The COVID-19 pandemic serves as a grim reminder of the unexpected nature of these outbreaks and gives rise to a unique set of research challenges in a variety of fields. As people all over the world adjust to this new ’normal’, with most workplaces, from companies to educational institutions shifting online, enormous surges in the transmission of images and videos have been observed, creating record-breaking stresses on the internet backbone. At the same time, maintaining the privacy and security of the users’ data is of immense importance, this is where fast and efficient image encryption algorithms play a vital role. This paper discusses the calamitous effects of the pandemic on the world population and how their changes in multimedia consumption have led to an urgent need for the development and deployment of secure and fast image encryption, especially selective image encryption techniques. It carefully surveys the most recent advances in this field, discusses their real-world effects and finally explores some future research avenues, to provide swift relief and recover from the disastrous effects of the pandemic.