The disturbances coronavirus has caused to the economic system, society as a whole and our way of life are manifold, each of them as exigent as the next. However, one particular aspect that has taken a backseat – and understandably so – is how the legislative is going to function moving forward. The past two months were spent by representatives in hastily setting up relief mechanisms and looking to prevent as much of the spread of the virus as possible. But now, with budgetary questions looming, a decision must be made on what happens to parliamentary proceedings.

Besides holding regular parliamentary sessions with social distancing in practice, there are calls being made to digitalise parliamentary procedures through video link. The Supreme Court has already discussed the possibility of holding hearings with testimonies and the arguments presented through video link. Our state institutions are essentially on the right path in determining the future course of action; it is clear that returning to business as normal is not a feasible option.

There are of course practical considerations that will take time to address. All our parliamentarians are not tech-savvy, and with so many of them looking after their respective constituencies, getting access to high-speed internet connections might also prove to be difficult.

But as the Punjab All-Parliamentary recently displayed with an online session presided over by the Speaker of the provincial assembly, the parliament can discuss matters over video link. Not only that but it might just also reduce the constant attacks parliamentarians level against one another. With limited speaking time and controlled conversation through handing over speaking powers to individuals one by one, we might just get more business done.

The world over, legislative bodies are coming to terms with changing professional dynamics; it is time our houses start operating regularly as well.