Feb 10, 2021

The Covid Pandemic Has Changed Everything

We have been dealing with the Covid Pandemic for about a year.  There is no doubt that the impact of this virus on our country has changed everything and in many instances for good.  70% of the thousands of people who died from Covid were 70 years or older many with various other complications.  Those who got Covid either experienced no symptoms,  mild symptoms, or flu like symptoms with about 2% ending up very sick in hospitals.  These are the direct results of the Covid pandemic; but there are many other implications that have impacted peoples lives.  

Thousands of businesses have closed for good.  There is a pretty good chance that your favorite family owned restaurant is gone never to return.  While government has provided some assistance, it is now estimated that 9 million small businesses, about 30% of the total will close by the end of 2021.  Government assistance has been too little too late.  Sadly, Covid was politicized in the last election.  Project Warp Speed got us the vaccine in record time; but now it may take all of 2021 to get everyone vaccinated.  And, the American Medical Association came out and said that the malaria pill cocktail, being used all over the world, is just fine to treat Covid.  We must wonder how many lives could have been saved if Doctors were permitted to prescribe this cheap remedy long before now.  

Most public schools have been closed using on line learning, which is not very effective instead.  Now the Center for Disease Control (CDC)) tells us it's fine for the schools to open up with or without staff being vaccinated because kids for the most part are not transmitters of the virus.  Government credibility in all of this is destroyed.  Closing schools for an entire year has had a major negative impact on our economy and parents juggling jobs and kids for the past year.  The stress on families has been immeasurable.  Hopefully, all public schools will open soon. 

There had been a growing trend related to people working from home.  Covid accelerated that trend so much so that even after we get back to some semblance of normal, there will be many more people working from home.  This change is likely to be permanent, which will have a major impact on commercial office space that will need to be repurposed.  From a real estate perspective, the notion of a home office becomes even more important.  

Business travel in not likely to go back to what it was in the past.  Companies have figured out that Zoom meetings work just fine.  The notion of the road warrior has been impacted going forward.  Why incur high travel costs for a few hour meeting when it is just as easy to do a Zoom meeting.  This will have a profound impact on the airline, hotel and restaurant industries that rely heavily on business travel that may have been 50% of their revenues.  

The Covid Pandemic has changed everything.  Trends that were happening anyway have been accelerated.  It could take years to get back to any semblance of normal.