COVID Is Changing Everything


COVID Is Changing Everything

“As seen in the Real Estate Reality Column in the San Leandro Times & Castro Valley Forum, written by Carl Medford”

Even with easing restrictions, we find ourselves in a strange new world. As it relates to real estate, although homes are still being sold, the amount of work and stress for all concerned has increased dramatically. Realtors describe working twice as hard for 50% of the results. Studies show video conferencing, while effective in communicating during this crisis, increases psychological stress. We even have a name: Zoom Fatigue.

Along with the dramatic shortage of homes for sale, lenders, deluged with refi requests, are lagging far behind. Factor in coronavirus-related restrictions and everyone is anxious and frustrated.

While not wishing to downplay the devastation to our personal lives and economy, I think we need some levity. Here are some terms that have developed new meanings as a result of the COVID-19 crisis:

  • Social distancing: used to be what parents hoped dating teenagers would employ.
  • Flatten the curve: what we used to call attempts at reducing belly fat.
  • Droplets: used to refer to the scattered raindrops preceding a downpour.
  • Transmission: was the thing connecting the car engine to the wheels.
  • Contact tracing: what preschoolers did to learn how to write numbers and letters.
  • Screening: what smart dads did before they allowed someone to date their daughter.
  • Reproductive rate: used to refer to the number of kids you had.
  • Isolation: children sitting on a chair or sent to their room as punishment.
  • Toilet Paper: used to be a basic commodity: now it’s the new global currency – more valuable than gold.
  • Zoom: what we did to go somewhere fast: now that we are going nowhere it is how we currently stay in touch. Also, a word for stock we wish we had all purchased BEFORE the crisis. 
  • GrubHub and Doordash: Angels of mercy or knights in shining armor – take your pick.
  • Grocery Delivery Services: we used to call it Meals on Wheels – now it goes by the names Walmart Grocery, Instacart, Shipt, Amazon Fresh, Safeway Home Delivery … it’s everything you hoped it might be if you are ok with never getting what you actually ordered and living with substitutions.
  • NetFlix: Our new best friend and window on the world.
  • Bandwidth: What we used to have before our neighbors started watching online entertainment all day long.

We also have new words: COVID-brain (suffering from COVID-related stress) and covidiot: someone ignoring public health regulations.

These are tough times, but we’ll make it through. In the meantime, stay safe.

Carl Medford is a licensed Realtor with Keller Williams Realty and a licensed general contractor. This article is sponsored by the Central County Marketing Association.

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