What an eye-opening observation about COVID, the economy and business since I’ve been out and about for 2 weeks after selling a home. COVID has made the real estate industry a bit tricky to navigate when trying to avoid infection. Like the rest of us who’ve been taking “stay home and stay safe” seriously, I had only minimally experienced, first hand, how the shutdown has impacted so many industries.
While taking the time to decide where I want to live next, I’ve been trying to do “normal” things like I used to do before mid-March 2020 when “shelter-in-place” was the rule:
- Eating at restaurants
- Staying in hotels
- The travel industry
- Using room service
- Getting a haircut from my hairdresser
What’s different about the risk of COVID in October 2020 vs. March 2020?
Not a damn thing. It’s still as serious a threat as it has been since early 2020. The only thing that is really different is people are told to wear masks. Here in liberal Silicon Valley, mask-wearing is really no problem—people are willingly complying. Outside Silicon Valley, compliance is not as good, making it riskier and prolonging the damage.
As I’m “out and about,” my risk of contracting COVID is much higher than when I was “sheltering-in-place” at home. I think about that added risk a lot and how long it’s going to be a big concern for me.
In terms of vaccine availability, we need to plan for late 2021 for enough COVID vaccines to be available in the U.S. Our “new normal” is going to be our normal for well over a year. That’s a big consideration for me being “out and about.”
Our only protection from COVID in the short-term/near-term is handwashing, social distancing, and wearing a mask. Do these things for yourselves and others around you. It’s the only mitigation protocol we have today. And ask others to do the same.
Eating At Restaurants
In California, dining out has meant eating outdoors at socially-distanced tables. That may be changing—there is some talk of indoor dining at 25% of normal capacity. Frankly, the risk of indoor dining is how the air moves and who is near you. I may continue to do take-out and, if possible, eat outdoors. I encourage you to tip well—restaurant teams are hurting financially.
Staying In Hotels
This past week, I got a great rate at the Doubletree Hotel at the San Jose Airport. It’s an older but decent property. The hotel wasn’t bu