Here's How Google and Friends Are Contributing—How Can We All Help?

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@gershwin.aaronAaron Gershwin

Cyber security copy writer, tech support with a degree in political science

A month ago it would’ve been hard to imagine how life would change in what seems overnight. Quarantines have been declared in many countries, and already around one billion people are staying at home, isolating themselves and some working remotely. The public activities have stopped, drug stores are in deficit of protection masks, and food shops are being cleaned of even primary products.
It sure looks grim, but, believe it or not, things are not as bad as it sounds. It’s tough, and we need to fight the virus together — practice social distancing, isolation at home, wear face protection — among other things. But there’s a brighter side that we all can turn to, various companies that are generously stepping an extra mile to help those in needs.
There are good examples, like Amazon, which has decided to hire additional 100 thousand workers and increase salaries of existing staff to deal with the crisis. Dolce & Gabbana have teamed up with Humanitas university to fund a coronavirus research project, and Giorgio Armani has donated nearly 1.5 million to four Italian hospitals and Civil protection agencies. It looks like private businesses of all interests are putting it up together to help fight the virus.
In this article, I’d like to overview a few tech companies, and it doesn’t matter big or small, that are also helping in any way they can. Not only this might brighten a pretty gloomy view, but also serve as an example for other tech players who might search for an idea on how to contribute to the good cause.

Tech companies that are helping to survive Covid-19

1. Google. First of all, Google has gathered a COVID-19 paid-sick-leave fund, that allows any worker who shows the symptoms of the virus, or can’t continue work due to quarantine, to receive compensation for the sick time off. Moreover, it has made Google Hangouts, an excellent video conferencing service, available for free for G-suite users, which really helps to communicate with friends or to work remotely. And thanks to Google for that, I already used it, and it’s very comfortable.
2. Microsoft. This tech giant has announced that they will continue paying the hourly workers wages for those that support their campus no matter work time. Even though some services are no longer needed as they were before, Microsoft will continue supporting its workers regardless of how many hours now they’re required — they will receive the full salary.
3. NordVPN. The use of Virtual Private Networks have boomed due to millions of people working from home, the need to reach companies intranets and secure home Internet connections have increased significantly. People at NordVPN decided to help European country that suffered the worst (blogpost in Italian language) during this crisis — Italy. They will support Italian universities and academic personnel by providing them NordVPN accounts for free for six months.
4. CASETify. These are custom tech accessories creators, from phone cases to watch bands, but right now with every order, they include ten free sanitizing wipes. Also, they released a UV tech sanitizer for phones and will give any profit coming from here to GlobalGiving’s Coronavirus Relief Fund — a lovely initiative from their side.
5. Tealbook. This is a major data intelligence platform that is used all across the globe, and they decided to offer a free supplier reports until the end of March. This will help businesses to fight coronavirus by getting a report with the relevant supplier that are picked from 400 million biggest global websites as well as Tealbook’s own supplier profiles. This will help businesses to manufacture much-needed items like protection masks, hand sanitizers, medicine and other needed material to survive the virus.
6. OneDine. A company that takes care of guest-side technologies for hospitalities and restaurants is giving away free of charge Tap & Pay Touchless Payments systems to mentioned institutions, to help prevent people touching surfaces and spreading the virus. They will handle the setup, table sensors and tap pay activity, and found a really unique way to help combat the spread of Covid-19.

Find your way to help

These are just a few great examples of private tech companies taking initiatives to contribute to the global struggle against the coronavirus. Of course, there are more, such as Apple giving its retail staff that experienced the symptoms of the virus an unlimited paid-sick-leave. Or a smaller company Meero, that offered large-file transfers that are so helpful for remote work for free.
In my opinion, when put together, all these example show one thing — everybody can contribute in this hard situation. In most times, even common sense helps: think about what you would need in isolation, think about what society needs to survive this virus outbreak, and don’t limit yourself.
As you can see, material support such as sanitizers help, but also cybersecurity is essential, and maybe your company can help with remote work setup?
Online communication and file transfers are all required for a comfortable isolation period, but so is entertainment. Boredom is an enemy too. I’d love to see more various tech companies joining this noble cause, maybe game developers sharing fun games for free, or audiobook retailers giving classics to everyone.
It is my firm belief we all can help somehow, and if you’ve got a great idea don’t hesitate to leave it in the commentaries — maybe something will come out of it.
Editors Note: Thank you for the timely call to action, @gershwin.aaron!
Readers are advised to regularly check out [and contribute their own stories to!] our latest, global, community-sourced coverage on the subject⁠ of covid-19 here, including links to:

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