Published 06 July 2020 by Dr Iqbal Survé

Relatives hug through a ‘hug curtain’ at a nursing home in Sao Paulo. The long-term effects of limited human contact could hasten the merging of humans and machines, to our detriment, yet there are also advantages to a more tech-driven world, says Dr Iqbal Survé. Picture: EPA

Cape Town – History, a record of past events good and bad, is peppered with seminal moments of human advancement – think when man first invented fire, the wheel, the telephone, train, machines to enhance manufacture, space travel, the personal computer, mobile phone and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). The spoken word, to written, and now to voice activated communication and so on.

Each advancement compelled an adaptation of human behaviour. However, it is the current technological revolution, coupled with the global war against Covid-19, that can reasonably be said as driving the most dramatic reformation of human beings, at present. Whether this is a plus or a negative is yet to be decided – the outcome being firmly in the hands of each one of us.

Where once we took something as mundane as hugging and the public, physical display of affection for granted, we have been told to adhere to social distancing.

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