2015, the Uttarakhand earthquake of 2017, and the Kerala floods of 2018.
However, this is probably the first time we’ve had an emergency incident that has lasted too long. Despite the fact that the world experienced the most strict national lockdown in many weeks, which affected the lives of many citizens — not just emotionally, but also financially and mentally — the shift that has arisen on Twitter is something very different from what was there last year.
Nonetheless, many people used social media sites like Twitter at the time to cope with the lockdown and learn new skills like baking bread. We were both tweeting about how much we enjoyed Tiger King on Netflix and how we were looking forward to returning to normalcy in just a few weeks.
But a year later, we’re in a totally different country. Countless requests for medications, beds, and even intensive care units can be seen on the internet (ICUs). Some of them are still looking for food to give to COVID patients and others who have lost their jobs and livelihoods as a result of the recent wave of the deadly virus.
Many social media users are using their channels like Twitter and others to support people who are going through a difficult time. For example, political writer Pragya Tiwari has shared information about a COVID Care Centre in Delhi that is open to the public for free. Aanchal Agrawal, a marketer, also tweeted a link to a Google Sheet paper with information on plasma donors, isolation beds, intensive care units, and medicine centres, among other things.
Many other members on the microblogging network have exchanged tools for locating critical necessities.