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Amidst the Gloom of Coronavirus, Mobile has Proven to be a Source of Hopefulness and Helpfulness

Mobile advertising is one amongst many industries whose revenues are feeling the pinch from the consequences of the Coronavirus. Yet in these trying times, mobile has also proven itself as a valuable tool for staying connected, sharing information, and remaining upbeat.

Stocks and shares are tumbling. Conferences are being cancelled left, right, and centre. And advertising revenues are being hit hard. And yet amidst the doom, gloom, conspiracy, and tragedy, some individuals have taken it upon themselves to bring some optimism and helpfulness. The positivity that has come out of our industry has highlighted the power of mobile.

Sharing Health Tips

There is no denying that we have seen a worrying trend of misinformation and even conspiracy theories shared online. Yet most people have been taking a more productive role by using their platforms to spread helpful content that protects others. Mobile is being used as a tool for the rapid and widespread dissemination of information. The sharing of medical facts, sanitation advice, and health tips have been playing a vital role in slowing the spread of Covid19. Even Tinder sharing in-app tips.

Amidst the panic buying, the cost of antibacterial sanitiser has skyrocketed. Hand gels are selling on eBay and Amazon for over 600 times their retail value. Because viral prevention requires collective precautions, the scientifically minded know that the hoarding of such items only increases the likelihood of greater spread. Fortunately, these entrepreneurial individuals are using their platform to share ways in which to make their own safeguards.

A Guide to Making your own WHO-endorsed Hand Sanitiser
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Other videos include tips on creating DIY face-masks, myth busting facts, and simulations that highlight the effectiveness of a national increase in handwashing.

These actions can save lives.

Staying Entertained

Hand gels and face masks aren’t the only products that people are hoarding. In many countries, food is flying off the shelves. That did not stop this bored Wuhan resident from using his veg more creatively. To pass the time and kill the boredom of isolation, he created a cherry tomato billiards game using chopsticks as his cues. And of course, thanks to mobile, he was able to share his ingenuity with the world.

Naturally, some of the humour of these posts can be a little dark, but in troubling times black humour can be vital. Just ask these Chinese men betting face masks in a game of mah-jong. Or anyone following the mock travel-influencer trend highlighting the wondrous sights of…their own flats.

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These are just some examples of many where people are still having fun in adverse conditions. Some of the best posts of this nature combine entertainment with the sharing of health-advice. Who knew that hand washing technique was so important? Well, now millions of Ecuadorian people due to this video of hospital staff performing a hand-washing dance. Or 700,000 Iranians thanks to this theatrical Instagram post. Or plenty more Italians thanks to this feisty grandmother’s advice.

That said, one TikTok trend has been a stand-out star.

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Vietnam’s response to the outbreak has been widely praised. At the time of writing, in spite of their close proximity to China and dense population, the nation has relatively few cases of Covid-19. A lot of the credit for that is being given to this catchy government-produced song about washing hands correctly and avoiding facial contact.

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The surprisingly savvy health ministry included a dance challenge with the song. TikTok stars have embraced the challenge so well that some of their viral videos even made it across the Pacific to John Oliver’s super-popular Last Week Tonight segment.

Coronavirus: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
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Communicating with Loved Ones

Recommendations for isolation mean that many people, both infected and uninfected, are missing out on face-to-face communication. To make matters worse, strict travel restrictions mean that many people are separated from their loved ones.

Digital media has previously been criticized for failing to live up to its ambitions of creating a more social world. Yet in times like this, the value of mobile and social media is clear. The evolution of mobile media has allowed people to stay social and connected.

Compared to a couple of decades ago, people in today’s digital world are able to stay in touch with their loved ones through video calls, online games, and more. And that is something that we can all be grateful for.

And it is not only loved ones that are finding creative ways to stay connected and hopeful. This genuinely inspiring video shows the residents of Wuhan shouting ‘Jiāyóu!’ from their tower block windows. ‘Jiāyóu!’ has become the city’s chant of solidarity. It means ‘persevere’ and is used to lift others up during times of struggle.

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Finally, we couldn’t write a blog post about the lighthearted use of mobile and Coronavirus without giving a shout-out to the quarantined kids of Wuhan. After being sent their homework via an app called DingTalk, they realized that they could crash it if they gave it enough 1-star app store reviews. Which is exactly what they did. While we know we shouldn’t be encouraging that sort of behaviour, kids of Wuhan, we salute you. 

With the MWC, GDC, Google IO, and F8 all cancelled or postponed, the website “IsItCancelledYet.com” is a useful resource for staying up with the latest news. From everyone here at Applift, we wish the world a speedy recovery. Stay safe, stay sensible, stay informed, and if you can, stay happy.

For more information on staying safe, read the World Health Organization’s advice.

Applift is a leading mobile ad tech company that empowers businesses by creating the next-generation platform for advertisers to reach and convert their audiences on mobile.
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