The outbreak of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on 2020. Medical recommendations for social distancing and self-quarantining are coupled with the closure of borders, group events, and social gathering places. And even though e-Estonia’s services are still up and running and tools are helping you work remotely during this time, it’s natural to feel a bit antsy and anxious being home constantly.
Here we’ll go over some ways that Estonian brands, technology, and innovation can bring the outside world, in, during your lockdown.
Now isn’t the best time to hit up your local eatery. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up your favourite dishes. Estonia’s own ride-hailing app, Bolt, expanded their services last year and now delivers food. If you’re located in Tallinn, Tartu, Vilnius, or Riga, you can order food from the local restaurant of your choice, pay in the app, and have it delivered straight to your door. Plus, since March 13th, deliveries are contactless. This means that people in quarantine or who do not wish to come into contact with others can leave a note in the app.
Feeling under the weather? As opposed to straining medical services even further by going to the doctor, consider Viveo Health’s app. Affordable monthly plans lets you video chat with medical professionals within minutes, and at any time. Better still, you can receive e-prescriptions and e-referrals over the phone. “Jump the queue” at the clinic, stop self-diagnosing, and start feeling better!
Click and Grow
Bring the outdoors, in, literally! With Click and Grow’s indoor Smart Gardens you can grow fresh herbs, veggies and even flowers. Headquartered in Tartu, and one of the country’s fastest growing start-ups, Click and Grow helps anyone become a gardener. Even if you don’t have a green thumb. The Smart Gardens come with seeded soil pods, filled with soil and all the nutrients plants need to thrive. Simply pop the pod into the garden, fill it with water, and plug it in. In a few days your seeds will sprout, and in a matter of weeks you can enjoy the fresh offerings.
Estonia’s first unicorn company. This ubiquitous (and free!) audio, video, and chat software is probably something you already have downloaded. Spend this time communicating with family and friends, even if you can’t meet up in person. Watch a movie together via the screen sharing feature. Or reconnect with some old friends you haven’t talked to in years. Social distancing doesn’t mean isolation in quarantine with today’s technology.
If you’ve ever wanted to learn another language, but didn’t have the time or resources maybe now’s your chance. While away your lockdown doing something productive with Lingvist. They offer Spanish, French, Russian and German language courses that you can do on your phone or computer. The courses use AI and big data to choose the words they teach and personalise it for each learner. Plus, you can use speech recognition on your mobile to help train your pronunciation.
Don’t let hunger spoil your quarantine. With Starship’s autonomous delivery robots, goods can be brought to you directly from select supermarkets and eateries in the UK, US campuses, and Tallinn’s Mustamäe area. These friendly robots are able to carry up to 10 kilograms so you can get your food and groceries without human interaction. Plus, there’s no need to tip!
This website and app helps you find the best local spots in cities, chosen by people who actually live there, the locals. And although you may not be able to travel anytime soon, pair their advice on sights with your favourite map app for a digital tour of a city. Delve into the history and discover more about obscure local places you wouldn’t normally read about in conventional guide books. Or check out the bars and restaurants to learn more about a city’s traditional food and recreate it in your home kitchen. You can also sign up to become a local, and share tips about your favourite spots with the rest of the community. It might be a great way to meet fellow travel-lovers from around the world.
Don’t let social distancing get you down. Digitalisation means the goods and services you’re used to don’t need to stop during self-quarantine. And if you want access to more digital services during your lockdown, consider becoming an Estonian e-resident. Join the global community of more than 60,000 e-residents. Make some digital friends and continue the innovation!