When Will The Coronavirus Be Behind Us

Performance Property Real Estate Question

Q: Gerald, when will we finally get past the Coronavirus epidemic? Dale, Orlando, Fl

A: Contrary to popular belief, weather forecasts are reliably accurate. If there is a 30% chance of rain, it rains 30% of the time. The problem is that most people are looking for something that the weatherman and most health experts in the middle of the COV-19 crisis can’t provide: certainty.

Expecting certainty is unrealistic and potentially dangerous because it gives people a false sense of security as they wait for things to magically play out the way they expect. People seem to naturally desire things they can’t have. The world we live in is a complex system with multiple variables that affect it that are constantly changing. The most leverage you have over the world around you lies in what you do with the things you control (i.e. social distancing, how often you follow up on prospect leads for your business etc.) Con artists exploit people’s desire for certainty by making big promises they never intend to keep–Bernie Madoff did this by promising a high fixed annual return to his clients. The only thing we have complete control over is our thoughts and our actions–the good news is that this gives us plenty to work with! The trajectory and effects of the coronavirus depend in large measure on our behaviour and actions today–whether we choose to listen to scientists and adhere to social distancing norms and build a robust testing apparatus so we can reopen society in a smart and deliberate way. It depends on us more than the virus. Coronavirus has certainly caused changes that will be with us for some time–don’t kid yourself, things are not going to be the same, there will be a new normal which is why we have to create the new normal ourselves every day. Many people right now are frozen–paralyzed with fear waiting to see what happens. Unfortunately, being passive multiplies the effect of the actions of others. Creating the new normal ourselves means not waiting for other people to act, but taking the initiative now every day to rebuild our communities and our economy. As Emerson said: “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Thanks for your question, Dale.

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